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Macedonia

Macedonia

Curious what backpackers do in Macedonia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day31

    This places is like a scene out of a bad horror movie.

    Macedonia, different to anything we'd seen as of yet. The roads were windy. The hungover people nauseous. The people riding bikes and horse and cart real. Remnants of communism still present. And a very very expensive lunch...

    We crossed the border in to Macedonia and stopped off in the capital of Skopje. The art district was pretty cool. Bridges with ancient and long dead musicians, religious figures and monarchs welcomed us to the capital as well as a giant statue water feature of Alexander the Great. It was pretty cool and very drastically different to the countryside we had driven through. A lot of the buildings in the main square were still under construction.

    We broke off for lunch, we went a little crazy. A main meal and drink each, fries and chicken fingers. 8 euro each. The food was pretty decent. The poor waiter was probably having a fit with a number of us in there.

    I have to mention the number of stray dogs we've been seeing especially throughout Eastern Europe. They're literally everywhere. They generally seem friendly enough but I'm not one to pat a random stray dog. In western Europe you walk into city squares and are pounced on by African men trying to sell you souvenirs cheap umbrellas and bottles of water. In Eastern Europe you're greeted by stray dogs.

    After lunch we loaded back onto the coach and headed off for our campsite in Struga on the edges of lake Ohrid.

    We were the only people in the entire campsite. Only people. One staff member.

    It was really creepy I'll be honest. Lines and lines of abandoned campers lined the way to the hot water less bathroom block. Once the sun set there was literally 0 chance that I was going to go back there. No bloody way.

    The campers chained and broken reminded me of stories I'd seen from the crime Chanel where men keep kidnapped women chained up. I kid you not we were all waiting for the serial killers to descend.

    After about a half an hour failed attempt at trying to start a fire we made pentagrams and pyramids to get into the whole cult and horror movie feeling of the camp site.

    After dinner it was straight to bed. I think I tapped out at about 9pm.

    The campsite was full of stray dogs and the all started howling and barking at various points throughout the night and early morning. I'm reasonably sure one slept right outside our tent as well.
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  • Day16

    Not good not good. We spent the night scratching. We brushed our teeth, made the bed, collected the rubbish and did a final scan of everything. We were instructed to leave our key in the room so we did.. we walked downstairs and found the front door locked, we needed the key.
    We were stuck.
    Will once again was far more stressed than me. It really surprises me, I thought I'd be the one having anxiety.
    We waited and luckily one of the residence came down for his morning smoke so he let us out.
    We went to the taxi rank and asked to be taken to Thessaloniki station. He was not happy but agreed. I think he was cranky because it's not a big/long job and they have designated pickup stations so once he dropped us off he would have join the back of the queue again So it's a big waste of time for him. He was a miserable sod and overcharged us but I tipped and extra euro anyway which cheered him up. To his credit he could have said no to us so I'm thankful he drove us.
    We were an hour early for the bus so we waited in the only open coffee shop.
    We couldn't help but notice the difference between counties. It was 7:30 on a weekday and the station hadn't opened yet. There was like 5 people around and this is the main station of the city...
    we waited where we thought we were suppose to - there was a sign with our bus company on it but the rest was in Greek. Eventually after time had past and still no one else had turned up I went searching for another potential bus stop and found one. We rushed over - lucky we checked it was nearly time to go.
    It was only a little shuttle bus type vehicle but we fit.
    When we got to the Greek border our driver took our passports and went inside, they got stamped and we went through. They didn't check to see if the passports matched those on the vehicle lol.
    There was a duty free shop one of the girls on the bus wanted to go to so we stoped there and I made friends with a dog.
    It broke my heart. He was so so so wet. And he was so happy when I game him a pat. I think he was hungry, he tried to get on the bus :( :( I wish I could take him home.
    He must have been so cold.
    I had to pay 50c to use the toilet, Will refused but I couldn't because they had hoarded all the toilet paper -.- it's ridiculous. I really don't think you should have to pay for a toilet. Especially if you are going to get in trouble for going on the street? What if I had no money? So stupid I wish I hadn't paid but the man started getting cross so I caved.
    We've crossed into Macedonia now and within the first 2 kilometers we saw 4 casinos hahah.
    We have both had a small nap - Will is still asleep.
    I think we should arrive soon. I already like Macedonia better, the buildings are like little rundown farm houses. I've seen some chickens and so much grass and lush greenery. Didn't realize how much I like plants until this trip.
    The leaves are a funny lime green color.

