Day 24 – Via Egnatia – pictures in Thessaloniki

The food picture is part of our outstanding lunch today in a charming cafe run by a delightful young man who gave us a free beer because we had to wait a while to be served. The reason we had to wait is because we arrived before he was open. Now I’d like to know how many times you’ve been offered something for free for arriving before opening hours? 

The Roman archaeological site is about half a block from our hotel. We can see it from our balcony (so can you if you look carefully). The other pictures are all about the scale of amenities in our room. The tiniest  mini fridge on the planet – currently storing our wine. Our mini screen TV – but we have BBC so that is a positive! And the bathroom – hardly a room – WC – water closet? It’s smaller than the average closet. The shower is equally minuscule just to the right out of sight. 

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Day 21 – Via Egnatia – R&R in Edessa

We’re enjoying a very laid back day! This morning we had a picnic breakfast in our hotel sitting room. No one raised an eye brow when we asked for bowls and spoons for our yoghurt and granola. Our room has a fridge and we bought groceries yesterday evening. We’ve had a similar picnic lunch out on the lovely patio outside our room – picture coming to illustrate.

We spent the morning on a shampoo, toothpaste, and foot balm acquisition mission. This involved visits to numerous pharmacies. There are 20 pharmacies within easy walking distance of our hotel. Europeans seem to love these places. There are the usual medicinal products and so many amazing lotions and potions – of course we were not sure which lotion goes where – or is used for what – but it’s fun to look and speculate. The great thing about pharmacies is that they are usually staffed by at least one person who speaks English. That is helpful for us as we try to negotiate reading the Greek alphabet. We’re pretty sure Pat bought tooth paste and not cream for some other part of one’s body.

Pharmaceuticals acquired we then descended upon an unsuspecting fruit seller who hopes to sell us an entire flat of figs. We picked two plus two apples. I think he was rather disappointed. And then we found the famous Edessa waterfalls. It is quite impressive. Edessa is an ancient city. There has been habitation here since prehistoric times. The reason is clear. It sits high upon the edge of a very steep cliff and a river thunders over the edge just here.

Edessa  is an easily defendable position, has cooling breezes, and abundant water. The hotel we are staying in is an Ottoman building which has been beautifully restored. As close to Turkey as we’ll be getting on this journey I expect.  About a block away is the excavations of the Roman town. 

Unfortunately the excavations are all weedy and garbage lies around. The waterfall viewing platforms are nice enough but there is a lot of graffiti. There is a cave associated with the falls and within almost all surfaces have been covered with graffiti. Greece just seems to be missing the boat a bit with it’s tourist sites. We’re here because we need a break from walking. I’d be disappointed if I’d come here as a vacation spot. We can see the potential, the city has beautiful bones as it were but it is marred with disrepair and neglect. Kathy and I noticed similar neglect last spring when we were in other areas of Greece, as did dad and I this past fall. This vandalism and lack of upkeep of public and private spaces seems to be a wide spread phenomenon. I guess it’s a symptom of the economic difficulties. But I can’t help wondering if it is not also a symptom of disrespect, disenchantment and sheer laziness which is a cause of economic difficulties.

Pictures of today’s antics coming shortly.

Day 20 – Via Egnatia – high fashion 

The fist picture is me washing some grapes we picked up in a market this morning. The next three…. OK let me explain – the flys are sometime relentless. The fly up our noses and into our mouths and ears and get between our glasses and our eyes and pester and pester and buzz and buzz and tangle and buzz in our hair and buzz and nip and buzz and swarm and DRIVE US CRAZY – unless we cover up – and so here you see the fashion statement we’ve been saving to unveil at the right moment. Yes indeed we’ve walked more than a few kilometres so veiled. 

You might wonder why our scarves match. It is actually the same scarf aka fly veil. I thought I was going to loose Pat to a state of fly driven madness a few days ago so I cut my scarf in half! Plenty for us both! Besides now I have about 30 grams less weight to carry. And yes we can see through them fairly well. It’s a bit tricky on rough terrain though.

