Oh My, Ohrid!

Everyone that I know who’s been to Macedonia or Albania has mentioned Lake Ohrid, which straddles the borders of the two countries nestled in a gorgeous park. So, I hopped on a bus from Skopje for the three-hour ride to Ohrid, Macedonia.

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It’s a tiny little lakeside town nestled in the hills around the northeast side of the lake, which is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes. The must-see (or must-do) activity is the ferry ride to the Saint Naum monastery on the Albanian border. So, I boarded the Aleksandrija and embarked on a 2.5-hour boat ride.

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The water was spectacular, and it’s clear that boating is a way of life for Macedonians in the summer. The water was calm until about 11 a.m. Then everyone, it seemed, headed out to enjoy a beautiful summer day.

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In Ohrid, the waterfront is lined with cafes and restaurants. Eating on the terraces is really quite lovely with the breeze.

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And yes, Ohrid has a fortress too. But, I didn’t have time to explore it. I was here for the water, and it was totally worth it.

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When we pulled close to St. Naum, you could see the springs feeding the lake. Oh, and that water … it’s VERY cold.

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Looking out over Lake Ohrid from St. Naum, you can see just how gorgeous the scenery really is. The mountains plunge into the water around nearly the entire lakeshore.

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The Saint Naum monastery was quite a sight, and the grounds were lovely for an afternoon picnic lunch.

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My lunch view from the walls of the monastery.

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And, my lunch date… who jumped up on the wall to join me while I was dining.

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In addition to the monastery, there’s a small Orthodox church named St. Petka.

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Much of Lake Ohrid is dedicated to watersports, and it is clear the Macedonians love their beach time.

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In nearly every flat spot along the water, a resort has sprung up. Luckily, there aren’t many flat spots, so the lake is still pretty serene.

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Coming back into Ohrid’s tiny port, you get a good view of the city spread out along the water, crawling up the hillside. It’s a very charming town. I highly recommend a day or two here if you get to Macedonia.

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And, finally, proof… that I was on a boat!

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BoundfortheBalkans

American expat. University professor. World traveller. Dog lover. Eating and drinking my way through the Balkans for 7 weeks.

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