Monday, December 12, 2016

Beautiful Lake Ohrid has it all, from pure spring water to precious icons

After being recommended as one of top 10 destinations for 2017 by Lonely Planet, Ohrid city and lake ohrid region, is continously attracting the worldwide media to write about the amazing place, and inviting tourists to know and visit it.
This time is 'Daily Mail' with a special report on Sunday, writing an article about this amazing destination. Among others, the author writes:

"On our journey to Lake Ohrid, the diamond in this country of many treasures, we crossed part of the ancient Via Egnatia, one of the great Roman military roads of the ancient world – a 696-mile link between Macedonia and Istanbul. Much of the route fell into disuse but some sections are now a walking trail. 
Straddling the Albanian border further south, beautiful Lake Ohrid has it all – pure spring water, some of the country’s most precious icons and, supposedly, a church for each day of the year. Ohrid town, a blend of cobbled old quarter and modern resort, has sandy beaches, lakeside walks and waterside restaurants. It’s blissfully relaxing".  Enjoy the full article:

Great surprises in the ancient land of Alexander: Macedonia's magnificent scenery and intriguing history are beginning to attract visitors

By Dymphna Byrne For The Mail On Sunday
Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and St Paul were among those to stride its paved highways in ancient times; much of its artwork and architecture can rival any in Europe, while the sandy shores of its magnificent inland lake beat many a seaside resort.

Welcome to Macedonia. Landlocked by Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, the country may have a turbulent past. But after centuries of invasions and border disputes, it became an independent state in 1991. With Soviet gloom banished, the magnificent scenery, excellent sporting facilities, intriguing history and archaeological sites are beginning to attract visitors.

On our journey to Lake Ohrid, the diamond in this country of many treasures, we crossed part of the ancient Via Egnatia, one of the great Roman military roads of the ancient world – a 696-mile link between Macedonia and Istanbul. Much of the route fell into disuse but some sections are now a walking trail.
This ancient and modern link threaded through our journey. Our accommodation included two nights in mountain monasteries – St Joakim Osogovski near the Bulgarian border in the east, founded in the 12th Century with its great collection of frescos; and St Jovan Bigorski, near the Albanian border in the west.

Straddling the Albanian border further south, beautiful Lake Ohrid has it all – pure spring water, some of the country’s most precious icons and, supposedly, a church for each day of the year. Ohrid town, a blend of cobbled old quarter and modern resort, has sandy beaches, lakeside walks and waterside restaurants. It’s blissfully relaxing.

Phoenicians, Macedonians, Romans and Christians all left their mark on Ohrid. We walked the ramparts of the 10th Century fortress of Tsar Samuil, built over the 4th Century BC fort of Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. Centuries later, in 2002, a gold funeral mask and glove, possibly dating from the 7th Century BC and now in the Gold Room of Ohrid museum, were found nearby.

So many ancient treasures must lie under the ground of this remarkable country, criss-crossed over the centuries by royalty, pilgrims, peasants and merchants. No wonder curious visitors are now following the archaeologists and historians to this captivating country.

Alexander the Great, warrior king of the ancient world, is Macedonia’s hero. But be careful – the locals are touchy about his birthplace. Having explored the capital Skopje’s atmospheric old Ottoman quarter of cobbled streets, busy stalls, slender minarets and shining cupolas, we crossed to the east quarter. This, with its shining neo-classical buildings, art galleries and statues, is the serious side of town.

Daniel, our guide, stopped at a statue of a man on a rearing horse entitled The Warrior. ‘Who is he?’ he asked. ‘Alexander the Great?’ ‘Good. Where was he born?’ A pause then a hesitant ‘Macedonia?’ ‘Correct. Alexander III of Macedon was born in Pella, which was then in Macedonia, but is now in Greece. He is not Greek, he is Macedonian.’ Phew!

Macedonia is an exhilarating country. The lakes, streams and mountains of its three national parks are perfect for walking, climbing, caving, paragliding, swimming and skiing.

Our last night was spent in the Hotel Molika, high in the Pelister National Park with magnificent mountain views. An evening walk through the Molika pines led us past the remains of First World War trenches; a dark and unexpected reminder of the spread of the ‘war to end all wars’ and another fascinating historical element in an enthralling country.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-4019786/Great-surprises-ancient-land-Alexander-Macedonia-s-magnificent-scenery-intriguing-history-beginning-attract-visitors.html#ixzz4ScXo8jtF

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