Day 20 – Via Egnatia – the ridiculous and the sublime

We “checked out” of our hotel this morning by leaving a beer at the reception desk for the man who gave us a deal on the room then leaving the keys under the front door mat. After locking the front door to the hotel of course. (Ridiculous)

Up in the village we scored bakery goods, then found a place for a coffee. One bite into the bakery item let us know we’d made a mistake. We’d bought a pastry sort of thing with – wait for it – what might one find in a pastry? Cheese? No. Apple No. Some other fruit filling? No. Give up? OK – inside was a hot dog. (Ridiculous) And it was day old and had been sitting our on that shelf all night as well as all day yesterday. Gross! Into the garbage they went. I trotted back down to the bakery while Pat supervised preparation of the coffee because – trust us on this – supervision is required. I bought bread rings which turned out to be very tasty.

Breakfast accomplished – and if you took note – this required three stops – we set about sorting out our transportation to get out of Arnissa. We’d been told the night before that a taxi might show up at the post office around 8:30. We hovered and wondered and then down the road came a taxi! Delivering the mail to the post office. So we helped him unload the mail. Showed him on the map where we wanted to go – less than 4 km up the road. Off we went. Euro 5 put us in position to complete two days of walk in one by knocking off those 4 kms. 

Reason for two in one – the day was supposed to end in Nisi with us asking at the local bar for a possible room. We’ve learned that lesson. And thank goodness. There were a couple of bars in that little village and all were closed. It was difficult to get a shop owner to sell us two bottles of water. As we sat and had a snack in the shade of a tree by the village square another man came over and gave us each an apple. There it was – random act of kindness number 7 since arriving in Greece. My faith in human nature being inherently good is being restored!  The apples were absolutely the best! Sweet, crisp, juicy! (Sublime). However rooms there where not. It would have been another frustrating disappointing end to an otherwise pleasant day.

The only flaw to our day was once again the guide book. We were led without error into town and then along a river and into an impenetrable brambles patch. According to the book we were supposed to clamber through the this wall of black berries for over a kilometre. Not happening! (Ridiculous – given the  easy road option just meters away but sadly across the river.) We used trusty GyPSy to guide us out of the brambles, across a field, and onto to a dirt road. Eventually we popped out in the city! From there it was an easy walk to our really nice digs for two nights (Sublime!)

Speaking of the guide book and troubles with unofficial accommodation, this is the response from one of the authors of then guide book in reply to the e-mail we sent about what happened in Neo Kavkasos… It is very interesting and supports our decision to seek only official accommodations.

“Hi Kim, Your sad story confirms our fears about Greece. At the moment many Greeks seem terribly xenophobic and depressed because of the crisis (which many Greeks think is caused by rich countries, so also by you and me), and then there is the refugee problem. Things have got worse lately. The famous Greek hospitality seems to turn into its opposite. But what they did to you in Nea Kavkasos exceeds our worst fears!We’ll try to contact the proedros (= a sort of mayor) of Nea Kavkasos to ask what & why. We speak Greek, so maybe people are friendlier to us than to you. I think you’re right about staying in towns with official accommodation. I sincerely hope this was the last disappointment concerning accommodation! Holger”

Sad commentary on the current state of affairs in Greece. We the rich are causing the problems here?  

I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that Pat and I both have pretty tired feet and a few more scratches from the bramble patch. But cold beers and hot showers have restored us. Soon we’ll go find dinner and no doubt will be asleep shortly after dark. Pictures coming in a while.

Day 19 – Via Egnatia – the strangeness continues

What kind of place have we gotten ourselves into? 

We’ve decided we must be in some sort of alternative universe. 

