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How the tale of two lakes reveals the hidden history of the Balkans

A lyrical travel book focusses on the two lakes that divide and connect North Macedonia, Albania and Greece

By Zoe Apostolides   March 2020
Lake Ohrid in Macedonia Source: Charlie Marchant, Wikimedia Commons

Lake Ohrid in Macedonia Source: Charlie Marchant, Wikimedia Commons

The lakes of Ohrid and Prespa, cut by the borders of North Macedonia, Albania and Greece, are Europe’s oldest. It is impossible to study the maps in Kapka Kassabova’s blend of memoir, political and cultural history without feeling their lure. The landscape is dotted with sinkholes and mountain peaks; scant signs of human activity revealed by checkpoints and churches nestled in caves. “Generations of my predecessors had lived by the Lake,” she writes of Ohrid,…

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