A small island in Prespes lake, Florina

Maria Ristani
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I'm not really sure if I like the lakes. I grew up in the lakeside town - the landscape is familiar - but the stagnant waters can't get used.

In Prespa I discovered a small paradise. Agios Achilles, a tiny island in the Small Prespa, connected to the mainland with a floating bridge about half a mile long.

You walk among huge reeds, and if you're lucky you'll see pelicans and birds landing on the water next to you.

The local people told us that in winter you don't need the bridge. The lake freezes and you can get to Agios Achilles walking on the frozen surface. I'm sure it will be magical.

The island is haunted by legends. It is rumored that in Prespa sank the Hellenistic settlements of Lyca and when the waters are peaceful, the locals see the ruins at the bottom of the lake.

The eleven houses on the island remain unchanged - if someone built one, an other house will be demolished. You are surprised for a moment. There are few houses from stone and there is green everywhere.

I imagine children playing undisturbed, do somersaults and slides from one side of the island to the other. I discover beautiful paths of green as you drive from one church of the island to the other (the churches are 5 and built different periods ).

The village's small cemetery next to Agios George touched me and it built in 15th century. I singled out the Basilica of Agios Achilles, stately and unfinished reminding the dream of the Bulgarian Tsar Samuil who wanted Prespa the center of a new empire.

The only hostel on the island serves coffee where you can enjoy the view of the lake. It was so quiet,drinking a hot chocolate and emptying of thoughts. Everybody told me that it was so soon for that isolation.

I am going to move here some day!


About the Author

Maria Ristani

I was born in a city surrounded by mountains, with a lot of fog and lake waters. This feelings of suffocation is probably making me wanna escape. I cannot stand routine, i rebel on quite afternoons, i dispise that my balcony looks over other balconies. Travelling is my oxygen. I prepare my luggage with depressed energy. I take trains and airplanes, i feed myself with pictures and speed. I breath. 

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