Showing posts with label lake Ohrid heritage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lake Ohrid heritage. Show all posts

Monday, August 14, 2017

Legjenda e Prespës dhe Ohrit/The legend of Prespa and Ohrid

Ballkanasit i duan legjendat dhe përrallat. Ka disa legjenda rreth Liqenit të Prespës dhe Liqenit të Ohrit, dhe ia vlen të tregohen disa prej tyre për t'ua përcjellë brezave të rinj, thjesht për t'i kujtuar rëndësinë e këtyre liqeneve të çmuar, njëri prej të cilave u krijua miliona vjet më parë...

Ilustrim, @Anastas Konstandini Taso
Legjenda për Prespën ka të bëjë me një histori dashurie. Një herë e një kohë Prespa ka qenë një qytet shumë i madh. Duke ecur një ditë nëpër pyll, djali i mbretit takon një zanë me emrin Nereida, bukuria e së cilës e mahniti shumë. Menjëherë princi ra në dashuri dhe i kërkon dorën për t`u martuar me të duke i ofruar të gjitha pasuritë e tij dhe të bëhej mbretëresha e ardhshme e mbretërisë. Por Nereida refuzon, duke i thënë djalit të mbretit se, nëse ata martoheshin, do të ndodhte një fatkeqësi shumë e madhe dhe do të kishte pasoja të rënda për vendin e tij. I verbuar nga dashuria e zanës, princi e rrëmben dhe e mbajti atë mbyllur deri sa ajo pranoi kërkesën e martesës. Por shumë shpejt pas martesës ra një shi shumë i madh dhe i rrëmbyer, që mbyti të gjithë qytetin, duke krijuar një liqen, aty ku ndodhet sot liqeni i Prespës. 
Ndërsa legjenda e Ohrit, nga gojëdhënat maqedonase, flet për një dragua që qëndronte në mes të liqenit, duke gëlltitur të gjitha anijet e vogla që kalonin aty. Vetëm një anije e madhe prej katër ose pesë tonë mund të kalonte liqenin, të tjerat zhdukeshin. Veç kësaj shumë njerëz janë mbytur në Liqenin e Ohrit. Ka një grackë brenda tij. Për një moment liqeni duket shumë i qetë dhe paqësor, teksa një varkë lundron për peshkim. Por papritmas varka zhduket dhe askush nuk mbijeton. Por, pavarësisht zhdukjes së çuditshme dhe vdekjes së shumë njerëzve në liqenin e Ohrit, liqeni gjithmonë e kthen trupin e vdekur disa ditë më vonë. Askush prej trupave nuk ka mbetur pa u gjetur. Kur ndodh diçka e keqe, njerëzit e vjetër që jetojnë pranë liqenit thonë: "Mos u shqetësoni, se liqeni do ta risjell trupin në breg".
Liqeni i Ohrit
Ekziston edhe një legjendë e ngjashme për Strugën. Kur Zoti krijoi Liqenin e Ohrit, ai tha: "Kam krijuar vendin më të bukur në botë, por njerëzit janë shumë mëkatarë për të jetuar në paqe në brigjet e këtij liqeni. Pra, unë do të dërgoj një përbindësh. Askush nuk e dinte se çfarë përbindëshi ishte, por të gjithë ishin të frikësuar dhe askush nuk kishte guximin të jetonte pranë liqenit. Një ditë, një djalë i quajtur 'Strugë' shkoi drejt liqenit dhe u zhyt në ujë për t’u përleshur me përbindëshin. Ishte një luftë deri në vdekje. Në fund të saj, përbindëshi e fitoi betejën dhe e përpiu të riun. Pas kësaj ngjarje njerëzit e zonës vendosën të sfidojnë përbindëshin. Ata gjetën guximin të ndërtuar një fshat në bregun e liqenit, duke e quajtur atë në nder të heroit, Strugë.
Ekziston edhe një histori e vërtetë nga pala shqiptare. Ajo flet për një qytet të varrosur nën Liqenin e Ohrit që i përket fisit Enkelejd të Ilirisë. Mbetjet e këtij qyteti gjenden nën ujë. Legjenda thotë se një tërmet, shkaktoi zhytjen e qytetit nën ujë. Legjendat e bëjnë këtë liqen të vjetër edhe më interesant.

