Our mission was to go to Albania, but when we were searching for flights, one of the direct flights from Amsterdam was to a place called “Ohrid”, which I had never heard of. The first image when you Google Lake Ohrid is of a church, perched on a cliff, overlooking a crystal lake at sunset. I was full of awe. Even then, I expected Ohrid to be a cheap lake resort. What we got was probably the highlight of our entire trip.
Ohrid is a small town that sits on the shores of the lake with the same name. We stayed in old town, up a winding mountain. The town has been occupied for centuries, and seen many conflicts over that time. The castle, ruined atop the mountain, overlooks the many Orthodox churches that dot the landscape. Notably, there is the church of Saint John the Theologian, which offers perhaps the most breathtaking view of a church anywhere in the world, as well as the large and ornate Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon. I’ll never forget my almost frantic walk through the forest trails to reach the church by sunset; my efforts were paid off with an incredible view, before I descended to the water and joined Stéphane for dinner.
On one of our days, we took a ferry ride down the lake (almost to the Albanian side) to the Monastery of St. Naum. The church there was small but beautiful, but the boat ride was equally worth it, as was swimming in the crystal clear water.
The last church of significance that we visited was actually right around our Airbnb, just through a set of gates. At sunset, the view from it was brilliant, and the light brought the building alive.