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PHOTOS: Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

by Will McGough

We had arrived the previous evening in the dark—all four of us half asleep—but the next morning, as we left the hotel and rounded the first corner into town, there was no missing it. Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is at least four million years old, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t look brand new.

We stood on the road that climbed the hill of the old city and looked out, unable to see the other end of the lake 30-some kilometres away. In the forefront was an ancient theatre dating back nearly 2,000 years, uncovered accidentally in the 80s during a construction project. Back in the U.S., we’re lucky if we can find a nickel in the sand, but there a shovel makes sense. In North America, we find arrowheads, not amphitheatres.

Despite its old age and grandeur, Lake Ohrid is relatively unknown to tourists outside of Europe and the Mediterranean due to the fact that Macedonia, which became a country in 1993, has only recently focused its attention to tourism. Located in the southwestern part of the country, Lake Ohrid provides most of the seafood served in the town of Ohrid, and during the summer its waters are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for boating, fishing and swimming. The foothills of National Park Galichica allow the adventurous to get a bird’s eye view of this gem.

Macedonia