North Macedonia


Entering at Deve Bair border crossing, North Macedonia — August 2, 2021


Fountain on Macedonia Square, Skopje, North Macedonia — August 3, 2021


National Gallery, Skopje, North Macedonia — August 4, 2021


Dome ceiling of the National Gallery, Skopje, North Macedonia — August 4, 2021

Downtown view, Skopje, North Macedonia — August 7, 2021


Fountain, Skopje, North Macedonia — August 4, 2021


National Gallery, Skopje, North Macedonia — August 4, 2021

North Macedonia 2021 Journal

Monday, August 2 — Skopje

Cross border, drive to hotel, check in to room 206. Walked through the massive and up to the Skopje Fortress for excellent views and very serene and sentimental sunset. As I was leaving the fort, the call to prayer began, and by chance I walked through the grounds of mosque once the prayers ended. I hear boom, boom bass and find a wedding going on at . I then walk around the Turkish bazaar and find a very local-looking spot called Kebapcilnica KOSMOS, where I order what everyone else is having: sujic/sucuk kebab. I continue walking around more and see many people in festive moods. There are also many Roma people begging, playing music and letting their kids run free. They seem quite happy yet living a tough life at the same time. As I begin to walk back to my hotel, I see so many people heading into the Turkish bazaar. I am very impressed, being a Monday night, but I later learned it was the evening of the national holiday called Ilinden, or Republic Day.

Tuesday August 3 — Scope

Chill day in the morning. Long bike ride in the afternoon including a stop at the bus station to suss out the next parts. There are buses that go everywhere form this bus station. There is an hourly to Lake Ohrid. To Prizren, it’ a 4-hour bus ride that leaves at 11:30am and 4:00pm, daily. (The return to Skopje is at 9am and 3pm.) Tirana (580 denar) is eight hours away at 8am, 9am and 9pm. Podgorica bus leaves at 9pm and lasts 10 hours. The Istanbul bus via Ekspres Tur departs at 7pm and arrives there at 7am. I decide on the Kosovar bus, but they tell me to simply buy the ticket on the bus the next day, "No sell out."

In the evening, I hit up the Turkish bazaar again. I just love it there.

Wednesday, August 4 — Bus to Prizren

One last wonder to the Turkish bazaar to buy my shirt and the national museum in the old Ottoman bath house. Very impressive. Then I taxi over to the bus station and we take off at 11:30am. The border crossing goes well, but apparently there's no record of me entering the country. I mention the system was down and they handwrote my entry status. It seems to be no big deal as the officer stamps my passport and waves my through. No biggie! What a chill country! I enter Kosovo.

Friday, August 6 — Lake Ohrid

Drive from Prizren to Ohrid, Check into room 302 with excellent balcony, Chill. Sunset walk along the boardwalk, Outstanding DJ with violin player

Saturday, August 7 — Lake Ohrid

Breakfast at hotel, check out. Check into room 103 at Villa Urbana. Walk around town, mushroom pizza for lunch. Swim and epic sunset walk along boardwalk passed wedding and acoustic band. Played stir it up in the stand up bass. Dinner with excellent Macedonian band called Select Band, at Nova Riviera Hotel Хотел Нова Ривиера. The audience was singing and dancing along to all the Balkan classics. The food was terrible though, with a super salty country pork in salty broth and so/so Macedonian salad.

Sunday, August 8 — Lake Ohrid

Move back to City Palace, room 404. Lunch of Fish soup and Greek salad at royal view restaurant. Sleep. Swim at jetty. At some fried local small fish, 15 with garlic and curry sauce. Walk up to the fort, but it was closed, walked to the Serbian church, Saw Jazz band, walked around town. Had excellent chicken gyro.

Monday, August 9 — Lake Ohrid

Please update

Tuesday, August 10 — Drive to Tirana

I wake and have a nice breakfast. The hotel finds me a driver and we drive along the shore of Lake Ohrid, into Albania and onto Tirana.