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Europe » Macedonia » Bitola March 9th 2020

My guesthouse owner gave me a small breakfast before leaving. I had coffee and polenta with cheese. After eating quite a lot of polenta in Romania and finding it pretty bland, I wasn't expecting it to be amazing. However, my hostess has found a way to make it more appetising, by adding cheese. It tasted so much better. After breakfast, I made my way to Ohrid bus station and bought a ticket for the 10 o'clock bus to Bitola. I was quite surprised at how busy the bus was. I had expected it to be quieter. The journey to Bitola only took about an hour and a bit. Bitola bus station is a little out of town and it took me about twenty minutes to walk to my accommodation. I got there before check in, but ... read more
Heraklea Linkestis
Heraklea Linkestis
Heraklea Linkestis

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid March 8th 2020

After one of the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time, I woke up to find my clothes all dry from the night before. Great start to the day, and when I looked out of the window, it looked like the rain had stopped, whether that would last I wasn't too sure, but I was hopeful. I made my way downstairs to enquire if I could get some breakfast. The owner wasn't about the first time I went down, but I tried again later and was in luck. I had a great breakfast of coffee, yogurt, burek, and extra cheese. The burek/banitsa I'd had in Bulgaria on the food tour had been amazing and this one was also amazing, maybe even better. I could happily move to the Balkans to feast on these for ... read more
Ohrid
Ohrid
Robev Family House

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid March 7th 2020

The bus ride from Skopje to Lake Ohrid took about 3 and a bit hours. I enjoyed the views from the bus window as we made our way through Macedonia. I was a bit disorientated when I got out of the bus station, but soon got myself sorted on the right path to my accommodation. I almost missed the place as it was hidden down a side street when google maps said it was on the main street. The hostess was absolutely lovely. I can't speak any Macedonian and she doesn't speak a lot of English, but we were able to muddle through it. She even fed me a plate of veggies and rice porridge as a small lunch. After taking a bit of a rest, I headed out to explore Lake Ohrid. I wasn't staying ... read more
Lake Ohrid
Saint Sophia Church
Saint Sophia Church

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje March 6th 2020

Since I had covered everything that I had wanted to in the city, I decided to head a little further afield. The two main places that are within easy reach of the city are Matka Canyon and Vodno Mountain. Whilst Matka Canyon is no doubt the prettiest. The bus to Vodno Mountain ran more frequently, so I plumped for there. Getting a ticket for the bus appeared to be a bit of a ballache as you cannot buy tickets on the bus and have to buy and pre-load a card with credit. They can only be bought from special green booths which are scattered around the city. The transport company really needs to update their English webpage to make it easier for tourists to figure out how to buy tickets without having to rely on others ... read more
Cable Car
Millennium Cross
View from Vodno Mountain

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje March 5th 2020

After a hearty breakfast, I headed out to join the free walking tour. I am definitely a bit addicted to these tours, but I feel like it gives me a good overview of the city I'm in. This one met in front of Mother Teresa Memorial House. It was a beautiful morning, nice and sunny. There were only about five of us on the tour, which made a nice change after the bigger tours I'd been on in Sofia. We headed off to our first stop, which was at the end of the street. This was the old Skopje Train Station, which has now been turned into a museum. The train station was damaged by an earthquake in 1963 and this meant it was no longer used for its original purpose. I really liked the building, ... read more
Ortodox Church Konstantin and Elena
Warrior on a Horse
Mother Teresa Memorial House

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje March 4th 2020

It was quite an early start as a I retraced my steps from the previous day to Serdika Bus Station. As I got there far too early, I headed over to the other bus terminal for a bit of a mooch around. This one was much better and had shops, places to get food and toilets, and more importantly free wifi. I headed back over to catch my bus and I rather liked how chill it was as I just got on board and no one bothered to check my ticket. The bus wasn't too busy, which is always a bonus and we left bang on time. The bus had wifi, but once we left the city behind that seemed to disappear. I enjoyed the drive through the countryside. It was nice to see what the ... read more
Bulgarian Countryside
Holocaust Museum
Holocaust Museum

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid May 14th 2019

People like to talk in Macedonia and the how much the recipient understands could well be a secondary consideration. We stayed a few days in Ohrid and encountered a succession of extremely talkative taxi drivers, waiters and other hospitality workers all speaking flawless English. A head spinning quantity of information was delivered. Opinions about food, wine quality, social etiquette, viticulture and travel were all imparted. However, away from the towns the wish to engage with travellers does not seem to be just limited the the tourist sector and takes no account of language barriers. The town of Ohrid is well-appointed. The curve of a mile long promenade along the lake side finishes at the old town which forms pile at the base of a promontory jutting into the Lake. Wooden walkways take you around the edge ... read more
City of Lights - Ohrid by Night
Everyone's fave screensaver
Shepherd Trails

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje October 3rd 2018

It’s our final day, so after a shower (shower gel of the day is rosemary and thyme – I smell like I’ve been marinated) we set off on one last motorway trip and one last border crossing (with 4 sets of tolls) to complete our Balkan circuit. We stop on the way out of Nis at Bubanj Hill, site of the retaliatory slaughter of thousands of Yugoslavs by the Nazis. There is a memorial park there now with 3 giant fist sculptures sitting on the hillside. The thing I dislike most about Serbia is the rubbish. When something is finished with, it is immediately discarded in the street, out of the car window etc. There are an empty Fanta can and a crisp packet dumped in the middle of the war memorial. We continue our journey. ... read more
Resistance Memorial Bubanj Park
Resistance Memorial Bubanj Park
War memorial with litter

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid September 13th 2018

After breakfast we return to Skopje. We discover the bus station behind the flyover where we were dropped yesterday, on the other side of a complicated one way system the driver obviously couldn’t be bothered to negotiate. I’m not a big fan of bus travel. I can’t yell “stop” whenever we pass anything interesting that may warrant further investigation/photography. Plus, this particular bus looks like the driver stole it from a museum then got it really, really dirty before deciding to see if it could still manage a trip to Skopje. We do, indeed reach Skopje, pick up our hire car and set off for Ohrid. It’s a scenic drive through the mountains but takes longer than expected due to a succession of roadworks and one way systems. Finally we reach Ohrid where a quaint, cobbled ... read more
Dinner by lake Ohrid
Sveti Sofija Cathedral
Lake Ohrid boardwalk

Europe » Macedonia » Skopje September 11th 2018

Time for another trip. This time it’s a jaunt round the Balkans. First stop – Skopje, capital of Macedonia. We’re off to a good start with an uneventful flight and shuttle bus into town. We had booked into the Alexandar Square Hotel but were telephoned yesterday to say they were overbooked so could we go to the new Alexandar II instead. This is a longer walk from the bus stop. It’s also 10 degrees warmer than not-so-sunny Bournemouth, so we haul our overdressed selves and our luggage to Alexandar II to be told we have a room at Alexandar the original after all. So it’s back the way we came, somewhat sweaty and unimpressed. But it’s a nice, boutique hotel right on the main square and after a freshen up, we set forth to discover Skopje, ... read more
Mother Teresa memorial chapel
Mother Teresa chapel stained glass
God’s crane




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