A trip on Borat’s catamaran, Macedonia
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
I am embarrassed to admit that, up until about 2 weeks ago, I didn’t even know that North Macedonia was a country. So what a surprise to find such beauty in a small town called Orhid which boasts a stunning natural lake, rare treasures in ancient monasteries and a Macedonian version of Borat:
Skipper Borat does daily tours of the lake (€20pp) on his catamaran. Persuaded by his unrelenting, flamboyant personality, we joined him for a day trip along with 2 retired Germans, 2 Yanks, 5 Russians and an Aussie-Asian travelling solo who took pictures every few seconds of the same blue view all day.
Stop 1: The Bay of Bones
We departed Ohrid at 10.30am and headed over to the Bay of Bones, an authentic reconstruction of how people during 1200-700BC kept their animals safe from wild animals.
Mr Borat played an excellent selection of 80s music for us through his phone which caused such delight in the Germans that they cracked open their first beer of the day, one of many it would turn out. Mary Poppins would have been impressed with how many cans they fitted into just one small rucksack…
Borat kept up a constant commentary on anything and everything he could see, most of which we couldn’t actually hear because of the dance music & the splashing water.
Stop 2: Mother of God Zahumska Monastery
This ancient Orthodox monastery (1361AD) was a highlight for me as it contains one of just 20 frescos painted of Saint Anne and Mary, Mother of Jesus. Everything is under restoration but it’s still heart-breaking to see the destruction wrought upon such cultural treasures – the eyes of paintings, frescos and icons were frequently scratched out during the Ottoman reign in the places they conquered
Stop 3: Naum
This quaint town was lovely for an afternoon’s wandering. You can also take small boat trips to see the Naum springs; however, I thought €20 was a bit steep for just a half hour trip but this didn’t stop Salesman Niko spending half that time trying to convince us to go with him.
After thrusting pages of fan reviews in our face and showing us dozens of pictures of ‘famous’ people who he had taken to the springs, we finally managed to escape to visit the monastery of St Naum and take a walk.
Thankfully, the return journey to Ohrid was quiet as Skipper Borat was tired out from his previous enthusiastic commentary so he put on his headphones.
The Germans continued to pull out unlimited cans from their bag. I really must find out where you can buy that sort of travel luggage…