In Elbasan we saw snowy mountain peaks in the distance. It seemed in the direction we were going. That day, however, the weather was drizzly and the road led through a few narrow gorges so that we had no view. We did see a car wash every few meters for miles on end. Would people be so clean here? No, the Albanians are not very spoiled here when it comes to natural beauty. It often feels like survival in this part of the country. Thus, if the water gushes down for free, you make the most of it, even if you only have 5 customers a day.
In the meantime, we realize that we have left not only the olive trees, but now also the oranges behind us. We’re really approaching a different climate.
Nevertheless, in Prrenjas we are surprised when we realize that we have cycled past the snowy tops.
The next day we go over the pass to Lake Ohrid; There we are be surrounded on all sides by snowy peaks. Impressive!
We are now at an altitude of 700 meters and there is a fresh wind. As soon as or as long as the sun is there, it is pleasant, but if a cloud moves in front, it is cold and we quickly put on the raincoats. In the night it cools down considerably. We wear extra clothes and keep the sleeping bag tight to keep warm. In the morning the top sleeping bag is wet of condensation. There is even ice on Tessel’s saddle. The morning sun surprisingly turns out powerful enough to dry it; which produces beautiful pictures.
A little later we have breakfast in the sun and we start our cycling day in shorts. While we cycle over two cols of 1200m each with bare trees we think of winter, but feel spring. In the valley in between it is wonderfully green. Almost alpine-like. There also appear entire orchards that are on spouts. Typical fruit trees, but which species remains a mystery until about 10 stalls with apples appear along the road. A bit wrinkly this time of year, but still nice for lunch in the sun.
Striking at the end of such a beautiful day, the apartment in Bitola feels cold. Fortunately, there is a hot shower to deal with that. Tomorrow promises rain.
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