Meteora

Have you ever heard of that? Not me. We accidentaly got informed about it through two other bikers we met at Lake Ohrid. We drove through Meteora on our way to our final european destination Thessaloniki, so we decided to visit it.
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Meteora is known for it’s monasteries, built on, at or in the hills, so that you think it belongs together.
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So we wanted to walk to one of the monasteries, starting at our campsite. Google Maps said, it will take about one hour and so did the plan at the campsite. If we had found the right way immediately, this would have fitted. But first we took the wrong way and the wrong direction.
With the help of the map we got at the campsite, Google Maps an the GPS we tried to find the right direction. After three hour we reached the monastery we had chosen.
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On our way we had a nice view at the nature and the special type of hills.
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Near the monastery the map was quite inaccurate and the mobile phones couldn’t help us either, so we had to navigate through the cardinal directions and the position of the monastery, which we could see above the trees.
Then the pathes turned narrow and we didn’t really know, which of them were the official ones and which of them were just dirt tracks.
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One of the paths we took definitely was a dirt path. In fact one, that ended in front of a wall with a fence on it. Inside the wall there was a round ground and on the other side we expected the road leading to the monastery.
As it was not possible to walk beside the wall, we climbed on it an layawayd on the fence.
Later, as we stood at the monastery, we recognized that you have a really good view at exactly that fence. But seemed that nobody has been watching us.
You also could do this whole thing very easy, by visiting the monastery by car or bus, what will take about ten minutes. But in this case you probably won’t be proud, for finally making it there.
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Inside the monastery itself was not as exciting as outside as it is just a small building with an even smaller chapel inside. You have to pay for admission and as a woman, you have to put on one of the wrap-around skirts, if you want to enter it.
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Culture shock

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“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
But better not in Albania.
Trash, shit and dead animals beside the street, most shops closed and absolutely chaotic traffic.
And then somebody started talking to me and asked (in the second sentence) how I like his country.
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But I have to admit, not everything is bad in Albania. The people are very friendly and the landscape can be beautiful.

The castle we visited was amazing.
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Through my pictures you can only imagine how big the castle really is.
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At the castle you can see ten water supply wells that are still full of water.
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Different elements of the huge castle have remained too, i.e. a tower, bows or a complete house.
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Beside the wall, like in Croatia, some pomegranates grow. Kevin likes this fruits very much and every now and then he picks some.
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Regeneration

In contrast to Albania, Macedonia was really regenerating.
We stayed at a campsite near Lake Ohrid, which is the second oldest lake of the world with water you could drink.

The campsite was very familiar, we got a glass of Raki on arrival, and we met some nice people. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful.

If you drive around the lake, you reach Ohrid and if you go further, you arrive at the “gulf of bones” where they found old bones and parts of stilt houses. Today there is a small rebuilt settlement of Pfahlbauten, used as a museum.

They show the former life really authentic. There are different houses for families, with or without enclosers, and probably some common rooms.
In the houses they have many furrs and one bed per house.

Some houses contain a baby crib or a loom.

After the stilt houses we went to the monastery Sveti Naum, which is also situated at the Lake Ohrid.

First we took a wrong side road and came to a little curch, where only one man worked in the garden.

The terrain around the curch was really beautiful. After we had a look around, he came to us and asked, if we want to see the curch from inside.

It wasn’t allowed to take photos, but you probably never saw something like that!
The walls and ceiling were painted dark red and in a circle around the walls they had painted the life of Jesus. There were hanging candleholders everywhere, red coats in one corner, and the thick windows had golden decorations.

Somehow we recognized, that this couldn’t be the monastery “everyone” was talking about. So we took the main road until it came to it’s end at a parking lot in front of a high wall. We entered it through the gate and found ourselves in a severely and well trimmed park.

At the beginning of the park, there are a lot of market stands with souvenirs. In the back you can find the restaurant, a house for the peacocks and the monastery itself. But the most interesting thing of all is the curch in the courtyard.

Buddha, äh Budva.

In fact, this article is about Budva, not Buddha. And they have nothing to do with each other. They just sound similar.
Budva is a city, the only one we visited in Montenegro.
The new (and biggest) part of the city contains private homes, and one big hotel near the other. Everything blings and glitters and tries to catch you with spa-resorts, four or five stars and luxury shopping. Not really our world.

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Much nicer and calmer it is in the old town, which is surrounded by an old and high citywall (just as it is in Dubrovnic), and you can get through it only through a few gates.

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We took our walk here in the evening, when unfortunately the citadelle was already closed.

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