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Archive for macedonia

A Pearl in Macedonia

By Linda Tancs

Since ancient Egyptian times, pearls have been one of the most highly coveted gemstones. That’s no less so in Macedonia, where the Lake Ohrid region yields one of the world’s most prized treasures, the Ohrid pearl. Produced from the scales of a fish found in the lake (among other ingredients), it’s a piece of the area’s cultural heritage. In fact, the Lake Ohrid region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed for both its natural and cultural heritage. Situated on the shores of the lake, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. And the lake itself (of tectonic origin) has existed continuously for approximately 2 to 3 million years. Ohrid has an airport, but it’s also accessible by car, bus or train service from neighboring Serbia or Greece.


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Kale in Macedonia

By Linda Tancs

Kale in Macedonia: no, we’re not talking about today’s trendy vegetable. Turkish for “fortress” (and pronounced “kah-lay”), Kale is a historic fortress located in the old town of Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. You can’t miss it, situated on the highest point in the city overlooking the Vardar River, the longest one in the country. Along the river’s eastern bank is the Old Bazaar, another landmark in the country, touted as the largest bazaar in the Balkans outside Istanbul. You can see these and other significant sites on a free walking and sightseeing tour (tips are appreciated).

Stone Dolls of Macedonia

By Linda Tancs

In the village of Kuklica in Macedonia is an area consisting of over 120 naturally formed stone pillars on the right bank of the Kriva River valley. Legend has it that the stone community formed from the curse of a bride as she watched her bigamous groom marry another woman. Of course, legend tends to have more appeal than fact. The real cause of the stone formations is erosion occurring over the past 100,000 years of the current geological epoch, a process creating pillars due to differences in erodibility of the area’s volcanic rocks. The village is about an hour away from the capital city of Skopje.

Macedonia From the Top

By Linda Tancs

Over 50 percent of the Republic of Macedonia is mountainous.  Among the highlights are the majestic peaks of Mount Korab, the forestal landscape of Jakupica, the glacier lake on Pelister and the constantly rising peak Dobra Voda on Celoica.  Imagine viewing the mountain dynasty from the top.  Paragliding, that is.  Clubs abound in this Balkan nation, particularly in Skopje (the capital), Prilep, Mavrovo and Krusevo.  Professional guides and tandem flights are available.

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