Crossing borders

Sveti Naum Travel Blog

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Little monastery next to the road

The taxi driver took me to the border but I would have to walk across it. I figure that should be too much of problem to cross the border change money and catch a bus. It goes pretty smoothly on the Albanian side of the border I just walk up to the Albanian border buildings which look like some sort of temporary sheds you would find on a construction side. But they have computer and it only take a few minutes to get across the border.

 

Then I have to walk through the no man’s land between the Albanian and the Macedonian border post. It is a bit of a bit of a walk but it is doable. I get to the Macedonian side of the border and I walk up to the border building - it looks a lot more like a permanent construction on this side of the border.

The monastery of Sveti Naum
I walk over to the building and try to hand in my passport. But I am pointed towards the car lane in the middle of the road. I am not exactly sure how to behave under these circumstances - should I walk out in the car lane and pretend to be car number 6 and await my turn in the line? I did not know this I am not that used to crossing borders at a car crossing on foot. So I decide to hang around the little building with the passport officer inside and see what will happen. It turns out he decide to skip the cars and the passenger in those and process my passport first. So in a couple of minutes I am across the border.

 

The border crossing went smoothly but after the border things are not really what I expected. I wanted a nice little exchange booth where I could exchange some Euros into Macedonian money. But there is no where I can change money. I am also looking for a bus station to get a ride to Ohrid - but there is no bus station anywhere in sight - not that I would actually have the money to pay for a bus ticket - given there were no exchange booth.

Peacocks hanging around everywhere at Sveti Naum

 

I am considering the options I could stand hanging around hopping for something to happen - or I could start walking. After all Orhid is close it is only like 28 kilometers from the border - no sweat.

 

I walk down the road it is actually a nice road with some cool sights to look at on the way - I would probably enjoy it if knew when the walking would end. I keep walking and there is no bus stop or exchange booth in sight. After a couple of kilometers I get to a small monastery. I figure I will talk a bit of a rest and take a look at this place - it is right next to the road so why not. I go in and there is a man present at the place - Jovan named of Saint John. He is a volunteer doing a bit of work at the monastery before the summer arrives. It is a nice little place with a stream running past it during the summer but for now there is no water in the stream. I talk a bit with Jovan and he lets me in to the little church which is at the monastery there are some nicely renovated frescoes inside but I am not allowed to take pictures.

I stay a bit and have a bit of a chat with Jovan who offers me a bit of the monastery’s rakki.

 

After a while it is time for me to walk along I go down towards a bigger monastery call the Sveti Naum monastery and is one of the most famous places in all of Macedonia. I expect this place will have some sort of tourist infrastructure - like possibility of exchanging money and a bus stop. There is a bus stop in the area but there is no sign of anywhere where I can exchange money. I see some other foreign tourist around - they might have some info about where I can get some cash so I hang around while they are talking to a taxi driver or something.

 

It turns out this is actually a long series of accidental meetings. There are five tourists in all - the four of them where on a trip in a taxi around all of Lake Orhird and they had just met the day before in the bus from Skopje. The last of the group was Martin who came from the same small village in Switzerland as one of the passengers in the taxi.

He had actually walked across the border the same way as me a couple of hours earlier and had had the exact same problems as me - not being able to exchange money or finding some sort of transportation. But he had been able to change money with his old friends from Switzerland and hence he had some Macedonian cash. We talked for a bit and agree to drive to Orhird together in a taxi and he borrows me a bit of money so I could get into the church at the Sveti Naum monastery before we would drive to city.

 

I go in and have a look around the monastery. It is some nice buildings down at the waterfront of the lake. And you could actually stay there for the night if you would want to. But I don’t find the monastery super interesting compared to other monasteries. Though the frescoes in the church is sort of interesting. For me the main the monastery is not really the most fascinating part of this place. I find the huge number of peacock running around the monasteries grounds a lot more interesting to look at - though they are really loud. I think this could be a bit of a problem in case you would like to spend the night at the monastery.

Little monastery next to the road
I have a look around for a bit but this is not a place I would like to spend a huge amount of time - so instead I head out to meet up with Martin so we could get to Ohrid.

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Little monastery next to the road
Little monastery next to the road
Little monastery next to the road
Little monastery next to the road
The monastery of Sveti Naum
The monastery of Sveti Naum
Peacocks hanging around everywhere…
Peacocks hanging around everywher…
Little monastery next to the road
Little monastery next to the road
Little monastery next to the road
Little monastery next to the road
The buildings at the little monast…
The buildings at the little monas…
Another monastery on the way to Sv…
Another monastery on the way to S…
The little church in the centre of…
The little church in the centre o…
Buildings at Sveti Naum
Buildings at Sveti Naum
Buildings at Sveti Naum
Buildings at Sveti Naum
Just relaxing
Just relaxing
Church at Sveti Naum
Church at Sveti Naum
Mountains at Sveti Naum
Mountains at Sveti Naum
Lake Orhid at Sveti Naum
Lake Orhid at Sveti Naum
Dont block my view
Dont block my view
The buildings at Sveti Naum
The buildings at Sveti Naum
Hanging out next to the church
Hanging out next to the church
The entrance to Sveti Naum
The entrance to Sveti Naum
The church at Sveti Naum
The church at Sveti Naum
Courtyard at Sveti Naum
Courtyard at Sveti Naum
Sitting high above the entrance
Sitting high above the entrance
The entrance
The entrance
Mossaic over the entrance
Mossaic over the entrance
Trying to block the entrance
Trying to block the entrance
Road leading to the entrance
Road leading to the entrance
Main entrance point
Main entrance point
The mountains around Sveti Naum
The mountains around Sveti Naum
The Lake Orhid
The Lake Orhid
The monastery
The monastery
The lake
The lake
The road and the spring at the mon…
The road and the spring at the mo…
Sveti Naum Sights & Attractions review
Sveti Naum Monastery
Just at the waterfront of Lake Orhid you will find the Sveti Naum Monastery - it is pretty close to the Albanian border and can be easily reach from e… read entire review
Sveti Naum
photo by: tj1777