Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Statue of Saint Clement of Ohrid

Mittwoch, Februar 10th, 2010



Statue of Saint Clement of Ohrid

Originally uploaded by plepe

This is a statue of Ohrid’s most important inhabitant, Saint Clement of Ohrid. He lived from about 840 to 916 AC and was a pupil of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, who are said to have invented Cyrillic script (although some discussion is going on that topic, it might have been Saint Clement himself).
Anyway, as Bulgaria’s first archbishop he reformed the Slavic church by introducing the Cyrillic script and the Slavic language, as form of independence from the Byzantine empire (church language was still Greek). Ohrid became a religious centre, and even nowadays there are many churches (although many were converted to mosques during Ottoman time).
Travelling in Eastern Europe, esp. Bulgaria and Macedonia, you see his name everywhere (at least if you are able to read Cyrillic script), e.g. the ‚main‘ university in Sofia is named after him and Bulgaria’s scientific base on Antarctica too (though you will not find in Eastern Europe).

Amphitheater in Ohrid, Macedonia

Dienstag, Februar 9th, 2010



Amphitheater in Ohrid, Macedonia

Originally uploaded by plepe

Later that day (January 3rd, 2009) we met a CouchSurfer from Skopje with her friends, at whose place we wanted to surf, but she herself spent new year in Ohrid. We used the opportunity to learn from some locals about Ohrid’s long history and see some places, like the the Ancient amphitheatre you can see in the picture.
And a long history it is, a first town was Lychnidos, founded in the 7th century BC. It’s nationality changed several times (Illyrinans, Ancient Macedonians, Romans) until it was destroyed in 526 AC by an earthquake. Later refounded as Ohrid, it continued to be conquered every couple of centuries (Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbs and the Ottoman Empire). Independence of the Ottoman Empire came in 1912 by Serbs, during the world wars it was ruled by Bulgarians and finally it became part of Yugoslavia. After independence in 1991 it is now part of Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Ohrid in Wintertime, January 2009

Dienstag, Februar 9th, 2010



Ohrid in Wintertime, January 2009

Originally uploaded by plepe

Again a picture taken in Ohrid, Macedonia (FYROM). This time from the pier of the harbor. It started snowing the night before, and the town was covered with fresh snow. The harbor was sleeping, just some snow-covered ships were slowly shaking with the waves.

Lake Ohrid in wintertime, January 2009

Mittwoch, Februar 3rd, 2010



Lake Ohrid in wintertime, January 2009

Originally uploaded by plepe

There’s a picture of Lake Ohrid (Ohrid, Macedonia/FYROM). Usually you are supposed to see the mountains over the Albanian border, but as it started snowing that day (January 3rd, 2009), it was totally foggy.
It’s not very common to have snow in Ohrid, according to people we talked to the time when it snowed last time ranged between three or ten years.
But it was a very calm and relaxed atmosphere, the birds with their cries, the sound of the water, and not much more.

Maruska, the car-girl on an old Zastava

Mittwoch, Februar 3rd, 2010



Maruska, the car-girl on an old Zastava

The nice girl which is leaning on this old car is Maruska, my travel mate from Czech Republic who was doing some kind of exchange in Bulgaria too.
The car is an old Zastava, from a Serbian car factory. The picture depicts either a Zastava 750 or 850, which were produced between 1955 and 1985 and are still very popular in the former Yugoslav countries. This particular picture was taken in Ohrid (OH), in the south-west of Macedonia (FYROM) on January 2nd, 2009.

Turkish market in Skopje, Macedonia

Samstag, Januar 30th, 2010



Turkish market in Skopje, Macedonia

Originally uploaded by plepe

Macedonia (FYROM) has a large Turkish (Muslim) minority, a result of 500 years occupation by the Ottoman Empire. This is picture from the big Turkish bazaar, sleeping at night, but busy during daytime. It was the evening of January 1st, maybe it was even calmer than on normal nights.

Christmas lights in Skopje, (FYROM) Macedonia. January 1st 2009

Mittwoch, Januar 27th, 2010


Christmas lights in Skopje, (FYROM) Macedonia. January 1st 2009

Originally uploaded by plepe

It’s not the time of year right now, but this were the Christmas lights in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia (to be exact: FYROM, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
The Macedonian orthodox church celebrates Christmas, like many of the orthodox churches, on Januar 6th. Therefore everything was still in full anticipation, when we went there on the evening of January 1st, with the first bus from Sofia.
The Christmas lights looked really nice and overwhelming (no comparison to Sofia), but if you look closely you can see a T-Mobile-logo as star on the christmas tree in the background, it also explains the color … Commercialisation everywhere :(

Memorial near Gara Lakatnik, Bulgaria

Dienstag, Januar 26th, 2010


Memorial near Gara Lakatnik, Bulgaria

Originally uploaded by plepe

A last picture from that rock face in Gara Lakatnik, from my first visit in January 2009. This time we can see the summit cross on of the protruding rocks and the memorial, the main attraction of that site.
The memorial remembers the ‚Bulgarian coup d’état of September 1944‘, when the Bulgarian kingdom was overthrown with the help of the help of the Red Army, which finally led to Bulgaria joining the soviet block.

View from Gara Lakatnik, Bulgaria, May 2009

Sonntag, Januar 24th, 2010


View from Gara Lakatnik, Bulgaria, May 2009

Originally uploaded by plepe

Again Gara Lakatnik – I hope it doesn’t get boring yet – this time in the beginning of May, and spring has finally started. I went there again with to Polish friends who were on the Erasmus program too. They really loved the place, and the view is really beautiful from there – this time to the East. It’s part of the main line between Sofia and Varna, and it’s the slowest part, as it’s going through the mountains and is very curvy. The next bigger towns along the train line are Svoge to the South and Mesdra to the East.
In the area next to the river you can see some small industrial landuse, between the train line and the right picture corner the spreading village of Gara Lakatnik.

Gara Lakatnik in Bulgaria again, in April 2009

Freitag, Januar 22nd, 2010


Gara Lakatnik in Bulgaria again, in April 2009

Originally uploaded by plepe

I really liked this rock face near Gara Lakatnik so, one day when I needed some fresh air, I went there again (and a third time in June with some other Erasmus students). Down in the village a nice Bulgarian couple started talking to me, I think they thought I’m confused and lost my way, in fact I was just doing some mapping for the OpenStreetMap-project. Anyway I showed them the way up the rock face, as they were there for their first time and we had a really nice time together.
As you can see, although it was the beginning of April, spring hasn’t really started yet, only the cherry trees were in full blossom. In the valley you can see the train line in direction Sofia.