This morning we went to check out of our hotel. It was a normal sort of place – reception desk, numbers on the room doors – you know – regular hotel sort of set up. The place was deserted. We called, rang the annoying little bell on the desk. We’re just about decided to leave a note and say put this on my credit card (we’d booked through booking.com) when a woman appeared. She went to a door and knocked and motioned for us to wait. We waited. Eventually a sleepy-headed guy came out – same guy we woke up in similar fashion when we arrived yesterday at 11:30 in the morning. We paid our bill. The beers were on the house. How nice of him. (Act of kindness number seven since arriving in Greece.)

We set off to find breakfast – and duly did so by sitting outside a little cafe the baker told us to go to. We ate our bakery delights while waiting for the cafe to open. When it did, we each had a coffee so laden with sugar  even I found it sweet!

While we were drinking our coffee a garbage truck came by with two garbage workers. They used the truck’s mechanical lifter and dumper to lift and dump a large communal garbage container. A woman was standing near by. As soon as the container was set down she looked inside and she went nuts on the two workers. They ignored her and drove off in the truck. She shook her fist and muttered away. We could hear and see all this from across the street. After we finished our coffee I went over and looked inside. The container had only been half emptied. This is clearly something that goes on all the time and is a bone of contention for this woman. It was pretty funny to watch…. But seems indicative of a system that is really broken – the “system” I refer to is Greece. Trains run late, garbage isn’t emptied, hotels aren’t staffed.

Our walk today was fairly short. It started in the rain but soon became sunny and quite warm. We arrived in Arnissa about lunch time and set about finding a hotel. This we did with a bit of friendly direction from a fellow from whom we asked directions.

Hotel found, one would assume one would go to the reception desk, book in etc. Not in Greece. We walked in. No one was around. We called out and looked about the place. I went into a couple of the guest rooms. Keys just in the locks. Nice rooms. We found a card at the reception desk and Pat phoned. Someone would be right over – turns out everyone was in the orchards picking apples. A fellow showed up and seemed fairly surprised that we’d been inside… We got our room. Negotiated a price and paid. We’ve been asked to leave the front door key under the door mat when we leave. We are here solo. This is a proper hotel. But it’s just Pat and me. We bought some beer in the village and riffled around in the reception desk to find a bottle opener. It’s a nice place. But we find this all kinda odd.

When we were having dinner this evening – outside – too much smoke to breath inside – a very skinny dog came by. I’d seen him earlier. It’s dreadful how skinny he is. Pat and I had too much food so we asked the restaurant staff to feed him. Just him, not the five or six other strays wandering around. They were willing but dumped the food where the other dogs could come and take it and they stared trying to do so. Pat and I set about shooing the other dogs away while our skinny dog ate his pork chop. This stopped traffic in the street and caused more than a few raised eye brows but we kept all the other dogs at bay while poor Mr Skinny got a decent meal. Once the dear old guy was finished he quietly went away. The other dogs were utterly flabbergasted.

We’ve made some tentative arrangements to get out of here tomorrow. As we have to cover two days in one (due to no accommodation at the next place) we are trying to get a ride for the first four kilometres to keep our walk to a bit less than 30. I have the blister from hell under my right heel deep in the callus and strained my left foot a few days ago so walking is a bit uncomfortable at the moment.

Speaking of feet, I didn’t tell you yet about my socks. I brought two pair of good quality merino wool hiking socks on this walk. One pair was stolen off the line in Bitola. It is not possible to buy any grade of hiking socks in this part of the world. So my spare socks are now really inferior poor fitting cotton ones with poke-a-dots. The pok-a-dots making all the difference! My hope is that the person who now has my good socks knows how very lucky they are!  

We met a lovely pair of Dutch cyclists today. He was wearing a Canadian cycling outfit. They stopped to chat for a bit. They are the first other travellers we’ve met on this adventure.