The legend of Prespa and Ohrid

Balkan people love legends and fairy tales. There are some legends about Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid, and we think it is worthwhile presenting a couple, just to remind the new generation of these two precious lakes, one of which was created millions of years ago.
Ilustrim, @Anastas Konstandini Taso
The legend for Prespa concerns a love story. Once there was a town that stood in place of the great Lake Prespa. While walking through the local woods one day, the son of the king chanced upon a wood nymph whose beauty surpassed that of any girl he had laid eyes upon. On asking her name, she replied in an enchanting voice “Nereida”. The prince immediately fell in love with the nymph and came back to the woods many times to woo her and take her hand in marriage, offering her all of the riches of his father’s land and a place by his side as the future queen of the kingdom. But the nymph rejected his generous offer, saying that she could not marry a mortal without dire consequences befalling the groom and his homeland. Unable to imagine a deed so awful and unable to contain his love for the nymph, he chose one night to have her kidnapped and kept her confined until she accepted his offer of marriage. Upon their marriage as husband and wife, the heavens opened and a downpour ensued, not stopping until the whole town was under water and every citizen had drowned. The result is the present-day Lake Prespa.

Meanwhile the legend of Ohrid, on the Macedonian side, speaks of a dragon who stood in the middle of the lake, consuming all the small boats that passed by. Only a huge boat of four or five tons would be brave enough and might succeed to cross the lake, otherwise the boat would disappear. Many people drown in Lake Ohrid. No one can give a good enough reason. It happens that for a moment the lake looks very calm and peaceful, and people take a ride in their boat or go to fish. But suddenly the boat disappears and no one survives. It has happened to people who knew how to swim very well—suddenly they are stuck somewhere and the lake keeps them. But, despite the strange disappearance and death of many people in Lake Ohrid, it always gives back the dead body a few days later. No one is unaccounted for. When something bad happens, the old people living by the lake say: “Don’t worry, the lake will bring the body to the shore.” So the lake is bad and good to the end.

There is a similar legend for Struga. When God created Ohrid Lake, he said: “I created the most beautiful place in the world, but people are too sinful to live in peace on the banks of this lake. So, I will send a monster. Nobody knew what the monster looked like, but all were all scared and no one had the courage to live next to the lake. One day a young man named Struga came to the lake and dived into the waters, seeking to confront the monster. It was a fight to the death. In the end, the monster won the battle and ate the young man. After this fight, people decided to challenge the monster. They had found the courage to set up a village on the lake shore, naming him in honour of the hero, Struga.

There is also a real story from the Albanian side. It speaks of a town buried under Lake Ohrid belonging to the Enkelejd tribe of Illyria. Its remains to be found but the legend says that an earthquake caused the whole town to sink beneath the waves.

ps: this article was published in the Newsletter: Protecting Lake Ohrid, 5th edition, in the framework of the project financed by EU and Albanian Ministry of Environment, implemented by UNESCO 

http://whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/

Monday, June 19, 2017

Activities on Lake Ohrid Day, 21 june 2017


Credits: @ArdianFezollari 
Lake Ohrid is unique, and has its special day. This day is 21th of June and is celebrated every year from the Municipalities of Pogradec, Ohrid and Struga. The decision for declaring this day- as the Lake Ohrid Day, was taken 17 years ago in February 2000 by the Joint Lake Ohrid Management Board.This year is the Municipality of Pogradec organizing the activities on this day. It is become a tradition that each of three Municipalities around lake Ohrid (Ohrid, Struga and Pogradec) organize the joint celebration by rotation.
On this day, the Municipality of Pogradec will also open the Tourist Season for this year. The activities headed by the Mayor of Pogradec Mr, Eduard Kapri will start on 9.00 AM and will last in the late hours of evening.
It will be a tour in several places from Lin to Pogradec. The activities are starting in the City Square, where a special program is dedicated for children, with clowns, face painting, animated dancing, games, and other entertainment.
It continues at City's Odeon with the official celebration of this day, where three Mayors of Pogradec, Ohrid, Struga will hold a speech on this occasion.
A culinary festival as always is part of activities. There will be some air-sports activities, with aeronautic demonstration in the sky of the City.
Sports activities also include: Cyclic ride from Lin to the Lake's bridge; Swimmers competition at 150 meters; Water Sports: beach volley, football/youth academy, kung fu Pogradec etc
An exhibition and Artisan Fair is planned after midday in the Park, where everyone can see and buy some artworks made by Pogradeci artisans.
For the lovers of photography, will be a special event. The well known photographer Ardian Fezollari opens at Art Gallery the exhibition "The days of Pogradec', at 19.00h.
In the evening, everyone can enjoy poetry performance and music in the City Square.
It will be also a symbolic closing ceremony by the Mayor Kapri at 21.00h in a festive atmosphere

