Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What lake view?

Posted by Hippo Bean at 2:09 PM
In the monastery of Sveti Naum (sounds like sweaty now) we ran into the same pilgrimage group we saw at St Dimitri yesterday. It turned out they're from Lake City CA. Yesterday we heard the monk inside the church who sounded very learned and american, lecturing about the icons. The monks were iconologists and were painting a Greek orthodox church in Santa Rosa. All the women in the group wore long dresses. The Sveti Naum had a hotel and Gert said a couple of weeks ago he stayed in a second floor room with wonderful views of the lake. I really dont much like a monastery with a hotel. There was a big group of Bulgarian students there too. But both Rila and Grand St Bernard had accommodations. But they were more for pilgrims than for tourists. Didnt actually like this monastery too much. The church and the complex were very small. I looked out to the lake and again it was misty. What view? Later we drove up the mountain and down to the lake Pespa which is the largest in the Balkans. This lake however had no resorts and no hotels because the lake was not swimmable. What a contrast. Ohrid was developed and had many hotels along its shore. Pespa was totally bare and empty. Seems quite a waste of natural resource. I thought from up the mountain we could see both lakes. But we couldnt. Besides, up in that altitude (some 1800m above sea level), was very cloudy. And very cold.

Later I've asked Tanja where the name of their country came from. Boy, she went on and on about how Greece didnt recognize them because it claimed the name Macedonia was a Greek city. North of Macedonia was part of the old Bulgarian kingdom while the south was part of Greece. Alexander the Great came from the part that is now Tessaloniki in northern Greece. Gert said Macedonians were Bulgarian, Slavs. They even use the Cyrillic alphabet and can understand Bulgarian. But Macedonians say they have their own ethnicity apart from Bulgarian and Greek. At the end I was just as confused as before.

sveti naum-Ohrid

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