Ohrid

Macedonia is a country located just north of Greece. It’s official name is still F.Y.R.O.M which means ”Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The Greeks are contesting the name ”Macedonia” for the country because Macedonia also refers to a region which is partly in Greek territory still.

The ancient city Ohrid is located on the lake Ohrid shore. The lake is mainly located within Macedonia but borders also towards Albania so there has always been connections to Albania via this place. It is a wonderful place in the summertime, many Macedonians go here to spend some holiday time and although not so many tourists have discovered Macedonia yet it is one of my favourite countries.

I had the good fortune to travel to Macedonia many times in the past and work there with some great people that took me around. I would like to return for a holiday some day and stay a while more in the Ohrid area which is very interesting.

Ohrid City
The city Ohrid

The city Ohrid is laid out sprawling on a nearby hill close to Lake Ohrid. It is a very nice city to walk around in and there are may interesting sights here. The people are quitre friendly and helpful although sometimes their English can be a challenge and it does help to have a bit of local help sometimes with the translations.

Ohrid has about 42 000 inhabitants. Ohrid is notable for having had 365 churches in the region, one for each day of the year!  In 1980 Ohrid wa accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it popularity as a tourist place has grown steadily ever since.

Detail of Church
Orthodox church in Ohrid on top of the hill.

There are several orthodox churches in Ohrid thay you may wish to visit. Most of them have amazing stone works and ancient treasures to be seend. In most of the churches it is forbidden to take photographs, I did not push my luck or asked if it was possible to get special permission to do so, there was not time really. Please respect any signs asking you to not use your camera.

Ohrid was in byzantine times called Lychnidos, as was the lake in the areas. Several sources confirms this so the history of this place is truly amazing dating back to

Archaeological dig

We stumbled upon an archaeological dig here. Several bodies were uncovered and we walked right among them. It was alright to photograph the dig itself, but not the graves out of respect for the people once buried here.

Macedonian sign
Stone Sign in Cyrillic

Ohrid is also accepted the likely place for the birth of the Cyrillic Alphabet, used much in this region and in Russia and several other countries within the Slavic language family. Not all Slavic countries use cyrillics and the actual alphabet used differs somewhat from country to country, It is sait that it was the monk Cyril who invented the alphabet, a kind of mixture between the old Greek and Roman alphabets with a few added new glyphs to it.

Ancient Theatre in Ohrid
Ancient Theatre

Ancient theatre in Ohrid, this is still sometimes used for plays and concerts and the sound is fantastic really. They really knew how to make acoustics in these days.

John
Monastery of Saint John at Kaneo

The monastery of Saint John is a very beautiful place. This is a very photogenic part of Ohrid and a nice walk path around the coast up the hill behind the actual city itself. Definitely recommended for an excursion or two.

Orid was alsu under Bulgarian rule from 990 to 1015 and one of their strongholds. The location of the city on the ancient road Via Egnatia makes for a very interesting place all through the ancient times. It does not seem to be known when the city was first founded, the Byzantine sources talks about discovering the city so it was already established by then.

Fortress and Flag
Macedonian Flag from top of the Ohrid Fortress

This is a fortress at the top of the hill flying the Macedonian flag. The macedonian flags is a red bottom with a yellow sun and radiating spokes from the sun.

The prices in Macedonia is cheap compared with most European contries. You should not have any problem to live on a budget, the food is great, typical Yugoslavian dishes are served almost everywhere and the vegetables they have in Macedonia is probably the tastiest  I have ever had. Their tomatoes are something unbelievably tasty.

But you may have to be prepared that not all people in shops and restaurants speak English more than perhaps ”Yes” or ”No”.

Monastery
One of the biggest churches in Ohrid

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