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Liqeni i Ohrit është unik dhe ndaj ka një ditë speciale kushtuar atij. 21 Qershori ëshë Dita e Liqenit të Ohrit dhe festohet nga bashkia e Pogradecit, Ohrit dhe Strugës. Vendimi për ta deklaruar këtë  ditë si “Dita e Liqenit të Ohrit” është marrë para 17 vitesh në Shkurt të vitit 2000 nga Bordi i Përbashkët Menaxhues i Liqenit të Ohrit.
Në këtë ditë Bashkia e Pogradecit do të hapë sezonin turistik për këtë vit. Aktivitetet do të drejtohen nga kryetari i Bashkisë së Pogradecit, Z. Eduard Kapri, të cilat do të nisin që në orën 9:00 të mëngjesit deri në orët e vona të mbrëmjes.
Do të zhvillohet dhe një tur në disa zona nga Lin në Pogradec. Aktivitetet do të fillojnë në qendrën e qytetit, ku një program i veçantë është dedikuar fëmijëve, me shfaqje me klloun, vallëzime të animuara, vizatime në fytyrë, lojëra dhe argëtime të tjera.
Aktivitetet do të vazhdojnë në Odeonin e Qytetit me festimet zyrtare të kësaj dite, ku tre kryetarët e bashkive të Pogradecit, Ohrit dhe Strugës do të mbajnë një fjalim për këtë ditë.
Festival ii kulinarisë do të jetë pjesë e aktiviteteve si gjithmonë.  Do të ketë sporte ajrore, me shfaqje aeronautike në qiellin e qytetit të Pogradecit.
Aktivitete sportive të tjera sportive do të jenë: shëtitje me biçikleta nga Lini deri në urën e Liqenit, konkursi i notarëve deri në 150 metra, sporte ujore, volejboll në plazh, futboll, kung-fu etj.
Në mesditë është planifikuar ekspozita e artizanëve që do të mbahet në park, ku të gjithë mund të shohin dhe të blejnë vepra nga artizanët e Pogradecit.
Për të apasionuarit pas fotografisë, do të ketë një event të veçantë. Fotografi i mirënjohur, Ardian Fezollari hap ekspozitën “Ditët e Pogradecit”, në orën 7 të pasdites.
Në darkë, kushdo mund të shijoj recitime dhe muzikë në qendrën e qytetit.
Në orën 21:00 do të jetë mbyllja simbolike e eventit nga kryebashkiaku Kapri në një atmosferë festive.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A guide to Saint Naum, Macedonia

Visit to Saint Naum Monastery is without a doubt great experience. It's a place where you can fully spend your day and enjoy many attractions... In addition to many fun activities and enjoying beautiful surroundings, the monastery complex is a wonderful place for relaxation, enjoyment and resting.
A blog by Traveling is Awesome
One of the nicest monastery complex in the region. It has been very crowded, even in the morning on the first day of the year. Lots of people come to visit this place through the year, because of it`s beauty and cultural heritage. Built by the St. Naum of Ohrid himself, it was established in the Bulgarian Empire in year 905. St. Naum is also buried in the church.
The Monastery of Saint Naum is an Eastern Orthodox monastery in the Republic of Macedonia, named after the medieval Saint Naum who founded it. It is situated along Lake Ohrid, 29 kilometres south of the city of Ohrid. The Lake Ohrid area, including St. Naum, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Macedonia.
From the center of Ohrid to St. Naum monastery is a short drive, about 45 minutes on narrow country road by car.  Parking is charged for the day and not to expensive.
When you enter monastery complex first you came across a park which has small shops that sell many local products like: honey, brandy, Christian icons, hand-made jewelry and famous local lake jewelry pearls and much more...Continuing our tour and walking to the monastery we came to the small bridge over the river Crn Drim (Black Drim), from where you have two amazing post card views. 
Set amidst lush verdure where the River Crn Drim tumbles into the lake, the monastery of St. Naum is a refuge of tranquility at the very southwestern corner of the Macedonian Republic. The area around St. Naum monastery is among the most beautiful along the shore of Lake Ohrid. Just before merging with the Lake Ohrid, River Crn Drim widens in a small lake. Still inside the Saint Naum Monastery complex, colorful covered motor boats sit waiting to whisk visitors over the lake to see the springs of St. Naum. The water here is fed by Lake Prespa and is astoundingly clear – at some points it is 3.5m deep and still you can see the bottom as if it were swimming right before your eyes.
The main reason to take the boat trip (other than for a bit of picturesque relaxation bobbing on the lake) is to witness the springs bubbling up from the lake bed. Because of the water clarity it's extremely easy to see. In some places calcification causes the rocks to turn white – it's quite a sight. At the end of the lake is a small chapel.
The charge for this trip is per boat, so if you wait for more people the price per person will become cheaper.

