Let us go back to the Summer of 2015. After our short and not so successful stay in Greece, Lars and I decided to spend three days in Macedonia. The town of our choice was Bitola, which according to our travel guide was a must-see.
But somehow things didn’t work out for us in Bitola. We thought that the town looked boring, that it was too crowded and that traffic was chaotic. We failed to see any beauty… But maybe, we were just too tired – it had been long a long drive during a hot day – and after some rest we could see Bitola from a fresher point of view.
Our first priority was therefore to drive to our motel. It was located outside the centre of town and a bit to our surprise, it was right next to a garage. It then actually took us some time to find the entrance of the motel. And when we finally did, we found ourselves in a restaurant and not at a reception. When our initial surprise was gone, we noticed how greasy and dirty the restaurant was. There was no way we would ever have a meal there!
A tired and not so friendly woman guided us to the reception. Lars and I followed her in a labyrinth of dusty and dark corridors. The reception looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in years. At that moment, I had already made up my mind not to stay in that place, but Lars wanted to see our room. And it turned out that we had an ample choice. Reluctantly, I followed the receptionist and my sweetheart upstairs.
To be honest, the motel had only two stars, so we were not expecting anything luxurious. We always choose budget hotels and usually we end up in a nice, clean place. But what we saw here was simply disgusting. Not even a rat would have liked to stay there. None of the rooms had a shower, some beds were mere mattresses on the floor and there were even rooms without a window! And all of them were dirty. We immediately canceled our reservation and fled the motel.
Once we were outside, we checked our travel guide and found a hotel in a nearby village. Lars called them and luckily for us, there was still a room available. According to the owner of the place, once we found the village, we would immediately find the hotel. Relieved and excited, we left Bitola.
But Dihovo was so small that our GPS chose to ignore it. Lars and I had to stop several times to ask directions and after having driven around for more than an hour, we found it. And just like the owner had predicted we immediately found ourselves in his place.
We had gone from hell to paradise. If you want to know what Villa Dihovo looks like, check this out. Anyway, we learned that the motel in Bitola was actually designed for truck drivers, which of course explained the huge number of trucks which we had seen around and near the motel. I cannot help but feel sorry for all those truckers wo have to spend the night there…
Anyway, Villa Dihovo was such a gem that Lars and I spent the rest of the day there, relaxing, eating and drinking. And playing with the owner’s dog! After our disappointments at Mount Olympos and in Bitola, we felt that we were on the right track again.
The day afterwards proved us right. Surrounded by luscious hills and enormous forests, Dihovo is tranquil, picturesque and idyllic. Just have a look at these pictures!
And little did we know what gems we would discover later that day…