Farewell, Macedonia!

We just finished a four week stint in Macedonia. We had a great time! The people of Macedonia are renowned for their hospitality. We were invited into their homes and enjoyed baklava, pickled vegetables, and other traditional Macedonian fare. 35% of the population doesn’t work, and while that has been tough on their economy, it did meant that they had plenty of time to spend with us.
A typical day in Radovis was spent sleeping in, getting up and playing with the dog, pictured here:
Her name is Jagoda, which means Strawberry, and she was the most affectionate dog ever! She’s a mini Doberman. Luke explained to us that dogs here aren’t used to getting that much attention. In fact, their dogs just wander the streets without leashes or owners. They are slightly mangy, but you can tell they aren’t wild by the collars around their necks. I was very sorry to say goodbye to Jagoda, even though she was stinky (even after I gave her a bath).
After this we would go get breakfast. Typical breakfast here is called burek and you always drink it with natural yogurt. It’s an acquired taste, but it doesn’t take long to acquire it. Before long Jacob and I would get cravings for our burek fix. He would get meat and I would get cheese.

During the day we would work on our sites, read/study German, and visit with Luke’s friends. In the evening we would go and get one of the fantastic Macedonian salads, which beat American salads any day. And then at night we would hang out with Luke, where Jacob and Luke would discuss the states of their beards. And other various topics. We were grateful to Mr Branco, who gave us a floor of his apartment to stay in. This is us in Mr Branco’s store:
Jacob lit the fire every day, and these heaters are very powerful, which is a good thing because it was snowy for the most part while we were there.

It was all very relaxing and we hope to be able to visit Radovis one day again! The culmination of our trip was skiing and Skopje, the nation’s capital. I had never skiied before, and as it turned out, neither had Luke or Jacob, having only snowboarded. We went with Elena, Luke’s friend who did my nails and gave me a facial, and met up with her first cousin and her boyfriend. It was fun! Jacob and Luke went to snowboard the first day, while the beginners learned together on a rather steep slope. Dragan, who teaches people to ski professionally as well as gives guided tours of Macedonia, was very helpful. I will recommend him if any of you ever visit! I was falling down constantly, but I didn’t care because it was still a lot of fun. By the end of the second day, Jacob and Luke had nicknamed me “the Flying V” because of my position (toes pointed in) and the fact that I would speed right past them. Learning to brake was definitely the hardest part. Luke had some funny moments too, including getting dragged up by hand on the ski lift. Jacob picked up skiing like it was second nature for him, which didn’t surprise me. He’s naturally athletic with everything he does. The view from our window:

The resort we stayed in was in the mountains. It had the infamous Turkish toilet, which is basically a hole in the ground. I took a picture of one the first time I used one, but I will spare you. The drains here don’t have the system to swallow up toilet paper, so you just throw it in the trash can.
Can you find Jacob?

Skopje was relaxing. We stayed with Nano, Luke’s friend, and Jacob was ecstatic because this guy knows computers and helped Jacob buy new gadgets and accessories to help the computer go faster. Here’s Luke, Nano, and his girlfriend: (and can you find Jacob?)
We went up to a fortress and met an interesting man who seemed articulate, could speak every language we all knew and more, but said he was a prophet who would unite Yugoslavia and destroy the United States, starting in Dallas. He claimed to be descended from the Nephites, and in fact he came from Columbia. Very interesting…

The view of Skopje was nice from the fortress, which was used in defense against the Turkish empire.We are going to Israel in approximately 3 hours. Wish us luck!!!

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 369 awesome articles for us.

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