Sunday, September 7, 2008

3-4 September – Macedonia

Well, the official name of the country should be ‘Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia’, but who wants to make things so complicated or call a country FYROM? Actually, Greece insists on this since the major part of the old territory of Macedonia (famous for Alexander the Great and his conquests) is situated in Greece, So, Macedonia is still to find an official name that is acceptable to Greece. That dispute will probably never end, and the world will refer to this young country as Macedonia, to the frustration of Greece.

Macedonia is lovely to visit. It has an ancient history, and the archaeological sites are many. We visited the town of Orhid, which sits on the shores of Lake Orhid. This area has been populated for some 8000 years and archaeologists have only started to uncover some of the historical treasures that lie hidden underground. The 2000 year old amphitheatre, discovered 20 years ago, is one example. And we were impressed by the mosaic floors of the 1700 year old churches, parts of which are still being uncovered and pieced together despite a lack of funds.

Outside Bitola, we visited another archaeological site, Heraclea Lyncestis, where a whole Macedonian-Roman city is being uncovered.

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