Sunday, April 04, 2010

Makedonia!

Just so you know, I'm aware that I spelled "Macedonia" with a "k."  Over in these parts they say "MaKedonia" and not "MaCedonia."

Now that that's out of the way. I had the opportunity last week to go to Skopje with two other BG PCV's.  (Bulgaria Peace Corps Volunteers)  We actually had a goal to our trip besides going to a new place!  Me and the two other guys I went with all focus on small village tourism through our job assignments.  This is something that a few of the MAK PCV's focus on also so we headed to Skopje to meet with them and some Macedonian tourism experts.

On the 24th I headed to Sofia to meet up with Jon and Dan (along with other PCV's) for our Friday morning tourism meeting.  Jon, Dan and I went to see Alice in Wonderland 3D.  It was cool but I think I've decided I can do without 3D from now on.  I had on my glasses and it was pretty annoying to have glasses on top of glasses.

We headed back to the hostel for my birthday eve party and met some other hostel guests and went out with them and had a good time.  I, of course, don't remember most of their names and will probably never see them again but it was a fun way to celebrate turning 25.  We had Americans, Germans and Canadians!

Friday morning came way too early and we headed to a tourism meeting set up by fellow PCV Felicia.  It was good to see everyone and get all of our ideas thrown together and discuss.  And Felicia even made cupcakes for me (and everyone else) for my birthday.  She somehow sensed my cravings for a cupcake! Thanks, Felicia!  Jon, Dan and I headed out early so we could catch our bus to Skopje.

Ideally, the trip shouldn't have been too painful but we were the last three on a full bus.  Which means I was sitting in the very back corner of a bus and Jon was next to me with some dude practically sitting on him.  The border crossing also took nearly 2 hours because it was so busy.  But we made it Skopje, met up with Justin (MAK PCV), ate dinner at a great Arabic restaurant, went to the hostel and we all crashed.

Saturday morning we had our meeting and had a great time getting to know the three other MAK PCV's.  The countries are pretty similar as well as the language but we all do completely different work.  The three MAK PCV's were all in relatively big cities... especially compared to Jon, Dan and I.  After the meeting we ate Mexican food and started exploring the city.  Monday morning we met with a few tourism experts based in Macedonia - great contacts!  They were all very encouraging about trying to do some cross-border projects.  Monday afternoon we boarded a bus and made our way back to Sofia.  Luckily this time there were only about 10 people on the bus and we were only stopped at the border for about 20 minutes.  Although the  bus broke down right outside of Sofia, the three of us made it back to the center by taking a bus, tram and a taxi.


The three of us with the Mother Teresa statue. She's from Skopje.
With Justin at the Old Bridge that separates the new town from the old town.

Macedonian Flag

Outside the Fortress entrance
The Fortress

Skopje is a beautiful city and a cool place to visit.  Check it out if you haven't already!




2 comments:

Vicki said...

would love to go to Makedonia, but it may be awhile. Therefore thanks for taking the pix and doing a great job with your describing skills. Lylaf!!

Catherine said...

I want to go visit!!!