It’s a new world and a new type of traveling. For the next 100 days, I’m exploring Macedonia as safely as possible. It’s Day #31 of 100 Days of Travel and I’m recapping where I’ve been in the last two weeks. If you want to see a breakdown (cities, sights, cost), check out my recap from the first half of my trip here.
Where I’ve Been
Besides catching up on work, I caught up on a monastery hike that I missed during my previous stays in Prilep. Then if was off to the cafe-happy culture of Bitola, an interesting city with a couple of weirdly unique sights.
I met up with my friend Sam in Ohrid and we posted up for a very rainy week in the foothills above Ohrid. This is a city I could see myself living in for some time. The rain broke for a single day and we were able to explore some of Galičica National Park along with the Ohrid’s endless churches.
And finally, we headed east on a roadtrip that started off with the sights along Lake Prespa!
I Hiked: The Holy Mother of God (Treskavac) Monastary (Prilep, Macedonia)
What to Do it Bitola, Macedonia
Monkey Sex, Street Art, Fighter Jets: Alternative Bitola
What to Do in Ohrid, Macedonia
I Hiked: Magaro Peak (Ohrid, Macedonia)
Church, Monastery, Cave: Where to Find God in Ohrid
Goats, Abandoned Hotels, Apples: Road Tripping Lake Prespa
Unfortunately, COVID cases have been steadily increasing, but as they are concentrated around the capital city of Skopje in the north of the country, I’m still feeling quite confident in traveling. I even tried out eating indoors once, although enclosed spaces is still firing off my anxiety.
In the past two weeks, I wrote about the best spots on online to track down information on COVID-19, Airbnb safety, and how people in Europe are generally incompetent at following basic safety protocols.
How-To: Find Accurate COVID-19 Information for Travelers
Is it Safe to Stay in Airbnb During COVID-19?
We Are Doomed: A Series of Horror Stories About Masks
Life In Macedonia
I’ve been here for almost a month, so am learning quite a bit more about the nature and culture of this small country. During the past few weeks I’ve foraged for all sorts of food, debated the safety of drinking from mountain springs, and dove straight into the controversy surrounding the naming of Macedonia.
Foraging for Food Across Macedonia
Is it Safe to Drink the Water in Macedonia?
FRYOM, North, Or Macedonia: What Do I Call This Country?
How I’m Traveling
Sam brought along a Volvo from Bulgaria, so that’s been really nice for safely exploring the countryside. I also took a few short bus rides (under two hours each), which felt safe enough as I just never took off my mask. I definitely prefer the car.
Where To Next?
For now, it’s off to Pelister National Park and off to fabled wine country of Macedonia. Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing in the capital, but for now it’s still feeling safe enough to travel for at least two more weeks.