    So we arrived and there was this really friendly guy helping our driver get everyone's bags out and he asked if we needed a taxi so we said yes.
    We followed him to his car and he drove us to the hostel. He was hilarious! His English was very clear. He made a few good comments but I think the main one that will stick with me is when he asked us how old we were and we said 24/25 and he responded "oh guys this is the best time of your life, live it. Smoke a joint, eat some ribs, enjoy it! His accent and enthusiasm made it all the more funnier. It was unexpected. He was really lovely so we tipped him 5€.
    He has given us his his number if we have any questions or I suppose if we need a driver we could call him too.
    His name was Toni :)
    We got an upgrade at our hostel so we have an apartment to ourselves. It's really nice. It has a fridge and washing machine which is great!
    The hostel has a fish tank :D
    I was so frighten exhausted so I had a 3 hour snooze while Will researched Macedonia and he updated me when I woke up.
    We hadn't eaten at all today so we went for a walk to the main square looking for a place for dinner.
    I LOVE the main square. They have a ridiculous amount of statues. Like it's beyond stupid.
    Easily 30 in the one place but a big one of Alexander the Great in the middle surrounded by lions and such.
    There was a cool water feature nearby too with colored lights. We walked across the stone bridge and back.
    We found a spot to eat which had traditional Baulkan food.
    Will is regretting his decision to not buy waterproof shoes. He said I jumped the gun buying hiking boots but tonight it was raining and FREEZING and my feet were toasty while his toes were numb.
    We ate an entree of mixed meats that's intended for 4 hehe. We made a solid attempt.
    We tipped our waited the equivalent of 6€ and he was so so ecstatic and appreciated it. He shook both our hands.
    The walk back was COLD.
    I love Macedonia already. We have collected all the brochures from the hostel to have a look at and make plans for the week. We also bought cereal and milk on our way home.
    Honestly though, it's already kicking Greece' ass and I've been here all of 5 minutes.

    I have noticed that there are no stray dogs here. Will has said that he read that out in the villages they hang stray dogs from trees.
    Oh god.
    I pray I don't see it.
    It's forecast to snow in 2 mornings time. Exciting!
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  • Day17

    I don't know why, we haven't even done anything but we are both just so tired. We got up at 12.30 today which yesterday, in Greece would be 1:30 :S
    We ate cereal for breakfast and we are now waiting for our first load of washing to finish before we put on another. I hope I did it right.. it hadn't exploded yet so that's a good start.
    Later today we are thinking of visiting the mother Theresa memorial house.
    We have just contacted a bike tour company who do rides through the country side. Will is really interested in doing it. We also are going to ask reception if we can extend our stay by 3 nights so we have enough time to do all the tours we want to.
    We (ha, me) hung up the washing and put on a second load, organized with Sachin to Skype him later tonight and then went on our way. It's about a 2km walk to the main square. We found the Mother Theresa memorial and I actually really enjoyed it, more than I thought I would. I didn't realize she had been recently made a saint so that's kinda cool.
    It had lots of pictures of her, items such as her head scarf, documents she had written and other things like her certificate of baptism and Nobel peace prize. It had a small chapel too but we didn't go in. We walked back to the main square and had lunch. I had the most DELICIOUS tomato soup!!! I ordered a second bowl and drained it hehe. :D I also caught a Mr Mime on Pokémon go which I have been trying to do since we arrived so I'm very happy. (You can only catch him in Europe). I booked us onto the free tour for Saturday and wrote some reviews on TripAdvisor - im now level 3 haha.
    On the walk home we wanted to buy toilet paper, pegs, conditioner and more napisan sachets.
    Apparently these people do not use conditioner. It surprisingly hard to find. Will also has extremely sore shoulders - partly because he went to the Gym and partly because he is stupid sized and doesn't fit anything; So we got some muscle rub for him too. Everything is so cheap!!!! The cocktails at the lunch place were roughly $4.50 each and the muscle rub was only like $3.
    Woohoo!
    We're back home and we have just finished talking to Sachin. He is doing good :)
    I've hung the 2nd load out - the first load has practically dried because the apartment is so warm!
    Just booked us onto a half day tour of "Skopje's surrounding beauties"
    We went over to reception and have booked a few more days here so we will now check out on Wednesday AND we get to keep our upgraded room for the same price ( well technical 2€ a day more but big woop)
    they printed off our tour receipts for us too :)
    YAYAYAY so keen for tomorrow, I think I'll be getting the thermals out though.
    We got told we have a maintenance person coming tomorrow to fix our shower door because at the moment half is missing which makes a big mess on the floor so we are quite pleased :)
    Went out to dinner at this burger place Will wanted to try. It cost 99 Denar each which is 1.6€. BARGAIN! Burger was average but for the price is was amazing!
    It is so so cold! My phones weather app says it's 5 degrees but feels like 2. I have to agree with it.
    I really like the juice we bought yesterday. It's tropical flavor but a thinner texture than normal juice.
    We have to do another load of washing because we forgot to wash Wills disgusting gym shirt because it was in its own quarantine section. It smells so bad.
    I think I put too much napisan in before because some of the clothes have come out with white powder type stains on them so we will wash those shirts again too.
    We got our Wills GoPro and are charging it for tomorrow and looking at his old photos from his caravan trip to Cairns with Tim. There is a great video he got of him swimming after a reef shark.

