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Montag, 6. Februar 2017

Amateur Traveler in Ohrid

Hear about travel to Macedonia as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kelsey of CineTraveler.com about her recent trip to this country in the Balkans. Macedonia is just north of Greece and probably best known as the home for Alexander the Great but Kelsey found much more to recommend in this much too overlooked country. In a week they were able to see much of the country.

She started her trip at beautiful lake Ohrid which is the main waterfront for this landlocked country. Both the town of Ohrid and lake Ohrid are UNESCO world heritage sites. STarting with their first encounter with locals they were stunned by how people would go out of the way to help them. Strangers guiding them, shopkeepers giving them tours of cities. Lake Ohrid is thought to be one of the oldest lakes in the world. Ohrid is dominated by a large fortress and a Roman theatre which is still in use. Excavations nearby continue to uncover Roman mosaics. They hiked up the mountains in Galicica National Park just outside Ohrid with views to Albania and Greece on a clear day.

The also visited Bitola which is the second largest city in the country. The city is full of 18th and 19th century architecture. It is cooler in the Summer which makes it popular with locals. Kelsey traveled with someone obsessed with ROman history so they had to visit Bitola because of the nearby ruins at Heraclea which include baths, basilicas, beautiful mosaics, and an amphitheater with great acoustics.

They visited the mountain resort town of Krusevo where they saw two very different memorials. The first was the Ilinden Uprising Monument to those that died in an unsuccessful uprising against the Ottoman Turks who ruled Macedonia for 500 years. The second was the Tose Proeski Museum which was dedicated to a very popular Macedonian singer, the “Elvis of Macedonia”.

In the southeastern corner they visited the wine country of Macedonia. Strumica is a good base for visiting that part of the country. They are numerous hiking trails from the city. They also visited another Roman site at Bankso which is the hot springs capital of Macedonia.

They visited Kratovo which is in the caldera of an old volcano and is known for its mining. There they saw the “Stone Dolls” National Monument with its strange rock formations.

The capital of Skopje where major renovations are preparing for Skopje 2014. Skopje is filled with sculpture, statues and fountains.They took the cable car up Mount Vodno which is topped by a large cross and has great views of Skopje.

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