We found the old Fortress of Skopje, and enjoyed walking around it, then we went on to check things out in the interesting Macedonia Square.
We think the Fortress was technically closed, but the gate was not locked, so we walked in. Not a soul around, and nobody yelled at usto leave. (When I checked online, it said the Fortress was open).
We headed for the Archeologist Museum, next and found a performing arts center along the way. Both looked quite worthwhile to see, but neither building were openfor visitors.
After our exploring, we got back in the car and head out of Macedonia, by driving over the border to Kosovo 🇽🇰. We had the best day, and absolutely love Kosovo. We will be at our first stop for two night.
But, not wanting to get too far ahead of myself, first I will post about our visit in the capital city of Skopje in Macedonia.
We do have many places to see in Macedonia, so we will be back, but for now, we are driving a gigantic loop of sorts (heading north) through many European countries, and will come back to Macedonia, again, soon.
After riding by a car-hire from Sarande, Albania to the Kjafasan border crossing into Macedonia, in about 4.5 hours, and $167; before we crossed, we were able to transfer to a taxi and ride through both custom stops, and the neutral zone. Then, the same taxi driver took us to the nearest town of Struga, where we enjoyed one night. Lake Ohrid is next to this town, and it was enjoyable.
We found a hotel, on the shores of Lake Ohrid, and then the usual search for new country essentials, like an ATM for starters. Not coming in by plane makes getting local currency a challenge, because border crossings by vehicle, there are no ATM machines.We also looked for a place to get our SIM cards for our phones, too. Here’s to figuring out the essential “unknowns;” and making them less of a mystery in short order.This is the routine, with every new country we go into.
After one night in Struga, we got a van/bus for five Euros pp for a three-hour drive to Skopje. It makes better sense to arrange a rental car from the capital city, or at least a large city, in order to make the return, easier. As it worked out, we made a plan to visit several countries with this same rental car from Macedonia. Of course this will all be dependent on borders being open.
We have the car to drive through Macedonia 🇲🇰, Bulgaria 🇧🇬, Turkey 🇹🇷 Kosovo 🇽🇰, and Serbia 🇷🇸. Macedonia is landlocked, so slipping over each border will be quite convenient, if said borders will be open to us.
For now, after a tiring day of a van transfer from Ohrid Lake, getting the rental and driving around Skopje, and finding several closed hotels, we finally found one open. It would appear the economy is struggling here. We are not big fans of big capital cities, so we will head out after a bit of touring tomorrow, and we will only an hour plus away from Kosovo 🇽🇰
After Kosovo, maybe Serbia 🇷🇸. Then, Macedonia 🇲🇰 again, and on over to Bulgaria 🇧🇬, and finally back to Turkey 🇹🇷. We want to do ballooning in Cappadocia, (eastern Turkey), but operations for that won’t start till August. We will try to make this our final stop in the non-EU countries of Europe. We still have a suitcase to collect, which we stored in Turkey, and were to have picked up by June, but the lockdown did not allow that to plan to work out. Lucky for us, we have a friend in Istanbul who is taking good care of our belongings, till we can get back there.
Obviously we have no solid plan, yet, for the next five countries, but we are getting very good as “winging it!”
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