    I am doing my first iCloud backup ever right now and so happy about it. I thought the day would never come :,) I was able to change my Apple ID so all my past problem are gone!!! :D
    Off to bed shortly :)
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  • Day18

    Our shower fixing guy hadn't arrived before we left so we hid the laptop.
    We walked and got more money out, had lunch then went to find our tour meeting spot - we walked through Old Baazar and I can't wait to go back and explore it (the old main square). We were told to meet in the car park on fortress kale. This instruction was not helpful and we spent about 30 minutes stressed not knowing if we were in the right place or not because let's just say the "carpark" is not a legit space. It's more like where people felt like putting there car. There was a mosque nearby so there was loud prayers blaring over a speaker. We were in the right place and first to arrive. An English couple joined us next, they were nice. We waited for 2 Canadian ladies to turn up. They had a fantastic reason for being late though - the Princess of Thailand is staying in there hotel and and the hotel went into lockdown for her arrival and wouldn't let them out. An unexpected but very valid reason lol.
    We picked up another couple who are very odd, don't speak much and both have bowl hair cuts.
    First we drove to millennium cross. Apparently the overworked staff who press a button to operate the cable cars take 30 minute breaks every half hour... so we had to wait and the tour had a coffee in a shop nearby. The hot chocolate I had was a packet mix not stirred in properly :/
    We went up the cable cars with the British couple and our guide. It takes about 8-9 minutes to reach the top. The cross was built in 2011 to celebrate 2000 years of Jesus and the cable car was added in 2011. Construction of the cross is not completely finished yet though - they are building a resturant. There was play equipment and a spectacular view!! I WAS BEYOND FREEZING THOUGH. I was wearing my thermal top, a long sleeve shirt and my windbreaker jacket but had to get out my big boofy jacket - I was still cold!!!
    There was a dog at the top of the mountain which surprised me. We went back down the cable car and took the bus to a church - Will became very grandad Pickering on the Bus. He asked if it was a working church and was told yes. He then went on to very LOUDLY tell everyone on the bus that that was wrong and as a Christian he shouldn't have to paid yada yada yada making a small scene. It was a touch embarrassing.
    The church had beautiful frescos in it. It cost 120 denar each to enter. The paint had such strong colour and it hadn't been restored so even more impressive. There was goats me and Will wanted to pat but we didn't :(
    Next up was canyon Matka. It was exquisite. The water was so blue but it was so cold - I had trouble taking photos because my fingers couldn't really move. We had the choice to sit in the resturant, go for a walk on one of the trails or take a boat to a cave, we did the latter. We were joined by 2 other guys. 1 of them had just had a beer and was doing disgusting beer burps -.-
    The cave wasn't really worth the trip but the boat ride was enough in itself. I loved going through the gorge. Apparently it's known for its butterflies but unfortunately it was too cold to see any.
    I liked the people on our tour and our guide. They were super friendly. The bob cut people not so much though but I don't think English was their first language so they are excused.
    As we were leaving canyon matka was saw a traditional Albanian Wedding celebration ( or so we think) they were all dancing and wearing fancy outfits. It looked very gypsy-like but they had the Albanian flag. We were suppose to get dropped off at the Macedonia gate but apparently there is a demonstration that takes place at 5pm everyday and all the streets get closed by the police. We haven't realized cause we have been going everywhere by foot.
    So our bus dropped us close enough and our guide stayed with us to walk us to the main square.
    Macedonia hasn't had a government since December 11. It's obviously a complicated issue but from what the guide said is everyone was angry cause the government has spent so much money on pointless things like the 700 statues which is ridiculous when 1/3 of people are below the poverty line.
    She said something about Albanian being made a national language too - not sure if the protest was for or against that point but I (granted I don't know much on the subject) don't think it should be. The argument they have is that 40% of Macedonian citizens are Albanian but I think if 40% of Australia was Chinese and I was told Mandarin should be a national language I'd be outraged too.
    Walking through the demonstration was fun. Lots of flags and thousands of people.
    I like that they do it everyday AFTER work. I think that shows a glimpse into what type of people they are - hard working and not just having a whinge.
    We ate dinner at the resturant from the first night again. Will ordered a chunk of cheese. It's not why he thought it was going to be,
    but it was a literal slab of cheese.
    I had curry chicken and it was great. I wanted a dessert, Will didn't think he could finish one on his own - I thought this meant he would have 1 or 2 bites of mine but ended up eating half of my crepe -.-
    HAVE I MENTIONED IT IS COLD.
    At the hostel we did 2 loads of washing cause the first one must have had a tissue in it.
    We then watch Hamish and Andy gap year videos .
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  • Day19

