Happiness is . . .

This post was originally written on October 4, 2010 when I was visiting Macedonia.
Me, happy in the village of Dihovo with my Macedonian and American friends around the table enjoying dinner together - great food and friends - one of those magical cross-cultural moments.


A few more quick pics from Dihovo before we head to new sites.    

Church in village of Dihovo just outside of Bitola
Church in rural village of Dihovo
This storybook house is across from Villa Patrice in Dihovo.Each time I see it I think of Hansel and Gretel, bez (without) the witch. The Babas (Grandmas) here and the magic of the nearby mountains, are all good.

Babas abound and are always willing to share a smile. 

Seeing old friends and making new ones – has been a special part of the fun. Sharing it all with Americans, who have never been here before and seeing their excitement and enjoyment – priceless.      A walk down the Shirok Sokak in Bitola led us south to the park and a nearby village-like community where we then followed the road (less than 1 km) to Heraclea, a town founded by Philip II of Macedonia in the middle of the 4th century BC.  As a Peace Corps volunteer, I spent many a sunny afternoon reading at the top of the Roman theater where gladiators and lions and Christians engaged in violent combat centuries later.  The expansive view and historic experience is mesmerizing.   

Heraclea Lyncestis, ancient town first built by Phillip II of Macedonia  
The dark grey seats are original
Click here for a virtual tour tour of Heraclea.
Heraclea Lyncestis was first developed in 4th century B.C
Heraclea Lyncestis was a stop on the ancient Roman Road, Via Egnatia
"Box seats" at Heraclea - the Roman Period
Beautiful mosaics, did I mention they are ancient?
Religious messages and amazing colors.
The themes vary, the artistic quality remains intact.  
Love this one, wonder what it means????
And this one . . .
Ancient artifacts at Heraclea are everywhere, and out in the open.

And, because no day – sightseeing or not – in Macedonia is complete without a salad . . .  

Vegetables roasted to perfection. Stuffed grape leaves included.
Eggplant, even alone, is still perfect and available just about everywhere.
That’s all for now folks.  Thanks again to my fellow travelers in Macedonia for sharing their photos.  See you soon.
From 2006-2009, Patrice Koerper lived in Macedonia as one of only 425 volunteers over the age of 50 serving worldwide in the United States Peace CorpsIn 2010 Patrice Koerper returned to Macedonia with American guests for a special cultural tourism program she developed, “Experience Macedonia: Enjoy Europe as it used to be”. 

Patrice is returning to Macedonia again in 2011 for six weeks – September through October. She is offering her unique 2 to 4 weeks cultural tours to a small group of friendly, flexible, adventurous travelers. In 2012 Patrice is planning life coaching retreats in Macedonia and Greece.

For more information on these exciting travel and life-changing opportunities, please email her at patricekoerper@gmail.com or call her at 813-719-0679.

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