Little about the history...

The old church was built on a rock above the Lake with a wonderful view of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding mountains. Later on the church was completed with lodgings and a bell tower finishing the final look of the current monastery. The monastery lodging compartments are now adapted into a hotel. A traditional restaurant is also found on the location. Tourists from all around the world that visit Macedonia, pick this destination every year.

The original church was dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The church was built on this site in the 10th century as a memorial of the Slavonic educator Saint Naum of Ohrid, the disciple of Cyril and Methodius and the associate of Clement of Ohrid. The names of St. Naum and St. Clement are praised because of their creation of the Cyrillic alphabet. St. Naum was also buried in the church in the year of 910. St. Naum's monasteries of the Holy Archangels together with Clement’s monastery of St. Pantheleimon in Ohrid are the earliest known Slavonic monuments in the region of Ohrid. This represents another important religious, cultural and tour attraction in this part of Macedonia.
As with most Byzantine churches, St. Naum was chosen primarily for its location – on a high, rocky outcropping over the lake, above deep forests and life-giving springs of the river Crn Drim.
The monastery has been renewed and enlarged several times over the centuries. While most of its iconostases and frescoes date from the 16th and 17th century, earlier etchings in the Byzantine Greek vernacular also remain. But numerous orthographical mistakes indicate that they were written by Slavic-speaking local monks. Other inscriptions in the church make up some of the oldest epigraphic evidence of Slavic literacy. The icons of St. Naum are some of the best religious painting achievements in the Balkans. They date from the first half of the 18th century. The wood-carved iconostasis itself was made in 1711 by an unknown artisan.
A peculiar element of St. Naum is located not on the inside of the church but on the outside: the preponderance of multi-colored peacocks strutting around and luxuriating in the grass. They are so gracious and friendly, not scared of people at all. Posing for picture or climbing all over the place, they are like home pets.
 https://travelingawesome.blogspot.al/2017/05/saint-naum.html#more

Monday, April 10, 2017

Albanian Ministry of Culture is committed to success of Lake Ohrid Project


"The Ministry of Culture is the lead state institution responsible for the protection, conservation, improvement and promotion of cultural heritage in Albania. In line with its institutional competences the ministry had taken several important initiatives, programmes and projects to protect and promote cultural heritage, develop and support public–private partnerships and strengthen and intensify regional and international cooperation.

The ministry’s new vision, approach and policy towards cultural heritage is reflected in the decision-making processes related to the country’s cultural heritage. From 2014–2016, new protected areas of cultural monuments were adopted, new historic centres were approved by Decisions of the Council of Ministers and several major rehabilitation projects implemented or are still in process. The new vision and approach of the ministry towards cultural heritage in this period have been put into practice in the important project Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region.

Since the beginning of the project the ministry, the Institute of Cultural Monuments and the Korca Regional Directorate of National Culture have participated in all project activities and actively contributed in the preparation of the required documentation in line with the recommendations of ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN. The National Restoration Council has acted promptly by approving the proposed boundaries of the potential World Heritage property and the protected area of the early Christian church on the Lin Peninsula. In June 2015, by proposal of the Ministry of Culture, the historical center of Pogradec was approved by Decision of the Council of Ministers. Currently, our experts are working on finalization of a draft management plan, while at the same time a group of specialists—mainly architects and restorers—are involved in preparation of guidelines for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the traditional build heritage on the Albanian part of the Lake Ohrid region. Preparation of the nomination dossier for World Heritage Inscription of the Albanian part of the region is the final objective to be achieved within this project.

This project has contributed not only in improving transboundary cooperation with our Macedonian partners, but also in sharing knowledge, experiences, challenges and difficulties jointly faced in protecting and safeguarding the cultural and natural values of the Lake Ohrid region.

World Heritage status, as the final objective of this project, does not mean only prestige and advantage: World Heritage sites belong to us all, irrespective of the territory on which they are located, which means also responsibilities, challenges, difficulties and issues to be dealt with.