    Will finished all the cereal last night so we had to buy breakfast/lunch - we went for the cheap option and went back to 'burger friends'
    I don't understand why no one puts salt on their chips.
    We arrived at the meeting spot a half hour early so we waited - at first in the shade but then in the sun cause we were cold again.
    Our tour guide, Zoran arrived - his teeth were awful! Rotten, half missing and I think the top ones he did have was a plate of sorts. He did spit a bit too - apart from that distracting feature he was great - super friendly and spoke English clearly enough:) we waited a little, but because he changed his usual tour time he didn't expect anyone to show - we only knew about the change of time because we booked and received an email - but the website actually specifies that you don't need to book. So lucky we did. A Spanish man came over and enquired about the free tour umbrella and joined too.
    Our first stop was mother Theresa's birth place - the 1963 earthquake destroyed the house but there are gold outlines on the floor to mark where it stood. There is also a tree that she planted too.
    Next up was an arch, variety of statues and parliament building. The parliament building still had some signs of the protests from last year. They didn't graffiti like most people, instead they covered the building in paintballs hahah.
    We went to the old train station which is now museums and had some of the Thousands of statues explained.
    Next we went to the main square - that ridiculously large Alexander the Great statue cost the government 9 million euros - no wonder they are cranky.
    We looked at stone bridge and learnt about the explosives that were hidden in there during the war, and looked at another 2 bridges one covered in significant Macedonian artists and the other important Macedonian figures be it politics or philosophy etc. Most of the city is new because in 1963 there was a massive earthquake which destroyed 80% of the city.
    we went through the old bazaar to reach fortress kale. We went inside today but there want much to see, it's still under construction. We went to a mosque (the one making a racquet yesterday) and then we went back through the old bazaar again where our guide, Zoran bought us some traditional Turkish sweets - delightful! Everyone else didn't like them as much so I got 3! ^.^
    The Spanish dude - who btw was a knob at the start had warmed up and bought a sweet for himself and offered me a bite - it wasn't chocolate like expected but full of dates or similar. The old bazaar is my new favorite spot. It honestly looks like a theme park with matching shop fronts and clean streets but with people selling silly things.
    Back in the day there was a designated street for each thing but now there is only one still doing that tradition which is the street selling gold/jewelry which we walked down.
    The Spanish dude said bye to us, we tipped 1000 denar which is about 16 euro (the tour was free in theory - it's all tipped based) then we sat at a shop Zoran recommended. He came and sat with us for a while. He really is lovely but makes too many jokes haha and many of them sexual - the Spanish man and Will found them funnier than I did lol.
    I had a traditional salad called a shopska * salad.
    It's tomato, cucumber and onion covered in white cheese.
    We were meant to go on a pub crawl but we went to the meeting point and no one was there. So we have now strolled through the city and are stopped at traditional Turkish place in the old bazaar.
    Will is pretty devo.
    We had traditional Turkish tea, it needed a lot of sugar to be yum. Will liked it and ordered another one but we got it on the house. :)
    We also had some Melon hookah which was yum.
    I feel uncomfortable, not unsafe but uncomfortable. I feel like my hair an eye colour really give me away and a lot of people look at me.
    There were a lot of beggar kids walking around.
    We gave a big tip again because the waiters were really nice and there money is worth squat. He was so appreciative and supposed.
    I plan on buying dog/cat food tomorrow cause I can't deal with all the sad animals :(
    We are currently watching Bear Grylls and will go to bed soon.
    We both have obvious wind chafing on our faces.
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  • Day20

