We were hiking to the Two Lakes View in southern Macedonia. There are (obviously) two lakes there- Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. Between these two lakes there is a mountain: Galichica. At the top of the highest point in Macedonia in this mountain range is Magaro at 2255 meters high. At this point you can see Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.
Lizzie is obviously a hiker, but I was the one convincing her to go! The day started off cold, rainy, wet, and cloudy. But we decided to try anyway. Off we went. It looked pretty nice until we made it to the stopping point. But first, as we were driving on this little back road/main thoroughfare and through villages , we were once again laughing at what was considered a major road in these countries. This road was barely able to hold two cars on it. But we got to see Lake Prespa as we drove by. No pictures sadly because there was no place to stop along! We kept following this little road up and we came to one part with hiking signs. It was about where we thought we would have to stop, so we backed up and looked at the map. While the map and the guide book called them separate things, and we were a bit turned around, we did determine that we were in the right location! We hesitated about going up, but in the end decided that we were here and in 3 weeks we wouldn’t have the chance, so why not? And off we went.
What we should have done was take the car up a bit further and then walked. It would have saved us about 30 minutes of walking. Which I would have enjoyed, but oh well. There was a Red Cross Outpost that is more than likely open in the summer but not in any of the other seasons. There was also a small weather station. The first part was easy compared to the second part, but at the time, we didn’t know that. It was steep and wooded and made me out of breath very quickly! But then.
We got to this one part that should have been easy, but it was covered in snow. Yes, snow. In May. Like SERIOUSLY? But oh well, we decided to try to scale it. Remember that I am in Tennis shoes and have no winter coat or gloves. But we made it to the center area and then starting half climibg/half walking up the face of this mountain! We were laughing the whole way! I lost my water bottle and decided that it would still be there when I went down, so I waited to go get it (Mostly I didn’t want to have to climb down to climb back up). So off we went. Grabbing on to grass and rocks and sand, even snow to be able to keep going up.
The only thing that made it worth going up was what I was going to see when I got to the top. That is was a great motivator. We made numerous stops along the way to catch our breath. I was really glad that I had asked Lizzie to borrow some jeans because I had been planning on wearing capris and not very warm ones at that! We made it most of the way up when we turned and saw Lake Prespa.
Worth it. At that moment, everything that we had done was worth it. IT was totally worth it. The view was breathtaking and almost unbelievable. Hard to describe. The glistening lake and the mountains surrounding it, washed with snow and sprinkled with green. Breathtaking. We stopped and just looked for a bit.
Then it was onward! It got really steep and the trail markers disappeared. Like we couldn’t see any of them! It was a bit scary, but we figured we were only supposed to go up, right? And up and UP an d up we went. We stopped for an apple once, just to get our bearings. We had thought it would be clearing before we stopped, but then the clouds rolled in, So we sat a bit longer than we would have otherwise to just see if we could wait them out. We couldn’t so we started up to see if maybe we could go up while they were there, but then they would blow over!
This is where it got really interesting. I was grasping snow and bent over and holding on to anything. But then. Then we got to the top! (Well almost, I think there was something that was a bit higher, but oh well. ) And we saw the views. Oh the views! AMAZING!!!!
After looking around and SEEING BOTH LAKES, we headed back down. Lizzie was walking it, but I couldn’t get any traction, and then I slid. Then I decided that I would shoe-ski down the mountain! Like, use my tennis shoes as skis, and just slide down! If you put your pressure on the back of your heels and balance with your arms- you slid down a mountain!! SUPER SUPER DOOPER FUN!!! Like enough fun to make me want to go on a ski trip!
Then we came to an area where we had found a yellow raincoat that we had decided would work for sledding down the mountain. And then we sled! Oh so much fun! Like it was amazing! I’m not sure if it was fun because we were so tired or fun because it was legit fun.
Afterwards we headed to Sv. Naum, which is a famous monastery in Macedonia where Sv. Naum is buried. If you listen closely you can hear his heart beating, supposedly. I didn’t, but maybe they would say that it is because I am not a believer (in Eastern Orthodoxy). But the area around it was beautiful, as was the architecture. We took a mini boat ride out to view it from the lake. Oh, did I not mention that it was located on Lake Ohrid?
Very peaceful. We took a walk back to a spring that leads into the Lake. We even sat on a rock and dipped our feet into the water. Or in my case my ankle, which was killing me! Then we wandered towards another church located on the same ground. It was nice, and the lake springs were so refreshing! The spring ran through the church! I guess the whole lake was blessed!
Then we were done we headed to Ohrid, where we were to meet Jen and her parents for dinner. But we had a real MK dinner at about 9pm. It was yummy! Then they offered to let us stay at the apartment they were renting, which was nice, because Lizzie and I weren;t sure if there would be any water when we got back and we wanted to shower! It also ended up being the most expensive meal I had ever eaten in MK!