Friday, July 1, 2011

Lake Ohrid

In the Week In Review I mentioned that I wasn't a huge fan of Skopje, Macedonia. Ohrid, though? Different story.

Lake Ohrid is going onto my list of happy places. I was just going to stay a couple of nights then settled on 3. Then I added two more. I've now been here a week. Honestly, I could stay longer, too.

There are tons of churches to visit and fortresses to climb, but the real draw of Ohrid for me was just drinking coffee while taking in the views and lounging in the water.

One of the beautiful frescoed churches (of which there were at one time 365). The frescos were interesting both artistically and theologically--including the Trinity portrayed as a three headed woman and a vegetarian last supper scene. 

I just so happened to be there during the regional folk dance festival. Attempts to take photos largely failed, but it was so much fun to watch!

This picture was taken from a cafe perched right on the edge of the water. Not a bad view for the price of a $1 latte.  

Ancient theatre

These flowers seem impossible. I saw some on the Camino and they seemed just as incredible this time around. 

View from the fortress

This tiny chapel was tucked right into the cliff. The caretaker inside insisted that I dip myself some of the holy water from the little cave in the back. 

The choices she gave me were to either drink it or to wash my face with it. I chose to dab it on my face (and gave the rest of it to the hydrangeas...which must be really holy)

Sveti Sofja--supposedly modeled ater Haggia Sofia in Istanbul although I couldn't see the correlation. It had some great frescos nonetheless. 

There was an old fashioned paper making shop in town. We stopped in and they let us make our own paper (I always loved this kind of stuff) and then showed us their printing press--its an exact replica of the original Gutenberg press (of which there are apparently only 2 of in all of Europe). I ended up buying my very first souvenir of my entire trip here. 

The view from my room in Ohrid at dusk

The view a ways up in the village of Elshani where I am currently residing. It's almost 3,000 feet above sea level and has a million dollar view of the lake (yeah, my pictures can't do it justice!). 

Lovely all around. Tomorrow I'm headed away from the lake and making my way to Albania. I'm excited about being there, but something tells me the getting there (even though I am almost at the border right now) is going to be a very interesting ordeal. We will see!

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