    Woke up to the sounds of Will making noises to Jaxon on Skype.
    I was so beyond happy because when I finally got a change to get my face into frame Jaxon leant in as if to try and eat my nose - I'm interpreting this as recognition <3 he didn't try to do it to Will. Our little thing hahahah
    I miss him and my cat. The 2 things that don't miss me at all.
    After we spoke to Jess I spoke to mum and dad for an hour which was great - told them all about Macedonia and how much we like it. No real news on there end except for dad continuing to train for Kokoda track - I'm honestly very proud of him.
    We said bye then headed into town - as much as I don't mind walking, I am getting over the 2.2km walk to town. It's not convenient - we walked a couple of hundred meters before Will decided to run back and use the toilet at home and so I took the opportunity to buy 2 bags of cat food and some chews for dogs. I also got blue Fanta which has a picture of a lemon and flower on the front and tastes how toilet cleaner smells.
    It was drinkable though.
    We ate lunch at a traditional Macedonian place and it was eh. I had the traditional salad again which was great but the chicken I had for my main was bleh. Will had a sort of patty and didn't like his either.
    We walked across the bridge to the Jewish holocaust memorial. It was free entry - as you walk in you are hit with hundreds of victims faces.
    Of the 7000 people from Skopje who were carted away in ww2, none returned. There are no Jews in the city anymore.
    There was a carriage/friet train on display that was used to transport the people, artworks and poems.
    A section of the memorial was filled with artworks by a boy/man who's story is - his mother gave birth to him outside of Skopje for the reasons of cleaner air - it was during that time everyone was taken - the family returned and everyone screamed at them to run and hide. They are the only known Jews to have escaped. The artworks are his memories as a boy hiding and although not at a concentration camp, the trauma and fear.

    Upstairs was history of Jewish persecution throughout history and then the 3rd floor was more pictures of victims and information about the holocausts effect on Skopje. It was very humbling and I was close to tears on several occasions when imagining their fear.
    We didn't speak a word to each other the entire time.
    After wards we went to old town to try and buy more of the delicious Turkish sweets/Pastry from the tour but her shop was shut :(
    It started to sprinkle so we quickly walked home. We bought some groceries on the way and had a nap hahah it must be the weather. There is no valid reason for us to both be so buggered.
    Once we woke up we had cereal for dinner and I sorted out my cat food so it will be easier to access if I come across a stray.
    I really need to wash my hair but the shower still hasn't been fixed and I just think water will go everywhere if I try.
    We where going to put Wills clothes in to the dry cleaners today but they were closed.
    We also had a look at trains to lake Ohrid but it was too complicated so we are going to ask reception to help us organize it tomorrow.
    Will must have really enjoyed the holocaust museum because he has been looking up concentration camps all evening. We watched a 45 minute Auschwitz documentary which was really interesting. I'm looking forward to visiting.
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  • Day21