So that’s a wrap on today  except for the snakes. There were a few dead ones and one live one on the road today and they appear to be vipers. We need to research that. Needless to say during our comfort stops we stuck to short grass areas! Gee what else!….. Snake update – Pat has researched and yes there are poisonous vipers in northern Greece. It’s really a never ending saga of strangeness isn’t it? 

Day 18  Via Egnatia – by train no less!

We allowed ourselves an alarm-free wake up this morning. We knew only one thing – we weren’t walking out of Florina to try and re-establish ourselves with the VE route. We needed to explore options. Bus, taxi, train?Over breakfast we discussed those options and noticed there is a train track that goes from Florina past the next place on the route that has accommodation – Agios Panteleimon. Amazingly we also discovered there are three trains a day including Sunday. The next train would leave in an hour. We went into high speed action packing up, paying our bill, walking to the station, getting our ticket for euros 3 each. Yup 3. The train was about half an hour late. Pat says that’s like Italian trains. I figure it’s a Greek trait as well. After 40 scenic minutes of easy travel we got off at a tiny station near a small village on a lake. Our planned destination for tomorrow. We could see our hotel sitting on the hill a short distance away and very soon were checking in. Before lunch can you imagine! Not even too weary or sweaty. Bonus. 

We found a small shop,and went in to discover it was really closed – but the two ladies in there decided we could do our shopping anyway. Much smiling and happiness all round. Exact change please as the till isn’t open…. We stowed two beers in our room fridge along with a few things for dinner as this room has a kitchenette. Off we went for a substantial lunch. Very tasty. We debated a short walk up a nearby hill to a church and realized that was utter nonsense.

Back to our room with balcony and view. Now we have no bathing suits with us – but this is a fairly private balcony so we whiled away a pleasant afternoon in fairly under-clad states. 

Tomorrow we will walk to Arnissa. Back on the trail of the VE. But we’ve taken a very close look at the various places with the guide book suggestions of asking for unofficial accommodation at the bar. This isn’t going to happen. We’ll be using bus, train and taxi to shorten two and in one case three days of walking into one doable stretch. We’ll have some longish days but will walk with the knowledge that there’s a bed at the end of the day rather than some creepy mean spirited fellow telling is to get out of town. 
And back to that town – Neos Kavkasos – just for a moment. We will not forget or forgive the rudeness and unkindness of the people we met there, but we must assure you that we have met others since then who have been kind and considerate. The man who drove us to Florina yesterday (and accepted no compensation other than a thank you), the man at one full hotel who called to another to get us a room, the woman today who confirmed the train schedule for us, the train conductor who made a point of letting us know where to get off the train (there were no station signs in any language) the two woman in the shop who let us in even though it was Sunday and the place was closed…. 

These are the people we will enjoy remembering.

Day 17 – Via Egnatia – a bad experience in Neo Kavkasos

If you are a potential VE walker  – WARNING – Avoid Neo Kavkasos! In my opinion, the place does not deserve anyone setting foot within it. The eight people we met and spoke with there were unhelpful, uninterested and would clearly prefer travellers and tourists to take themselves elsewhere. You are missing nothing but aggravation by avoiding the place.

Another sunny day! We left Bitola after a picnic breakfast in our room and a coffee on the way out of town. Always hard to get food in the early mornings here. We picked up some fresh bread from a bakery a little further on and were soon heading into the hills. Our morning walk was along a grassy track at the foot of treed hills along meadows. It was delightful. Soft under foot, sheep and cow bells ringing. Shepherds with their flocks and herds. A few barking dogs but nothing alarming. They were behind fences, on ropes or chains or with their owners who called them off. We stopped for a picnic lunch in the last village before the border. Enjoyed the shade and a rest while we devoured excellent bread stuffed with cheese and olives. Then we headed down a long straight flat boring road (disused). About five kms. The border crossing was swift – though the heat bouncing off the tarmack was intense.

