Naumin' Aroun', Naumin' Aroun'. A monastery made for young adults, by young adults.
The Monastery of Saint Naum lies just inside the Macedonian border, near where we crossed over from Albania. It was founded by Saint Naum himself at the turn of the tenth century, although much of what remains today dates back only to the 16th or 17th centuries.
|The monastery church|
|Something went wrong with the latest anti-tobacco advertising|
|Not heeding the anti-peacock warnings|
|You can see two of these faces are scratched out - we saw too many similarly disfigured for this to be just by chance|
|Ceiling inside St Naum's|
Legend has it that if you press your ear to Saint Naum's tomb, you can hear his heartbeat. I tried, despite the tomb being covered with a probably gross cloth, and could kind of hear something. Jules didn't, though. A Guardian article I read posited that it was the sound of "water dripping somewhere in the monastery", but I think it's much more likely to be the same effect as holding a seashell to your ear, i.e. your own heartbeat. Proof at last that Jules is a zombie.
|Inside a different, newer church built over a natural pool at the spot where three springs converge. Supposedly the water helps women conceive, so I didn't get any closer|
|We found Rachel Dolezal's sunscreen in the gift shop. How's that for a topical reference? Seriously though, think harder about appropriate names for sunblock, Macedonia.|
There is a cottage industry taking tourists on boat trips around the smaller lake, which we partook of. The springs were nowhere near as big and obvious as the one at the Blue Eye, rather, you had to look quite closely and listen to the guide's local knowledge to spot them, which was pretty cool. The water, filtered through layers of karst rock on its way out of Lake Prespa and back into Lake Ohrid, is very pure (or so we were told), and we had a little drink leaning out of our boat.
|Water bubbling up from these springs reminded me of bubbling mud at Rotorua|
After we had finished our boat trip, a walk around the small lake, and lunch, we moved a few feet to Saint Naum's beach on the shores of Lake Ohrid itself. After sunbathing, we took a dip in the lake, which we shared with hundreds of tiny fish. The lake is so clear (with visibility up to 22 metres/66 feet) that we could look down and see the fish swimming all around us - and sometimes feel them brushing against our legs or arms. Quite bizarre! Finally, a trout sighting (maybe?) for my Dad!