Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ohrid Conference Day 1: Opening Ceremonies and Travel

This past week has been very very busy! I had two conferences back to back in Ohrid and then in Thessaloniki. They were very interesting conferences filled with many wonderful people and new connections. Each day deserves a separate post so I can highlight the special comments and presentations. These are mostly going to be wordy posts- not a whole lot of pictures taken.

The week started off with a fun filled trip to the post office, but as that particular saga is still on going, I will save that story for later.

We started off in Skopje on a bus down to Ohrid with the other participants of the Macedonian Political Science Forum (which is part of the Sv. Ciril I Methodi university in Skopje) for their 2nd Annual Academic conference: Europe with (out) borders. It is roughly a three hour bus ride down to Ohrid, where we were spending the next 3 days. We stayed at the University’s conference center (literally called Congress Center) which is on the shores of the lake. Sadly, I didn’t have a lakeside view or roommates. I did, however, eat мекици и сирење (mekitsi and cheese). It was sooo yummy! Basically fried dough with cow’s cheese. But yum! When we arrived, I walked down to the beach and took some pictures/relaxed before the official opening.

The conference kicked off with an opening ceremony where they introduced some of the themes of the conference and welcomed us all to Ohrid. There were participants from Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia! It was a great chance to mingle. Although horrible for someone who is not at all good with names (me!).

Afterwards we had dinner (for the program’s 15th year anniversary). The food was interesting for both conferences. I don’t think I ate more oil and fried/drowned in oil foods in one week than I had in this week. Since food is rather important, and they gave us so much of it, I thought I would share exactly what it is we were eating: cheese burek, tomato/cheese/garlic appetizer, minestrone stew with potatoes (or fish), fried cheese, and Ohrid cake. It was layers of caramel, nut vanilla cake and some sort of thick desserty style thing.

Then we had some time to just relax and hang out! It was nice to talk with people and just relax a bit.

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