I woke up this past Saturday feeling unusually carefree. My attitude remained unaffected even after making tea incorrectly for the umpteenth time (prior to coming to Macedonia, I was blissfully unaware that there is an art to making tea, and that my skills are sorely lacking). My host cousin and sister kindly overlooked the tea incident and joined me for coffee at one of the more popular coffee bars downtown. After overindulging in coffee and çokollatë e plasma – a combination of hot chocolate and cookie crumbles – we decided to take a walk down to the lake that lies beneath the town.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and unusually warm, and perfect for admiring the amazing beauty of this area. After having visited Tetovo and Skopje recently, this view reminded me to be thankful that Diber is not cloaked in the pollution smog that plagues some of the larger cities in Macedonia. Trash and pollution is a major problem across the country, unfortunately, which makes me worry that the (mostly) pristine beauty of Diber and the surrounding national park, Mavrovo, will not last.