If Ohrid is the Jewel of the Balkans, then Sveti Naum is the Pearl of Macedonia. Sveti Naum was founded in 905 by St. Naym himself under the Bulgarian empire. He's buried in the original church but the church you'll see in the pics was built over the original in the 16th century. Here's a neat fact, it's home to a flock of peacocks, including an albino one but I couldn't find him. Click here to see historical photos of the monastery that date to the 19th century. It still looks very similar to what I saw.
Before our visit I knew that St. Naym was a huge tourist destination here in the Balkans but since it's December no one was here. Yet I was unprepared for the beauty of the site as a whole. The water was nearly perfectly clear, at one point I was watching ducks dive in the water, 300 ft on a cliff above them, and never lost them while they were underwater. To put it into perspective imagine the scenery of the Tennessee River, the Potomac outside DC, or the Colorado River in the Rockies but without any, I mean ZERO, water, noise or air pollution. No boats were out, no cell phones constantly ringing, nothing was on the water except for the ducks. Just imagine sitting on a cliff and viewing the newest snowfall on the Smokies/Rockies/DC landscape while watching large fish swim in 20-30ft deep water and 80ft away from the shore. It was remarkable. I hope the pictures do it justice.
|Overlooking Sarah's, girl in the glasses, village. Yes, she lives on the water.|
|No it's not Walden pond but it could be. Actually, it's the pond that feeds Ohrid Lake.|
|It runs out under the dock and into the lake here.|
|The peacocks were just walking around.|
|Look how clear the water is.|
|That's the hotel behind me.|
|This was just gorgeous. The hill in the foreground is in Macedonia and the mountains behind it are in Albania. We could've walked to Albania if we wanted to.|
|Sarah was deep in thought.|
|Another great mountain shot.|
|The peahen's hung out next to the monastery.|
|The Ohrid group, Alex, Victoria, Sarah and I.|
|They're a handful.|
|A massive tortoise we found.|
|Another, smaller, church up behind Sveti Naum.|
|Imagine the dog from the movie "It" and you'll get this guy's personality.|
|Soaking it all in before heading home.|
After walking around and taking it all in we headed back home. However, on the way home we passed something I missed earlier in the day and that was a guard tower built and operated by Italian troops during WWII. This place is truly layered in blankets of history.