Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Monday, June 12th, Lake Ohrid, Macedonia


The only border crossing on this trip where the guard actually came aboard the bus to compare passports to our faces was this morning's entry to the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). That's probably because we're all Americans, and old, and not very likely to be terrorists.  And who'd be dangerous among four people who always insist on getting their passports stamped.

Macedonia has a beef with Greece over its name.  Until they resolve some territorial disputes, Greece isn't going to let Macedonia enter the European Union or other regional alliances, or use any name but FYROM - which is what the rest of the world uses.  But our hotel address says we're in Macedonia, so I'm going with it.

Before we crossed the border, we visited three spectacular Orthodox churches containing a huge number of icons on the inside and outside of the churches.  For those of us who had little to no religious education, unlike roman catholic churches whose walls contain lots of hanging paintings and sculptures, the variety of Byzantine churches have paintings directly on their walls.

In addition, they have a frontal set of panels that feature a central door, with Jesus on the right, Mary with baby Jesus on the left, John the Baptist to the right of Jesus, and whomever the church is dedicated to on the left of Mary.  There are additional images of saints, apostles, and other luminaries in rows above them,  and scenes of Mary ascending to heaven, or sinners descending to hell.  There's also lots of torture scenes before they descend.  When few could read, these taught values and beliefs.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Monday, June 12th, Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.


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