    Instead of Jaxon, today I woke up to Will speaking to Helen.
    Afterwards we collected the tissue covered clothing and walked to the local laundromat- neither worker spoke English but after a game of charades I think they understood what we wanted - I guess we will find out tomorrow when we pick them up.
    We then went to reception and asked for help on how to get to get to Ohrid lake on Wednesday - they said that you couldn't buy them online and that we had to go to the bus station to buy tickets. We walked to the main square and decided to have lunch at a new place. It looked a little fancy but it's food was mediocre at best.
    I finally tried the infamous 'Alexandria' Macedonian red wine. I found it to be very dry but was pleased that it came in a mini bottle so I didn't have to finish it - I've stored the remaining half in my bag.
    On our walk I came across the first stray cat :) it was hesitant at first but eventually realized I was trying to feed it and came over :D yay!
    The bus stop was a fair walk away but doable.
    The lady we bought our tickets off wasn't the strongest English speaker so we are going to check with reception when we get home that our tickets are going to the right place.
    On the way back we popped into a big shopping center - Will bought an SD card for his phone so he has more storage for photos and we finally got phone numbers! We don't really know how the system works... I know that once we leave Macedonia it will count as international calls/texts but I'm relieved because the lady in Bulgaria will need to be able to contact us when she has to pick us up from the station to go pick roses. Also a lot of the reservations for things have required a phone number so I'm happy to have a European one.
    We don't really know if we will be able to top up our credit if we go over but at least I can be called. We are with a company called vip. I know that they are also in Austria and Croatia. So that's something.
    We then went to the old town to see if the the Turkish sweet ladies store was open - it was !! :D and it was only 50 denar! A stupid gypsy lady was asking for money and I said no like 10 times but she is smart cause she knew I had to get my wallet out to pay so she stayed put. I gave her 10 denar to make her piss off.
    I bought a Macedonia magnet too :) it was only 1€ ^.^
    We went back to the Turkish place to have tea and to pass time more hookah hahaha this time grape which is my favorite flavor but I was sad because they meant grape like black currant, not grape grape. I don't like black currant :( but I persevered :D haha.
    We were going to go get Will a beer but the place looked too cold so we ended back at the tomato soup place woohoo! But before we did I found 2 more cats to feed. There was a black mangy one who I fed first but I don't think he knew it was food. It wasn't until the other one started eating did he figure it out.
    Will said "come on Harry they are coming from everywhere" which was a tad dramatic, only one more cat appeared - I fed it too :D so pleased with myself ^.^
    I had a cocktail with my soup.
    We walked home and I fed 4 more cats :) :)
    We have now booked accommodation for the lake. We will be 8km away from the city but will have a view of the lake and can canoe to town hahah.
    I think I might have diabetes from the treats (don't know there actual name) but I feel funny.
    I have a sugar headache.
    Macedonia had a ridiculous amount of pollen in the air and we both are sneezing more than usual.
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  • Day22

    Was up half the night with bad heartburn - too many sweets haha so I was tired.
    We went and collected the washing - the lady was so cute - she didn't understand we were trying to tip her and she was freaking out that she didn't have the right change. It took a few attempts before she understood.
    We then took our washing home - it's so neatly wrapped and folded :) we then we headed into town.
    I fed some cats along the way. Teehee.
    We decided to have lunch before going to the museum - Will had the best pizza he has had in Europe so far. I got the shopska salad again which I'm loving. It's tomato and cucumber covered in white cheese. The cheese acts as a dressing.
    We then went to the Macedonian archaeological museum which was fantastic! Probably the best museum I've been to. I found out after, we paid extra for entry because we are tourists but oh well, it was still only 300 denar each (locals it's 100 denar)
    The first room had skulls and then above it, clay remodellings and drawings of what the people would have looked like. It also had a shit-tonne of coins which were cute looking and explanations of the different values.
    The next room had your basic old tomb stones and marble figurines - it also had a replica of Alexander the Greats sarcophagus which was cool.
    Upstairs was the best bit. It was two separate floors - the walls were covered in paintings which were scenes of the people using the archaeological artifacts that are in those glass cases (that after you have seen 10 you've seen them all and stop really reading.) the pictures really added colour to the room and help spark your imagination.
    There was a few other skeletons throughout with what they were buried with still with them. I always like that kind of stuff. It's weird thinking it was an actual person.
    On the upper floor they also integrated wax figurines of important Macedonian figures which was also very engaging. There was weapons, jewelry and a kings carriage.
    It had relevant background music playing the whole time which added to the effect and in some spots it had digital pictures on the walls.
    It was just colorful and engaging. I actually really like it and I think Will did too, he didn't try to rush out and because of the other types of displays he didn't have to read as much :)
    The staff were annoying though. We were the only ones there so they followed us everywhere - I understand why they did but it was still too close for comfort. They could have been more sly.
    We then went to get Will his craft beers which he had been dying to try. He tried 3. They all sucked. With the 3rd one he asked for something but they didn't have it so they gave him something else - it was dark beer which he doesn't like so he barely touched it. It smelt like Vegemite..
    I had a mojito.
    Will has also been dying to try the casinos because they are everywhere.
    We tried 1 place but it was closed so we walked 100m and went to the next one lol.
    We played roulette and the pokies.
    A standard loss but we hardly spent anything - all in the experience. Will was horrified that they didn't serve alcohol so we went to an Irish pub. While Will had more drinks I went cat hunting. I found several more :D
    We then went back to our favourite Turkish tea place.
    On the way Will found a dog which we both petted and I tried to feed but he didn't really know what to do with a shmacko.
    We had so much tea, it really grows on you. Will was embarrassing at first - too many beers hahaha he just talks to loudly.
    We paid the bill and Tipped a few euro and the guy was so thankful we got 2 more teas on the house. I think that's why we both like the place so much - beautiful workers with genuine gratitude. Good service, tea and hookah too.
    On our walk home we found 2 more dogs which I fed :)
    The stall owners nearby laughed at me then spoke to me in clear English. Apparently the dog had just finished eating 6 sausages hahahah good puppy <3
    We took some photos in the main square with the selfie stick then walked home and continued my cat hunting :)
    We've packed our bags and are keen for Ohrid lake tomorrow :)
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  • Day23

