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Ohrid..calm and beautiful

We thought we were taking an 11 am bus, but when we arrived at the ticket booth at 9.58 we were hustled onto a 10 o’clock bus. It was a lovely 3 hour drive through the mountains. We took a taxi for $2 to our hostel. It has a beautiful view from the balcony.IMG_20160330_150022That this picture doesn’t do justice. We had to wait for the owner to show but Niel Young was playing so who cares? After settling in we went for a walk in rhe old world heritage site neighbourhood and it really deserves it’s designation. Tiny winding cobblestone streets leading toIMG_20160330_154635a roman amphitheatre
IMG_20160330_161047an ancient city gate
IMG_20160330_162557with city walls leading to a fortIMG_20160330_163013with great views
IMG_20160330_170016then down the hill to the church of St. John the theologian. Apparently the most photographed structure in Macedonua. The light was wrong for the most classic shot. There was lots more great stuff in the old part. The town is beautiful and feels like the air is drugged. I am glad wr came now, it is probably overrun in the summer.


Skopje and environs

I took a really pleasant day trip today to Matka Canyon. It was at the end of a city bus line (#60) and cost $1 each way to get there. Then it was a short walk past a power damIMG_20160329_114259
Just after the dam, you can get on a boatIMG_20160329_124724
This putts up the river through the canyonIMG_20160329_130503
Where you visit a caveIMG_20160329_125659
Apparently the cave is popular with divers. When I got back, Charles and I went for supper in the old quarter and wandered round a bit.IMG_20160329_181235
On the way home we passed along the new/old waterfront buildings. One was still under constructionIMG_20160329_185840
It is this really bizarre development project with huge buildings meant to look like old ones. A German we were talking to likened it to Disneyland.

Budapest health system…sadly I know too much

Our first day in Budapest was spent mostly navigating the health system to get a bleeding ulcer diagnosed for my brother. An ulcer which arguably should have been looked into before we left Canada, but oh well. He had had symptoms for a week which he had been hoping would miracurously disappear. Needless to say, they didn’t and got really fired up by the travelling. I had very little sleep on the metal-mesh benches which were available once the er waiting room cleared a bit around 3am.IMG_20160323_201910
We were in the er for over 12 hours and actually got what we needed, a diagnosis and a prescription, after the gastroenterologist started their shift and was available for a consult. IMG_20160324_065336
The main problen, as I see it after commiserating with locals who spoke English, was the incredibly unhelpful ward clerks who felt no obligation to communicate with anyone except their colleagues. The local Hungarians felt as isolated and frustrated as we did, so it was not a language barrier deal. But then again, I have never been a ward clerk, so maybe there is another excuse.IMG_20160324_080613This is the subway stop near our hotel. It is deep underground, not London tube deep, but deepish. We took a bus, then a subway in from the airport and saw much which seemed to be soviet era housing. The end of the line subway stop has some renovation issues, and many stops on the line are having work done.IMG_20160323_104049
Our hotel has virtually nothing to recommend it except it exists and we found it. IMG_20160323_155430
Okay, it is in a pretty, old building too. Maybe I will do some internet previews going forward. Gotta catch up with the world of today after all.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patricks

No Barbara today…just ribbing and stockinette, with a bit of intarsia.St. Patricks

Mum stayed over last night and was using words like “interesting” and “different”.  This morning she said it looked much better in the light.

St Patricks

not entirely happy with the pot of gold…or the seam beside it but’s done

St. Patricks

Originally I was going to knit the rainbow in, but I lost heart and just crocheted it separately and sewed it

I used 10 points of decrease and decreased with knit 8 knit 2 together around, one plain round, then k7, k2tog, one plain round, etc. until I did just k2 together around.  I kept going with the k2tog another time and finished off the 5 stitches by running the tail through.

A short foray into a time BC Before we were parents, Alan and I took a considerable number of book binding courses together.  It was a big interest of his.  He had been to Library School and had an enduring love of books.  He kept trying to take classes which got cancelled for lack of enrolment.  I started signing up with him to create a critical mass for the courses to run, so we took lots together and he took some alone as well.  We drifted away from it as we moved away from Toronto, then had the kids and moved to Ottawa.  He noticed a class which ran yesterday, so we signed up.  It was nice to be back in the paper mode for a day.  I think we will do some more in the future.

The class was called Crossed Structure Binding put on by the Canadian Book Binders and Book Artists Guild.  In the morning we did a quick paper decoration and then made the smaller book. It has eight sewn signatures and the cover is made by cutting a single sheet of paper with tabs that link around the spine and weave into the opposite cover.  I cannot resist the temptation to change things up a bit so I cut my tabs on angles in the afternoon.  I have shown front and back of both books.

I’m on the road again…yahoo!


I am going with my sister Phil to Peru for 10 days…short trip but THERE WILL BE MOUNTAINS, MACHU PICCHU, AND AN OCEAN!!!!IMG_20151008_090929Phil has informed me that she will be taking a rolly suitcase.  I guess that means I will have to suffer through taxis…sigh, lol.  i personally can’t wrap my head around anything that is not carry on and carry-able on my back.

I always look like a knob when I travel because I use the fanny pack, but if you want a fake wallet, a rain poncho, an emergency blanket, compression socks, knee braces, earplugs, sunscreen, insect repellent, a tiny plastic case for your sim card, blindfold, binoculars, etc.  then I’m your gal.  It is always packed and ready to go because I just wash the compression socks when I get home and leave them in it.    I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it at home!  Last night I cleaned out the dross of Bhutan and India and got back to the clean slate.