From Dihovo to Bitola
9th October Friday
day sixteen Via Egnatia
A short walk from Villa Dihovo to Bitola about 7 km
We left Villa Dihovo at about 10 am after a leisurely sit in the sunshine and breakfast, happy days, sunny day again!
after a little while we walk through the village Brusnik. Quite a few empty houses again, and fields and orchards that look unkempt.
Everyone has red peppers drying.
As we approach the centre of Bitola we walk along the river canal, the autumn leaves are starting to change colour.
Statue of Alexander the Great, then we walk down Shirok Sakak, the main pedestrian street to find our accommodation, Tokin House.
Bitola is quite a surprise! It has a lovely feel, there are wide boulevards impressive old buildings, it's another town with a huge coffee culture! It's only midday and the cafes are full of people having coffees, socialising and chatting along Shirok Sakak...
Arrived at Bitola - Tokin house at 12:00.
Our room isn't ready yet, but Yasmin at reception is very apologetic and helpful, we leave our big packs and she takes us to their local restaurant Korzo - around the corner for lunch. We get a 10% discount as we are guests at Tokin house.
We order a local red for me, Patrick a beer and local food, delicious and filling! (The dish of marinated chillis is quite Spicy!)
Lunch 720 den
We plan to explore the ancient site of Heracleia after lunch.
Heracleia was founded by Philip II , Father of Alexander the Great in the middle of the fourth century BC.
We spot these cheeky squirrels jumping around the park on our walk to Heracleia, about half a km from the town centre.
Very difficult to capture the detail and intricate designs
And old well, with deep grooves from years of hauling up water.
I've spoken with Jana on FB via the Friends of Via Egnatia, Bitola is her home town and we've arranged to meet at Tokin house 5 pm Friday afternoon. The kindness of strangers in Macedonia is so heartwarming! Jana would like to show us some of her hometown, Bitola.
She shows us the incredible church of Sv.Dimitrija
Stunning chandelier, fresco and icons... An old, beautiful church. Built in the 1830s on the site of an older church that burnt down.
Jana has a drink called salep, it smells of cinnamon and vanilla, it smells wonderful! it's thick and hot, so tempting that I decide to try Salep for the first time, it's delicious! Salep is made from the root of an orchid. Jana tells us that it's also very healthy and helps to fight colds and coughs. http://www.greekconcept.gr/tinctures---extracts/salep-orchid--orchis-mascula
All coffees and drinks are served with a glass of water! Love it!
Jana than leads us to the Bitola museum... The museum is housed in the old Military college where Attaturk studied. It has many interesting displays from throughout the ages. I love the traditional costumes they're so detailed and the embroidery is stunning.
Thanks so much Nana and Vasko for your kind hospitality! It means so much to have a local show us around!
Last day in Macedonia !
We cross the border into Greece at Niki tomorrow on our way to Edessa
Off to bed, good night- we're up very early in the morning...
Tokin house $44 AUD per night booked Friday 9th October
Marks i Engels 7, Bitola, 7000, Macedonia
28€ per night
Another option in Bukovo is Villa Bukovo, run by Toni Krrstevski - on air B&B looks lovely and can sleep up to 4 people. Email email@example.com