    Woke up and packed up our final things, returned our key, payed and had reception order us a taxi.
    We probably should have left a little earlier because there was way more traffic than expected.. but we made it onto the bus in time
    :)
    Ew, what a horrible journey. The driver should be fired. Not only were the roads so bendy but he was thumping the break pedal.
    Me and Will both felt so sick. And sleepy.
    We had a 10 minute stop essentially for the driver to eat because I'm quite confident he would have driven off without us had I not been watching him. We sped back to the bus just in time.
    The food was good but we didn't get to finish it. We asked for lemonade but we're given a bitter lemon which was disgusting and tasted exactly as the name suggests.
    I think I slept for maybe 30 mins out of the 3.5hr drive. I kept banging my head against the wall with his terrible driving.
    I was getting very agitated but nothing compared to Will. He was quickly losing it.
    We did finally arrive - at which time the bus driver nearly ran into us - he was a real dick.
    We needed to sit for a while because we both wanted to vomit. Will had a cappuccino in a local store so we could sit and have access to the toilets.
    After, we caught a taxi from Ohrid to our hostel.
    Our taxi driver was great - we are possibly going to call him later in the week to take us for a private tour around the lake which crosses into Albania.
    Our hostel is cute, like little handmade cottages.
    We had a 4 hour sleep then finally were ready to get going.
    We met an English guy (not really fussed by him) and went to dinner at a local resturant together - pretty uneventful. The lake is STUNNING. And huge. Over 300m deep.
    On the way to the resturant there was a dog i patted so it happily followed us for a long while.
    Back at the hostel I had a shower and FINALLY washed my hair. The shower is a little bit better than the last place but still not great. Will doesn't fit this one either hahaha.
    We then went up and sat with a few people around a table. One girl was polish and the others worked at the place.
    The others went on a hike today and picked some thyme so we all had a pot of thyme tea :) I quite liked it. Will hated it.
    We then went inside and watched a terrible terrible Macedonian movie. It was so bad I couldn't look away.
    The polish girl has given us some spots to visit in Poland so that's exciting :)
    There is a dog here who I had a play with - Labrador :D
    There is a bee in our room but we have lost it now :S I don't want to get stung.
    Our room is small but cosy.
    Today was another waste day. Tomorrow we will hopefully pick up the pace again :)
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  • Day24

