Today was the third in a series of seriously beautiful sunny spring days. My friends and I decided to explore some of the small villages in the vicinity of Dibër. We took the road south toward Struga. Things are just beginning to turn green, and the cherry blossoms are out in full force.
We visited villages in which the people were Albanian and Muslim, but spoke only Macedonian. In others, the people speak only Turkish, although older people may know Macedonian or Albanian. In others, like in Dibër, predominantly Albanian is spoken. The surprise to me was that these villages aren’t very far apart to have such stark differences. We had a delicious picnic lunch at the water’s edge.There was lots of color.Note the Turkish symbol high up on the mountain.Turkish and Macedonian flags flew together.Later in the day, we stopped for a coffee break. This is the non-smoking section.The smoking section:
At the last village we visited, Novak, we went into a gorgeous mosque. Turkish artists were brought in to do the painting and decorating.Leaving Novak, we visited Ataturk’s father’s house. It is a museum now, but it wasn’t open today. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the animals that brought me so much joy today.I also made the acquaintance of two new birds, the Rufous-tailed Robin
and the Eurasian Jay (Wiki photos).
My camera isn’t great for photographing birds, but I captured the color of this jay on its nest (middle of the photo).This was a spectacular day, the first of many we have planned.