Aware of the importance of this status and taking into account the distinctive natural and cultural values that makes this region unique, the finalization of this project will open a new long-term process jointly managed by the institutions responsible and communities living there."



Yours Sincerely, 
Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi, Minister of Culture, Albania
 

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Parathënie nga Ministrja e Kulturës për Projektin e Liqenit të Ohrit
 
Ministria e Kulturës është institucioni drejtues i Qeverisë, përgjegjës për mbrojtjen, ruajtjen, përmirësimin dhe promovimin e trashëgimisë kulturore në Shqipëri. Në përputhje me kompetencat e saj institucionale, Ministria ka ndërmarrë një sërë iniciativash të rëndësishme, programe dhe projekte për të mbrojtur dhe promovuar trashëgiminë kulturore, për të zhvilluar dhe mbështetur partneritetet publike-private dhe për të forcuar e intensifikuar bashkëpunimin rajonal dhe ndërkombëtar.

Vizioni i ri i Ministrisë, qasja dhe politika ndaj trashëgimisë kulturore reflektohet në proceset vendimarrëse që lidhen me trashëgiminë kulturore të vendit. Duke nisur nga periudha 2014-2016, zonat e mbrojtura të monumenteve të kulturës janë zgjeruar, qendrat e reja historike janë aprovuar nga vendimet e Këshillit të Minisrave dhe një sërë projektesh të mëdha rehabilitimi të zbatuara në mënyrë të suksesshme ose që janë ende në proces. Vizioni i ri dhe qasja e Ministrisë ndaj trashëgimisë kulturore në këtë periudhë është zbatuar në praktikë në projektin e rëndësishëm “Drejt një qeverisjeje të përbashkët të trashëgimisë natyrore dhe kulturore ndërkufitare të rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit”.

Që nga fillimi i projektit, Ministria, Instituti i Monumenteve të Kulturës dhe Drejtoria Rajonale e Korçës për kulturën kanë marrë pjesë në të gjitha projektet dhe kanë kontribuar në mënyrë aktive për përgatitjen e dokumentacionit të kërkuar në përputhje me rekomandimet e ICCROM, ICOMOS dhe IUCN. Këshilli Kombëtar i Restaurimeve ka vepruar menjëherë duke miratuar kufijtë e propozuar të pasurisë potenciale për Trashëgimi Botërore dhe zonën e mbrojtur të Kishës së hershme kristiane në Gadishullin e Linit.

Në qershor 2015 me propozim të Ministrisë së Kulturës, u miratua nga Këshilli i Ministrave dhe Qendra Historike e Pogradecit. Aktualisht, ekspertët tanë po punojnë për finalizimin e draftit të planit të menaxhimit, ndërkohë që i njëjti grup i specialistëve, kryesisht arkitektë dhe restauratorë janë përfshirë në përgatitjen e udhëzimeve për ruajtjen dhe rehabilitimin e trashëgimisë tradicionale të ndërtuar tashmë në pjesën shqiptare të rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit. Përgatitja e Dosjes së Nominimit për regjistrimin si Pasuri Botërore të pjesës shqiptare të rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit, është objektivi final që duhet të arrihet brenda këtij projekti. Ky projekt ka kontribuar jo vetëm në përmirësimin e bashkëpunimit ndërkufitar me partnerët maqedonas, por gjithashtu në ndarjen e njohurive, eksperiencave, sfidave dhe vështirësive që përballohen më mirë së bashku me qëllim mbrojtjen dhe ruajtjen e vlerave kulturore dhe natyrore të Liqenit të Ohrit.

Statusi ‘Pasuri Botërore’, si objektiv final i projektit, nuk do të thotë vetëm prestigj dhe avantazh. Vendi i trashëgimisë botërore na përket të gjithëve, pavarësisht nga territori ku ndodhet, që do të thotë gjithashtu përgjegjshmëri, sfida, vështirësi dhe çështje më të cilat duhet të përballemi.

Të ndërgjegjshëm për rëndësinë e këtij statusi, dhe duke marrë parasysh vlerat e dukshme kulturore dhe natyrore që e bëjnë këtë rajon unik, mendojmë se finalizimi i këtij procesi do të hapë një proces të ri afatgjatë të menaxhuar bashkërisht nga institucionet përgjegjëse dhe komunitetet që jetojnë në rajonin e Liqenit të Ohrit.