    Asked for directions on how to get to town (supposedly 8km away) then caught the bus in. The bus is more like a school bus and the driver didn't give us our change but oh well. It was like 20c. We dropped most of the bus people off at a school, it was like 12:30.. not sure what the go is but it looked like they were just about to start school?
    If school in Australia started at 12:30 I would have been on time more often.
    The town is friggen stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am in love.
    Cobbled streets, cute stores and trees that back onto the most beautiful scenic lake. Can't deal. STUNNING.
    We first had crappy breakfast (that's the one thing Greece does better - food) then went for a walk. We walked onto the dock - amazing! We were pestered a lot for boat rides though which was annoying.
    There was so many fish in the bay and one very clever but extremely random swan.
    We kept walking and came across St Sophia's which was a nice church with frescoes, a lot have unfortunately been destroyed with time but still lovely all the same. It cost 100 denars to get in for international visitors and cheaper for domestic but it didn't annoy me cause at least they had a sign specifying it rather than some cheapo door man seemingly making up his own rules. We kept walking with no real aim up steep hills and came across another church - St Clements monastery of St Paneleimon. It was pretty dull, the highlight was that a stray cat caught a lizard to eat. I walked over to have a look at the gift shop outside and instantly regretted it. The man came to life, he was probably so excited to have a visitor. I walked away awkwardly. I felt bad for him.
    There are so many lizards it's weird.
    What's even weirder is the ticket guy gave us student discounts for no reason. He was like
    " are you students" and I said " super technically I am but can't prove it" and he said " naaa you look like students" and gave us half price entry.
    It's not usual for a discount here, normally the complete opposite where they try to rip you off. It was refreshing.
    We then kept walking us the hill to St samuels fortress which was boring itself but the views were S.P.E.C.T.A.C.U.L.A.R.
    We walked back down the hill and came across an "antique theatre" not ancient but antique haha.
    It looks as if it might still be used. I just thought it would be a great stage to dance on. It is super old though so we think the holes in some of the rows might be for pooing into, then someone collects your bucket hahah.
    On our stroll down the hill I bought a macedonia T-shirt and made a dog friend. I gave him a shmacko. He doesn't belong to the shop owner but has basically been adopted - they feed her and she hangs out with the' everyday :)
    We went for a quick shop with the intention of buying pegs, a drink, sunscreen, cereal and hair detangler cause I had a hissy fit this morning cause my hair has lost the plot.
    We finally found pegs but sunscreen seems to be an impossible task.
    I can feel my face turning into a giant cancer.
    We then went and sat at a resturant for hours chatting and looking at the view. Will has beer and I had dessert :D
    We got chatting to this English couple next to us. The man had me in stitches several times.
    Mainly when another man appeared wearing a silver leather jacket. The commentary for that particular Moment was hysterical. He looked liked he'd been wrapped in alfoil.

    We caught a taxi home and are now having some alone time. We chatted to them for hours.
    We had a wonderful day.

    Omg yuck Will was holding my hand for ages and I thought he was either scratching or cleaning my nails but he was using my nails to clean his nails. Not cool.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Macedonia, Ehemalige jugoslawische Republik Mazedonien, Macedonia, FYROM, Macedonië, Masedonia, ማከዶኒያ, مقدونيا, ܡܩܕܘܢܝܐ, República de Macedonia, Masedoniya, Македонія, БЮР, Македония, Macedɔni, ম্যাসাডোনিয়া, Makedonia, Makedonija, Macedònia, Makedonie, Makedonien, Makedonia nutome, Π.Γ.Δ. Μακεδονίας, Respubliko Makedonio, Makedoonia Vabariik, Mazedoniako Errepublika, مکدونیا, Meceduwaan, Entinen Jugoslavian tasavalta Makedonia, Makedónia, Macédoine, Rèpublica de Macèdonie, Masedoanje, An Mhacadóin, મેસેડોનિયા, Republika Makedonija, מקדוניה, मैसिडोनिया, Makedonska, Macedónia, Մակեդոնիա, Republiko Macedonia, Lýðveldið Makedónía, マケドニア旧ユーゴスラビア共和国, მაკედონია, ម៉ាសេដន, ಮ್ಯಾಸಿಡೋನಿಯಾ, 전 유고슬라비아 마케도니아, Komara Makedonyayê, Res publica Macedonica, Masedwanɛ, ແມຊິໂຄເນຍ, Masedwane, Maķedonija, Република Македонија, മാസിഡോണിയ, मॅसेडोनिया, Maċedonja, မာစီဒိုးနီးယား, Republiek Makedonien, म्याकेडोनिया, Voormalige Joegoslavische Republiek Macedonië, Republikken Makedonia, ମାସେଡୋନିଆ, Republika ning Makedonia, Była Jugosłowiańska Republika Macedonii, د مقدونيې ولسمشريزه, Macedônia, Republika Makedoniya, Fosta Republică Iugoslavă Macedonia, Республика Македония, Ripùbblica di Macidonia, Dásseváldi Makedonia, Maseduäni, Macedónsko, republika, Makadooniya, Republika e Maqedonisë, மாசிடோனியா, మేసెడోనియా, Ҷумҳурии Мақдуния, ประเทศมาซิโดเนีย, Republika ng Macedonia, Masitōnia, Makedonya, ماكېدونىيە, колишня Югославська Республіка, مقدونیہ, Ma-xê-đô-ni-a (Macedonia), Makedonän, Republika han Macedonia, Orílẹ́ède Masidonia, 前南斯拉夫马其顿共和国, I-Macedonia

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