Lisa Leads!

Melnik didn’t live up to its reputation! We ventured down to that tiny village of ~300 people, found a cozy hotel, sampled about seven wines — and were blown away by the lack of hospitality and poor quality of Melnik’s famed reds! Yesterday, we woke early to hike to the Rozhen Monastery and decided that one night there was sufficient. We caught a bus back to Sofia, settled in at our previous hostel, and then whimsically decided to catch a midnight bus to Skopje, Macedonia. This was an idea I was incubating, but Lisa became adamant about the idea and the shock to our body that results from a six-hour middle-of-the-night ride. We are motivated to make it to the Adriatic coasts of Albania and Montenegro!

Lisa earned her stripes on the road last night when we had an interesting run-in with this illustrious swine flu “possible pandemic” at the Macedonian border! After arriving at the border at 2:30, they made a brit, Spaniard, Lisa and myself get off the bus. They questioned us in earnest, and then allowed us to get back on the bus without our passports. Eventually, they called us back and told us we had to wait for a doctor, to be tested. We tried to contain our laughter as we waited for an our in their little office until the doctor arrived. He basically asked us if we were feeling sick, and then let us go. By doing so, he acknowledged the joke that is swine flu and sent us on our merry way. However, we weren’t very popular on the bus after delaying the trip by two hours — in fact we felt quite intimidated.

We have a three-hour stop in Macedonia, and then we are jumping on a bus to Tirana, Albania. It’s time for the Adriatic!

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