We spent one afternoon on a beach about 15 minutes' drive out of the city. It's called Sveti Stefan, which means Saint Stefan, but since it sounds like 'Sweaty Stefan' in a slight German accent, we were amused. Since it was pretty hot, there were not a few Sweaty Stefans to be found on the beach. The beach itself was not as nice as those on the Albanian coast, which is to be expected. A bit crowded, full of kids, and with only a small strip of gritty sand. But, you know, not exactly a hell-hole, so can't complain.
I forgot to say earlier, Lake Ohrid's claim to fame is that it's one of the oldest lakes in Europe, dating back up to 5 million years ago. I was surprised to learn that most lakes only have a lifespan of around 100,000 years before they fill up completely with sediment. So Ohrid is kicking most lakes' arses! In honour of this, a lake on Saturn's moon Titan is named Ohrid, and both the lake and city of Ohrid are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Talking of heritage, they are clearly proud of their wines in Macedonia. They were a big wine producer in Yugoslavia, and local wines still feature prominently on Macedonian menus, many produced from local grape varieties such as Vranec. We picked up some bottles of red and rosé from the Bovin and Stobi wineries (the latter has a bottle with a cute peacock mosaic on it) to bring home with us. Not bad at all.
|A stroll along the lake front|
We also visited Saint Sophia, the largest church in Ohrid, with frescoes which date to the 11th-13th centuries. These retain more of the authentic "faded" look. Photos a bit blurry since I wasn't meant to be taking any!
|Ceiling of St Sophia's|
|Interior St Sophia's|
|Night in Ohrid|
|Dinner on the lake (literally, on a sort of jetty)|
I bought a single black pearl pendant, which was fairly cheap, and the three-string necklace below, which was really not all that cheap. And the clasp on it broke as soon as I got it home, boohoo! But I think it's a pretty cool souvenir that I can keep for years (once I fix the clasp) to remind me of my holiday in Macedonia and Albania.
|My Ohrid pearl necklace|