Sunday, September 18, 2011

Travelogue, part I

Here's a little summary/overview of our recent trip:
We left Sunday morning in hopes of avoiding some of the city traffic as Terry got used to driving in Albania. It sort of worked.

We drove to Lin, a small village on the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid and stayed there one night in hopes of avoiding some of the nightclub noise in the old city of Ohrid on the Macedonian side (that sort of worked too). It was the first time ever that both kids spent the night in the same room! I'd say it... sort of worked. Getting them to fall asleep seemed impossible until I stuck Gabriel in the sling and took him for a walk under the moonlight. He conked out in under 10 minutes. With him out of the room, Valerie was able to fall asleep too.

Monday we drove to Villa Lucija in Ohrid - the same place we stayed before. Lovely as always, if a tad bit hotter. The spring peepers were not out in force like they'd been in June but there seemed to be a lot more gulls around. They were cool too.

Monday we took a short boat ride along the lakeshore; Tuesday we walked around the old city looking at old Orthodox churches and things like that; Wednesday we took the ferry across the lake to Sveti Naum where we took another little row-boat to see some of the springs that are the source of the lake.

I don't think these photos can fully convey the ambiance of the place - the water was incredibly clear and incredibly cold, and you could see it bubbling up from under the sand or trickling in from among the rocks. From the boat, we picked blackberries that hung out over the water - plump and fresh and sweet. Too bad we could only reach one each!

Thursday we drove back to Tirana, stopping at noon in Pogradec where I was able to connect with a HNGR intern currently placed there - that was really cool, as I'd been unable to reach her by phone and wasn't sure if we'd be able to see her or not. But as we drove into the city, we saw a young woman walking along the road side and said "she looks like she might be American, let's ask her if she's Rachel!" So we stopped and asked and she WAS! So I was able to have a coffee with her while the other three adults wrangled the tired and weary kids before the last leg of our journey. I did this same internship program 17 years ago (wow), only in Bolivia, so it was really cool to see that the spirit of the program has remained the same.

More photos coming soon!

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