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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 42.7105, 23.3238
I have had an interesting 60th birthday!! It started in Ohrid, progressed through lunch in Skopje and ended in dinner in Sofia. As we left on the bus from Ohrid, our tour guide, Piotor, announced my birthday and handed out the words to a Polish song, "We wish you to live one hundred years". All the bus joined in !!! We drove through the Macedonian mountains towards Skopje, the capital city. We arrived there at 11. Walked to see the old city across the stone bridge into the Turkish quarter. There was the old Turkish Baths building which is now an Art Gallery and an old Byzantine church. Wandered through the Turkish Bazaar but there was little to tempt us.
Wandered back to a restaurant our guide had recommended and found ourselves swamped in a sea of Netherlands supporters here for a Macedonia /Netherlands soccer match.
After a huge and tasty lunch we returned to the bus. We had a 2 hour journey to the border which was rather tedious, (I slept most of the way). We passed through towns where most of the factories established in the socialist era are now abandoned and rotting as they are no longer
We had an hour's wait at the border between Macedonia and Bulgaria while our passports were checked etc..
Then another hour's drive into Sofia. The hotel is very modern but the meal provided was very ordinary. However, Piotor had organised a birthday cake and sparkler for me which was most appreciated. We also celebrated with a couple of bottles of local sparkling white!! We then retired to the bar and had another wine with a couple of friends we have met on the tour. All in all, a great day and an interesting way to become officially OLD!!!!
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