Soon we were in Greece. The first little town Niki was supposed to have several restaurants and bars – maybe – but they were all closed. We decided to walk on another 5.5 kms to Neo Kavkasos where our guide book tells us “private rooms possible.” I know those of you who have been reading this blog are going to know what happened when we got there right?

First bar we went into – talked to a vacant young woman. Accommodation? No. Taxi? She had no idea. She sent us down the road to a larger restaurant. There were three people inside. Two older people and a youngish man. He informed us of course there was nowhere to stay in this town. Despite the place being very neat and prosperous looking, it seemed to be populated by incredibly insular unhelpful people. (children of the corn.) We were assured there was no taxi that could or would come to this isolated place. No it wasn’t really isolated – but this man assured  us it was. He was the most unhelpful person we’ve met on this trip. Welcome to Greece! No wonder the country is in dept with citizens like this character. He essentially told us to walk to the next town. Good bye.

We had no option. We stopped and talked to four other people but everyone was equally sure that no taxi would come, no bus would come, and no one would drive us anywhere despite offers of money. Certainly no one was about to let us have a bed for the night. Never heard of such a thing. So much for the guide book. Pat and I have officially fired the book as a source of reliable info about accommodation.

So off we set again. To say we were foot sore is putting it mildly. Was tonight going to be a sleep in the ditch night? It was looking this way. Then a man driving a small delivery van stopped. He spoke no English but told us to get in and he was going to Florina. Florina is not on our route but we’d heard already that it has hotels. He drove us there in about 15 mins. So much for the guy in Neo Kavkasos saying it was 50 kms away.  The van driver took us into town and delivered us to a hotel. We tried to pay him – no money was accepted. So his kindness of course counters the dreadful behaviour of the restaurant worker who had been so unhelpful. The hotel was full but the fellow at the desk took the time to call another place and we got the last room. This is a lovely clean simple place. We are on the top floor with a beautiful balcony. We’ve gone out for a delicious dinner. Life is good. We are going to find a bus tomorrow to get us to the next place on the VE route that has real accommodation. This will mean skipping two places but too bad so sad – we’re done with this nonsense.

We will not trusting the guide book again. We feel it was written by people who really want this idea to work but who have completely unrealistic ideas about real human nature. Perhaps in time some folks in these villages will get the idea that tourism isn’t a bad way of making a living or supplementing an income – but there is a big education process that needs to take place before that happens. We were happy to be part of that process until what happened today in creepy Neo Kavkasos.

We walked 34 kms today. A long long way.

Via Egnatia – accommodations recap

This post may be a bit boring unless you are planning to walk the Via Egnatia but Pat and I feel this is important info for anyone contemplating this challenging walk.

We are experienced walkers. We are fit women in our 60s. We are well travelled. We are not carrying a tent or sleeping mats as we have no desire to camp on this trip. These facts are the premis for the following comments about accommodations. All prices listed are per twin bed room per night.

One reason for the challenge of this new cultural route is accommodations. They not always where one might wish, based on the “walking days” described in the Via Egnatia guide book.

Durres:

We flew into Tirana and stayed in the coastal city of Durres where the walk begins. Durres is trying to be tourist friendly but is lacking. The beach front which could be lovely is filthy and in disrepair. We spent two days here to get over jet lag….but if jet lag is not an issue – don’t waste your time. There are numerous restaurants. Finding breakfast food seemed a bit challenging but if you only want strong coffee you’ll be in heaven. Milk in that coffee is the tricky bit. Hot milk is even more difficult but not impossible.

In Durres we stayed at a very nice little hotel – no breakfast, no restaurant,  just off the main square in an excellent location. Hotel Pepeto. Passible wifi in the downstairs lounge. Very thoughtful hosts. Euro 31.00 per twin room.