Sinqerisht
Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi
Ministre e Kulturës, Shqipëri

Monday, January 30, 2017

Waterbird Census in Albania: 160 000 birds in total, 16 074 in Lake Ohrid Region

The International Waterbird Census results estimate a presence of more than 160.000 birds in wetlands of Albania, represented by more than 65 waterbird species. From these about 16 074 birds are situated in Lake Ohrid region, Albanian side. This figure shows the improved situation with biodiversity in Lake Ohrid region, since there were 6000-7000 birds more than previous year. If we can see the table below, the number of birds is shown for each area from Lin to Tushemisht border.

 The yearly Waterbird Census was done on 14 and 15 January in Albania by 12 national and international experts, on behalf of Birdlife International. Supported by the EU funded project NaturAL, this was a great opportunity for the rangers to learn more about the management of natural resources within and around the protected areas they safeguard.
All offices of Regional Administration for Protected Areas were involved participating as counters or observers in the Census, and providing logistical support to participants. 
As a preparation for the Census, one day training was delivered by Dr Spase Shumka, Dr Taulant Bino and Mjrian Topi to the rangers on 12 January respectively in Pogradec, Kune-Vain, and Orikum.

The Census covered 18 selected sites and its findings will be made available to the public and the scientific community through the BioNNA database. These results will guide the Ministry of Environment and National Agency for Protected Areas in their work on the formulation of policies and strategies for conservation of nature and biodiversity, and protection of the ecosystem services.

Wetlands are the most important habitats for migratory birds. Each species contributes to the global biodiversity and consequently to the ecosystem services that nature provides to all living beings. Joining this international initiative, Albania once again confirms its important role for the protection of global biodiversity. The efforts put in place jointly by the Regional Administration of Protected Areas and the National Inspectorate are fundamental to ensure the safe journey of the migrant species, their existence and contribution to the ecosystem balances.

Contribution: Gani Bego
Source: http://www.natura.al/news.php?lang=en&uid=24

Monday, January 9, 2017

Albania is part of biggest lakes in Balkans

Albania is home to 247 natural lakes and more than 800 artificial lakes. Albania is part of three most important lakes of the Balkans Peninsula: Shkodra lake, Ohrid Lake and Prespa Lake.
Let's explore some of them:
Ohrid Lake

Lake Ohrid straddles the mountainous border between southwestern Macedonia and eastern Albania and is the deepest lake in the entire Balkan Peninsula, with a maximum depth of nearly 300 m. The historical value and the diverse flora and fauna have helped Lake Ohrid to become one of UNESCO’s Cultural and Natural Heritage sites. There are a variety of aquatic species in the lake, the most famous of which is the Koran, known for being a particularly delicious fish. The city of Pogradec, well known for its climate, was built on the southwestern coast of Lake Ohrid. Alongside the shore there are several tourist centers such as Lini, Pojska, Pogradec, Drilon and Tushemisht, where many hotels and guesthouses offer comfortable accommodations for a wonderful and relaxing vacation.

Prespa Lake

Prespa Lake consists of two branches, Great and Small Prespa. The latter branch cuts deeply into Albania's Galicica Mountain. It is the highest tectonic lake in the Balkans with an altitude of 853 m. Prespa Lake with a surface of 285 km2, of which 38.8 km2 belongs to Albania, is known for the small island of Maligrad. For those exploring the island, the old.
In this lake there are very important breeding populations of Dalmatian and white pelicans. Lakes Ohrid and Prespa are between two and four millionyears old and unique species of fish have evolved in them, among them the delicious koran and belushka.

Shkodra Lake

Shkodra Lake is located in northwestern Albania, straddles the border between Albania and Montenegro. and is the largest lake in the entire Balkan Peninsula, with an area of 370 km².
Thousands of cormorants winter on this lake each year. It is relatively shallow and is fed by many different rivers as well as by springs, making it quite varied in its aquatic life, with various species of carp and trout in its waters.

The main tourist centers are Shiroka and Zogaj, offering numerous hotels and restaurants. This area is famous for it’s variety of fish, including carp, eel and shtojzë. The main leisure activities here are fishing, swimming, sunbathing and the exploration of the area.

Other lakes
Those who are willing to explore more of Albania will be able to see the artificial lakes formed by the Drin’s cascade (Vau i Dejës Lake, Komani Lake and Fierza lake), the artificial lakes of Shkopeti and Ulza, the small glacial lakes of Lura, Balgjait, Dobërdol, Sylbice, Rajca and many more.



http://albania.al/article/9/lakes/


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