Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kratovo (continued)

Kratovo (continued), originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

So there we were in Kratovo, having met up with L and I, time for a coffee before going to L's place to leave our rucksacks, where we met L's mother who treated us to preserved sour cherries and some rakia, made by L's father (from plums, flavoured with wild aniseed). Delicious. Both.

Then we got our tour of the town, first back to the bus station then up to the park with the war memorial and thye 600 year old pine trees (droppin g a bit) then up top one of teh more famous bridges, past numerolus old-style Macedonian houses, with timber construction and sticking out upper floors (less pronounced than in Turkey). The more picturesque were those, of course, were those in need of renovation.

Then we made it to one of the fine churches in the town with some magnificent fresoces and icons, including St George, the one who was burnt at the stake in Sofia.

After the tour, we went back to L's house whilst preparations were made with mobiles for the rest of the day and eventually we set off in a car of one of L's cousins for a nearby monastery (the name will come later) set high above another valley. We were in time for a service and were able to hear the singing/chanting monks with their fine voices.

Nearby were some caves, so an opportunuity for walking around. By now we were feelinga bit peckish as we had not really eatne sinmce an early breakfast and it was already after 5. However, the countyryside was full of wild plum trees with golden and black plums to which we could help ourselves, Delicious!

Then it was down to the fish restaurant by the side of the river, in a garden in the woods. The road took us past a number of men leading their donkeys who were laden with the wood which the men had chopped down during the day. A delightful sight!

Lunch/dinner was excellent - another great meal we have eaten thanks to L's advice. We started with a perfect Chopska salad with tomatoes and cucumber, onions and sheep's cheese, to be accompanied by more rakia. Then I had a local trout from the


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