Stop 25: Lake Ohrid. I’m gonna stay one or two days…

I walked through the town centre armed with a leaflet that had a map on it to get to Sunny Lake Hostel. Easy right? Yep, until I got to the old town and I was greeted by steep windy roads. I saw a hand made sign that pointed me to Sunny Lake but after that it was trial and error. I finally got there and hoped they had rooms.

The hostel owner greeted me and showed me to the room. It was soon apparent that I was in the hostel by myself. I explored a little bit outside while it was dark and got into the Christmas spirit, then decided I was gonna do one more day here then head off to Albania.

One hour later a male human by the name of Brad entered my room. I tried not to look appalled that he’d invaded my personal space and spoke to him for a bit. He was cool enough for me to ask him if he wanted to grab some dinner. So we had dinner in the form of a Boss Burger (Boss Burger would become an important part of my life over the next few days…)

Brad (I would have given him a nickname by now, but Brad Pitt is too easy) said he was meeting a girl at the hostel later on, I accepted the fact that he would be having loud, passionate sex in our room with this girl whilst I would be quietly crying myself to sleep…

Fortunately for me there was no sex or crying involved! Louise was just friends with Brad and I hit it off with Louise instantly as well. It’s nice when you meet a group of people and you all have the same sense of humour. Then the next day me, Louise and Brad went and explored the old town.

We saw the fort, the stadium (of sorts) and a lot of ruins. I pretended I was all cultured and all that and looked around in an entitled manner whilst taking photos. The we went to watch the sunset. Don’t worry I’ve got photos of that as well…

That evening involved Grand Theft Auto (The game mum, we’re not actually committing crimes in former Yugoslavia!) for a while, then Belgian Bruno asked if anyone wanted to play poker upstairs. 5 of us went up and paid 100 dinar (or 2 euros in my case) to play.

I played well surprisingly, and was slowly collecting all the chips. Then Belgian Bruno bought €2 worth of chips off me (giving me my money back) and gave the chips to a long haired Macedonian rock star (I’m not joking, the hostel owner, Gyoko, has lots of friends who are in a band and apparently this band are well known around Macedonia..) and hairy rock star kept going all in, once without even looking at his cards. Belgian Bruno then won a lot of chips off me and kept slipping them to hairy rock star until his kamikaze method paid off and he took all our chips. I dragged my feet as I went downstairs defeated, ready to play some more GTA.

Hairy rock star came back with pizzas for everyone and they were melt in your mouth, hit some high notes fantastic! We then played a game on GTA where you had to sprint across the motorway without looking and see how many times you could do it without dying. Brad got the record with six…

Brad and Louise left the next day, so I cried like this for a while then said to myself I’d have a chill out day playing the Playstation then head to Albania, that was until I got a message from a familiar Aussie:

“Facking Lewis mate! You still up for Christmas in Macedonia together?” I’d love to say this was from Ellie, but it wasn’t, it was a traditional Aaron greeting. I’d forgotten that I said to Aaron pissed out of my head that we would do Macedonia together, but I’m a man of my word (and I like Aaron, which played a factor) so I stayed for a few more days not doing very much except getting drunk with Aaron. Well, it was cold so there’s not much else to do in Macedonia at night apart from get drunk and message ex girlfriends saying we should give it another try when we get back…

Gyoko (The hostel owner) told me there was a girl staying in the hostel, so naturally I panicked and tried to act calm, turns out I was worrying about nothing because it wasn’t a girl, it was a Jaime! We hugged and swapped stories, and before I knew it two days had gone and so was she. She left in the evening and I lost track of time, and I shot up asking if Jaime had gone yet. Gyoko told me she had left seconds ago, so I ran out the hostel and chased after her in minus 1 weather only wearing a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. It was like the shittest love film ever!  I ran for about 300 metres before I found her so I could say goodbye. We hugged and it was romantic, that is until I awkwardly kissed her on the cheek whilst completely out of breath as I said goodbye. Then I ran back before frostbite or something less dramatic set in.

So yeah, like most travelling stories recently one or two days has turned into a week. Normally I end this with “Next stop: BlahBLAHistan” But I haven’t actually left yet; this is gonna be a two parter because I’m now volunteering at the hostel until the new year. (Cool story…it’s not really, but I’ll tell you in the next blog post. You know, suspense and all that…)

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