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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Balkan Winds

Hello from Macedonia, a beautiful country with many natural riches and cultural activity. It is a historically significant piece of land during the Ottoman rule. There has been many cultural exchanges over the centuries in the Balkan area. Ottomans brought their own culture and customs which were then taken in by the locals and spread, also vice versa. 

Lake Ohrid is especially beautiful earning the title of the Balkan region's largest (covers a 358km squared) and deepest lake. Considering the lake can be as deep as 300m, one should be cautious when swimming, surfing or being adventurous. Since it is a lake with no direct connection to the sea, the water is sweet and drinkable. For someone who usually spends time by the sea, dippig into the lake and not tasting salt was a memorable experience. Another interesting fact about the lake is that 1/3 is shared by the neighboring country, Albania. Throughout the history there has been a struggle between Macedonia and Albania. This is still true in the country. Recent news report a protest in the capital Skopje regarding protests over slayings, where Ethnic Albanians carried out a demonstration. I find it unbelievable how human kind cannot except each other, especially if you are neighboring countries with a shared history. The lake is so pure. Such a pure border between the tension. 

Vevchani is probably the most breath taking place to visit. It is known for its natural springs. On top of the mountain amongst the green with clear water streaming. The water here is cold and drinkable. The atmosphere is so nostalgic. Mountains and streams of water. However, it is severely lacking efforts of conservation. Some of the houses can be better kept. It is important to take care of culture and conserve it so that tourism benefits from it even more. With the way it is right now, however, it is a winner. 

Of all the places my personal favorite was the St. Naum Monestary above a hill, overlooking the lake. So perfect and well organized. St. Noum is believed to be one of the saints who has started the Slavic culture and spread it across the land. 

The playground of a restaurant in the Vevchani city center. 

Views from St. Naum 

An authentic store in Vevchani 

The natural springs in Vevchani

Traditional houses 

The beautiful water falls everywhere! 

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