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Europe » Macedonia » Skopje August 30th 2014

In the twilight of early morning the cliff-side swallows trill us awake. They are the first creatures to pierce the canyon quiet. Too late to sleep and too early to head off to feed they kill the time in between, preening and gossiping alongside their cliff-mates high above the water. The lake is more viscous for the night chill. Cohesive as quicksilver and icy-still, the mirror-like surface is a panorama of inverted Karsks and singing birds. It is 6 AM. I'm hanging out the window and breathing it all in with a shiver. We are in Macedonia. The place is called Matka; 'The Womb'. We found it by accident. We had planned a short stay in Skopje; Macedonia's capitol before moving north to Belgrade. The Tripadvisor map showed us the locations of Skopje's hotels. I noticed ... read more
Dejan and Mike
Hiking Girl
Karen's Picture of Matka

Europe » Macedonia July 26th 2014

Amy's time in Macedonia was split between three main areas. We started off in Skopje, one of the quietest capital cities we've ever seen. Even on a Saturday night, the centre seemed quite serene, and at the height of rush hour the traffic never really got busy. Despite the sleepiness, Skopje has a lot to offer and we enjoyed a few days of exploring. Amy particularly loved the old Turkish quarter, mainly because she got to eat some excellent kebabs. She also really enjoyed a cable car ride up Vodno mountain to the 'Millennium Cross'. The views across the city were nice, but even better were the swings in the playground at the summit! We also took a trip out to the Matka Canyon, a really interesting gorge - and we finally found all the crowds ... read more
Meat feast in Skopje
Hiking the Matka Canyon
Enjoying the view over Skopje

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje July 19th 2014

The capital of Macedonia, Skopje has a LOT of statues. And sun, like most of the Balkans in the summer. When I got here, I decided to change my plane ticket to come home a week earlier. I realized I could still see what I wanted to see and be home with more time to relax before going back to work. A win-win. I couldn't get to the airline office before they closed, but I talked to them on the phone from the hostel, and they could change my ticket, but I would have to pay for it on the phone with the airline in Belgrade directly. I wasn't sure how to do this, because skype was outdated on my work computer and I have no access to update it. But then this German guy let ... read more
Gladiators?
Downtown
Downtown

Europe » Macedonia » Bitola July 18th 2014

I came here a bit on a whim, in order to see another Macedonian town. It's pretty cute and I really liked the guesthouse where I stayed.... read more
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid July 17th 2014

The last day in Ohrid I took a boat ride of the lake that went to Sveti Naum, the same monastery. It was an hour and a half ride, and I was really doing it for the boat ride. What I didn't know was that the boat would stay there for 3.5 hours before coming back. People were planning the whole day at the beach there. I had no suit and no towel, no idea that this would be the case. The guy who rented me the room neglected to mention this. But anyway, I looked at the place again and then found a beach and sat under a tree reading instead of swimming. It was still nice, just not ideal. But overall, a really great area to visit.... read more
Boat ride
Boat ride
Boat ride past old village

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid July 15th 2014

This was my first stop in Macedonia, and one of my favorite places of the trip. Getting here from Saranda, however, was not my favorite. In itself, getting here was quite an accomplishment. There is only one bus a day I could take, to a town called Korca, and it left from the bus station at 5:30am. The guy who ran the hotel assured me that I could just stand on the road five minutes from the hotel and flag the bus down and it would be fine. No need to go all the way there - and it was a ways - or buy a ticket ahead of time. I believed him, knowing how this works, but I was still nervous I would miss it. Luckily, there is not much traffic at that time, and ... read more
Old amphitheatter
Lake Ohrid
Peahen and baby

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje August 8th 2013

Being a travel agent in London, I get so sick of sending my clients to Tenerife or Malaga. So when I organise my own trips I am immediately drawn to the lesser known, more adventurous places. So for a couples weekend, rather than go to Paris or Rome I decided that we’d go to the Balkans – starting and ending in Macedonia. Macedonia is one of these places that is misconceived as being a terrible holiday choice. For that reason I obviously wanted to go, as I knew I would be able to avoid the average British tourist. We flew into Skopje, the capital of what is technically called the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. I know this because every time I called the country simply ‘Macedonia’ my Greek friend would kick me and then correct ... read more

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid July 23rd 2013

From Blato border near Debar, Macedonia to Skopje via Ohrid. Ah to be in Macedonia again. A homecoming of sorts and for me a place where wonderful childhood memories were made – learning to blow bubbles, donkey rides, long grass, catching fire flies, sunshine. The reality of returning to Macedonia was not quite like that. In fact, not at all. Yes there was sunshine (a little too strong), yes there was long grass and I may have even seen a horse and cart. But that is where the comparisons end. Debar, the first town I got to after the border is a small, bustling, down-at-heel place and, to my eyes at least, in need of some government intervention of the monetary kind. Then again, my childhood memories were not made in this place and to be ... read more
Kachamak
Another flower
Mountain road to Galichnik

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid » Ohrid June 26th 2013

Around 9am, I woke up from a nice sleep. It's my last day in Ohrid and I had to check out of the guesthouse by 11am (Valentin Apartments, around $7 for a single room/shared bath). I am already feeling a bit saddened since I really enjoyed my stay in Macedonia and I greatly appreciated all the the hospitality I encountered, not to mention the country as a whole, including Ohrid, is relatively inexpensive. My bus to Budva, Montenegro does not leave until 10:40pm (around 1400 denars one way) so I have another full day to enjoy the town one more time for the road. I packed all of my bags and kept them in a friend's room and returned to the home of the family I had met the night before! While waiting for one of ... read more

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid » Ohrid June 25th 2013

Hello again! It has been a while since I have last typed up anything so I decided to free myself from the laziness that has been preventing me from contributing to this site! I actually landed in Skopje June 20th so I'll have to catch up on the previous days! Fast forward to June 25, 2013. After a long day in Bitola, I returned to my base of Ohrid. Feeling hungry I decided to catch a bus to town to grab a bite to eat. As I was pondering over which direction I would take I stopped in front of a house and asked two young teens in passing where I need to catch the bus. After a few hand gestures they pointed behind me (to the house I was standing in front of). Confused, I ... read more
Ohrid 2013




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