Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
Trip End Jul 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hostel di Angolo

Flag of Macedonia  ,
Monday, July 2, 2012

Though great, Ohrid town can be a bit overwhelming - the beaches are tiny, but people definitely take full advantage of every square inch of space available, with sun loungers side by side, and the odd beach towel wedged in between.  There's a vibrant atmosphere on the beaches, but today presented the perfect opportunity to escape the crowds for the day, taking advantage of a lake cruise to explore Sveti Naum, where there would still be crowds, albeit slightly smaller ones. 

Sveti Naum is named after its monastery, originally constructed in 900 AD, which was later replaced in the 16th century.  It's a very characteristic look for the region, with a monastery overlooking the brilliant body of water below.  Its beaches also packed, you can find a private beach on the opposite side of Sveti Naum's port, just a few steps away from the monastery.  For the pittance of just over $1 CAD, there was a beautiful stretch of nearly deserted sand, before the crowds started to descend midday. 

Once the inevitable tide of tourists started streaming in, it was time to get out of there and find something to eat at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants dotted along the coast of the lake, and also along a placid and crystalline little pond just steps away, situated inside a beautiful little wooded area, where families were happily enjoying picnics, with food, drink, and singing.  Of course, the food at such a touristy-little spot was suspect, having no incentive to provide anything resembling a decent Macedonian meal, as money would no doubt continue to roll in, regardless of quality.  It's the terrible catch-22 of wonderful locations such as this - that beautiful view is rarely accompanied by an equally-beautiful meal!

Tonight marked the final evening in Macedonia - six nights in a country is never enough, but was sufficient to get a small taste of Macedonia, from the little towns of the Tikves wine region, to a larger city in Bitola, and finally with the best of Macedonia, Ohrid.  Macedonia seems like the country to explore the great outdoors, but time simply didn't permit this time around.  I'll remember many things about Macedonia, but it's probably some of the quirks that stand out most - but the one that tops them all has got to be this picture I shot tonight.  Clever marketing by those Macedonians, targeting a huge and untapped market.  I'm sure parents all over are lining up to get their kids some ink!
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