Our COVID Test results were delayed till 4PM today, but we finally got them! Whew! The clock starts ticking from the time we got our test, to the time we have to make it to the border, or the test becomes invalid. 72 hours is easier than the 48 hours rule. But, we are only three hours to the border by car.
Here, in Macedonia 🇲🇰 the results on the paperwork indicate Corona Cov-2 “not detected,” instead of a “negative,” like in Kosovo 🇽🇰. As long as our papers are accepted at the Bulgarian border tomorrow, it will all be good!
We turned our car back to the rental place, and it feels very strange to not have “wheels.” By The Way, If you ever come to Macedonia, and need a rental car, bus lines, or tours, go to them.
They are super nice and have competitive rates. They were very accommodating to our needs, as we extended our contract on the car for longer than anticipated. We traveled to multiple countries with this one rental, car and it made our trip very convenient! We recommend!
Tomorrow, we are Bulgaria bound!We have found over 20 unique and interesting sites to see in this country, and we wonder if we will be able to get to them all!
We came back in to Skopje, by early afternoon, where we will end our self-tour Macedonia adventures. We kicked off our Macedonia touring in Struga, and then on to Skopje, last month, after leaving Albania. From Skopje, we left Macedonia and made a gigantic loop into Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and back to Macedonia a few weeks ago to finish seeing this country.
It’s been quite a road-trip already, but we are not done yet, in the European Balkans.
After arriving back in Skopje, today, we went straight to Acibadem Sistina Hospital to see if we could get walk-in COVID19 tests done. I had my translated request in hand. It was all very organized and easy.
There was a tent and mobile office and exam room set up in the hospital parking lot. They got us right in to register after a five minute wait in the tent (with a cooling fan). There were no huge crowds, either.
We went to the mobile office, with a small window, and provided our passports, and credit card. We were given computer coded ID’s after we we were entered into their system. The COVID19 tests cost us $75 pp. We waited back in the tent for another five minutes, then were taken inside the exam room.
This second COVID19 testing experience proved the first nurse taking our COVID19 tests in Kosovo was a masochist, since he drilled that swab so deep into our sinuses, We though he scratched our brains! We had tears running down our face! Today, with this second testing, the nurse lightly swabbed our sinuses with one swab, and then the back of our tongued throat with another. It still wasn’t pleasant, but it did not cause tears, and was much easier to take. We now only wait less than 24 hours to get our results.
Tomorrow we have a few errands to take care of, after we collect our results at the hospital. It will be our last day with the rental car, so we have to unload it of our belongings, and get it cleaned up. We still need haircuts, a market stop for road-trip items, and a ATM stop to get Dinar to pay a transfer driver (CASH only).
Once we get our test, we have 72 hours to get to the Bulgarian border, with negative tests in hand, or they become void. So, we are spending two nights in Skopje, in a nice hotel, where the reception has arranged a driver to take us to the border, (150 euros) and that driver has a friend on the Bulgaria side who will meet us over the border in Bulgaria, to take us to Sofia; the capital in Bulgaria 🇧🇬
In Sofia, we will rent another car, and get permission to enter Turkey with it, as well. We have some fascinating places to see in Bulgaria, and we are super excited to go there, and get started! After Bulgaria, we need to collect a suitcase we left in Istanbul way back in March, (in great care) plus we want to go ballooning in Cappadocia!
Once we are done in Turkey, our Balkan Road-Trip will be complete
For something new and quite different, we drove out of town about 50 minutes to hike a bit to a mystical site; some ancient grounds which are almost 4,000 years old!
We have been in the car so much the last few days, it felt good to drive only a little way, then get some exercise, and see the most beautiful vista scenery.
There is not much else to see in Kumanovo, but we chose it for a rare two-night stay, as we wanted to avoid the big city stay, which will come soon enough. We got our laundry done, and while we searched for a hair cut place, we found none open. It is Saturday, and most of the town shops are closed, as well.
Tomorrow, we head back to the capital city of Skopje, (we are only 30 minutes away) where I already have a list of several options for getting our negative COVID19 testing done, so we can cross the border to Bulgaria, with proof in hand we are healthy. Bulgaria is our next stop on our road trip, and since we have never been, we will spend the money for the tests, since its the only way we can get into their country. We are excited, because we will get to head for some coastal waters again; the Back Sea
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