Memzote:

This is where the first day’s walk ends. No one claimed to have heard of the Via Egnatia. No one offered accommodation. We were however kindly driven to the highway to a underused hotel near the village of Kryeuz. We were the only guests. We ate a delicious fish dinner in solitary splendour in a run down ball room. The people there really kind. Breakfast the next morning was a dry day-old junk of bread and a very strong with no milk coffee. We could get nothing to go with that bread. It was a pretty poor start to the day’s walk. However the whole stay – room and meals was Euro 30.00 per twin room.

Peqin:

Really horrid place. After a long day we arrived to have stones thrown at us (with force and accuracy) by some ill behaved children. As we walked through this run down dirty “town” we were stared at by numerous young and older men sitting drinking in bars. There are derilict public buildings and the atmosphere was incredibly uncomfortable. A very nice German speaking police officer drove us to the delightful Hotel Maci which is 1.5 kms on the far side of town. Here we were warmly welcomed. Beware the menu items. Some things are hugly over priced. Chicken for instance cost much more than anything else and was pretty terrible. It was a tough old rooster at best. Breakfast the next morning was very sketchy – bit of stale bread and coffee. Euro 14.00 per twin room.

Broshke:

After a long boring walk – much along a railway track with garbage strewn around everywhere and hanging in trees – we arrived in Broshke. No one here seems to have heard of the Via Egnatia either. Certainly no one was offering accommodation. It was hard to find someone to even call a taxi. This was no an attractive place and was pretty  much surrounded by garbage. The cafe/bar was populated by several drunk indolent men of various ages. We did find one pleasant man who called a taxi which we took all the way to Elbasan. We were disappointed to have found no place to stay in Broshke.

Elbasen:

There are numerous hotels. We stayed in Hotel Guri right inside the south east corner of the old town walls. One of the wall towers is incorporated into the hotel’s bar. This was a great location  and there was a very nice breakfast buffet included. They were asking Euro 50.00 but we negotiated the better price for both nights. This place is quite luxurious. B&B Euro 40.00 per twin room.

Mirake:

Once again the guide book ends the walk in a place with no accommodation. We walked up the highway to the first hotel we came to – Hotel Balkan. We’d inadvertently mistaken this location for another hotel so needed to walk a bit further up a busy highway. Perhaps we would have been better off  to stay at the Balkan which was more expensive than the one we had chosen and also (according to locals) has a reputation for being involved in some way with illegal activities….. Just what is being said – we have no idea if this is true or not.

We stayed in the village of Ares at Vila Zeneli. A simple place. Comfortable but a bit run down. Dinner was OK. They seem to cater to local groups. The next morning they provided a ride up to where we joined the Via Egnatia trail again. Really kind staff and management. Went out of their way to be helpful. Locally owned which we gather the Hotel Balkan is not. Euro 30.00 per twin room.

Dardhe:

Here the guide book suggests a women’s house – non-existent when we were there – or the school floor. We aren’t carrying camping gear and the cold, cement floor was so filthy I think we would not have stayed there even if we were. We didn’t check out the possible bathroom facitlities but leave that to your imagination. There was garbage all over the place in the hallways and class room. Cold and really grim. We were told dinner of some sort would cost us Euro 15.00. Considering that we had been paying  much less – we decided to give this dump a pass. Clearly people taking advantage. We walked 3.5 kms down the hill to a delightful little hotel on the main road. Hotel Lokal Dashmash. We think this may be a chain. It’s near a village called Hotolisht. Here we we warmly welcomed and given a very nice room, very hot water in a spotless bathroom, very ample delicious dinner, more than ample breakfast and a ride back up the hill to Dardhe the next morning for Euro 30.00. A much better deal than the school floor and a questionable meal in a dismal place. The people at this little roadside hotel were also much more welcoming than the rather  flippant teenagers up in Dardhe.

Berzeshte:

Finally a day that ended as suggested in the guide book. A family that was actually prepared to host VE walkers. But! The cost of room and board at this farm is suggested in the book as being between Euros 4 to 7 per person. They tried to charge us Euro 20.00 per person. The hospitality was abysmal. The pulled out couches were damp and uncomfortable. The meal came  at 8pm and was very nice. But nothing to drink the whole time we were there except for one cup of coffee and several wee glasses of the local Raki. No water even. Bathroom so dirty we barely wanted to wash in there. A relative visiting who rifled through our things. No privacy. We went to bed in the same clothes we arrived in – damp with sweat from walking. We paid Euro 30.00 for the night including the meal. We did not stay for breakfast. This was to date the worst night of our trip. Very disappointing.

Hotel Odessa:

There’s a choice here to continue to Lin but it was pouring and windy so we stayed at this very strange – underused/unfinished – possibly with ideas of being grand – but missing the boat – roadside hotel. I think we were the only guests. There was a locked reception area. Instead one climbs some rickety industrial steps cut into the wall and ceiling behind the kitchen. Really weird. But it was comfortable and the meals were good. The water however was really cold. I don’t think there was a hot water tank! Euro 14.50 per twin room. The price was right but expect Lin might be a better option?

Sturga (now in Macedonia)

We stayed at Exclusive Apartments. The location is perfect. The place looks really run down from the outside – it’s in a big blue, with pink balconies, residential apartment building. Our first poor impression was completely wrong. We phoned the number posted above the door and in very short time a wonderful young woman – owner – showed up and let us in to a delightful purple and pink with fairy-lights apartment. Very girly. Very comfortable. A kitchenette. Little balcony, drying rack…. For this we paid Euro 32.00 per twin room. By the way we really liked Sturga. Had the best meal todate there.

Ohrid

We stayed at D’Angolo Hostel right by the main water front square. A perfect location. Very close to everything – great restaurants, the old town, the water front, pedestrian shopping streets. The only draw back was quite poor internet and filthy carpets in the room. But lots of hot water. Euro 30.00 for a twin room.

St Petra Monastery

Staying here (4.5 kms fro Ohrid) knocks that distance off the next day’s walk which is pretty demanding. This was our prettiest accommodation so far. No meals are provided and there’s no restaurant near by. We carried dinner and the next day’s breakfast and lunch with us. We took wine as well. There is a basic little kitchen – one burner and some dishes including cups for coffee (we carried instant) and glasses for wine. The rooms are spacious. The bathroom a bit dingy and down the hall. Dining areas all over the place. Views  spectacular. We spent a whole afternoon there. We highly recommend this stop. Payment is a donation. We left Euro 10.00 and this seemed well received.

Resen:

The day’s walk ends in Resen. The guide book says  there is accommodation there but none was obvious. Our impression of the place is poor as our approach is through mountains of stinking garbage. The town appears to have nothing going for it. Another walker blogged that they found no accommodation in Resen. We took a taxi 6 kms to  Carev Dvor and stayed at the Royal L Hotel. This place was fine. The water was really hot. Dinner was passable as we were hungry – the salad was really delicious! We were supposed to get breakfast but there was just instant coffee. The owner packed us a very nice lunch for the next day and charged a reasonable amount for that. Euro 31.00 for a twin room.

Trnovo

There are several places on the route at this point that have no accommodation options so we took a taxi from Carev Dvor to Sopotsko then rolled almost two days into one. Trnovo isn’t listed as a day’s end in the guide book but there is a hotel there. Turns out there are actually two hotels. Both upscale. We stayed at Sumski Feneri mentioned in the guide book and it is quite posh. The price however was very good. We paid Euro 65.00 for a twin room, a delicious substantial dinner including too much wine, and excellent breakfast.

Bitola

We are spending two nights at Via Apartments about 20 metres off the main pedestrian street, very near the town square, near numerous restaurants and practically on the VE route. This place has a lovely quiet little garden. Very hot water, excellent internet. Very pleasant woman owns this hostel. Twin room is Euro 25.00.

Will post another similar list of our Greek accommodation thoughts in due course. We hope this will be helpful to other VE walkers.