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Remmie

Anyone been to Macedonia?

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I'm not holding my breath here, but anyone been? Going for a few days to Lake Ohrid and then Skopje, any recommendations?

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Not sure exactly how far away but the Northen Greek town of Vergina contains the Tombs of King Phillip of Macedon(Alexanders Father)

 
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I've been to Skopje Rem. Ask away

 

Not been to Lake Ohrid, looked into it a bit, but didn't as we headed to Kosovo afterwards and Cath was carrying little RJ at the time and we wanted to limit the travel a bit

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Skopje is a funny one.

 

They have chucked a load of money at it trying to make it a destination, not exactly successfully. Odd statues and buildings clustered to try and create tourist centre.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/apr/11/skopje-macedonia-architecture-2014-project-building

 

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/apr/11/skopje-macedonia-architecture-2014-project-building

 

As you can see it's slightly odd.

 

There is limited food and shopping, but fine for a long weekend. Fairly inexpensive.

 

We did a few museums, free walking tour, trip up the cable car, to Lake Matka( which had a hydro electric plant/nature park thing on memory) where there was canoing, but Cath couldn't it obvious reasons.

 

We booked a private apartment, stayed on the edge of the city centre. Place was safe, so long as you take normal safety precautions.

 

I understand there was been recent unrest in the city, understandable as the money stays one side of the river and with one ethnic group as you will see. So it's not always been the safest recently. But you're an experienced traveller, look into it, I've not followed it closely. Might be much ado about nothing.

 

I understand it gets very hot and still, with little wind in summer. Can be unpleasant, we went in mid sept, it was sound.

 

It was worth a visit, it sure it would bear two.

 

Feel free to ask away

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Nice one thanks chaps, probably can't make it to Greece, only there for 4 days and my wife would mostly need a visa.

 

The quirkiness of Macedonia is appealing to and part of the reason it was chosen, well moreso that I know almost nothing about the country. Think we'll check out a Museum, go on a pub crawl\wine tour and generally wonder around in Skopje. Cable car sounds like my sort of thing too. Do you recall any unusual restauraunts/sights or anything like that?

 

We go in just over 3 weeks, the weather should be spot on, but maybe we will plump for air con as it was essential in India.

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My boss went last year, said Lake Ohrid was incredible, very beautiful and very cheap. I'm seeing him tomorrow so will try and get more details.

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Some important safety information.

 

http://www.slavorum.org/vampires-in-macedonian-beliefs-and-traditions/

 

Macedonia is known as one of the Slavic countries with ample folk tales, beliefs and traditions. Many of them include stories about fairies, strange creatures and vampires.

 

In this article, I will present you the folk demonology of Macedonia, i.e. the customs that people had to protect themselves from vampires and also the ways of becoming a vampire.

 

The belief in vampires today is mostly eradicated and the following events took place in ancient times.

 

First, people believed that a vampire could appear in two forms; as the spirit (if the dead rises from the grave and walks like a ghost) and as the corpse (a dead body rises from its grave and turns into a vampire).

 

Because there were many stories about vampires (some even got the names of deceased persons in the Macedonian villages), people had invented their own preventive measures and ways of protection.

 

Even today in the Orthodox Macedonian people there is a custom to keep the body of the deceased (they are left in an open coffin to let the spirit go in peace, or some people do this as a way of last goodbye with the deceased).

 

In ancient times, these were the measures that people took to prevent the deceased to become a vampire:

 

Keeping the corpse

 

Old people in ancient times kept the dead body and heed not to allow an animal to skip the corpse, because it could take the spirit of the deceased, who after that would become a vampire.

 

Piercing the navel and the body with a needle

 

This is probably one of the darkest and creepiest things that people have done to prevent the dead to become a vampire. If the deceased had swelling elsewhere on the body, they would pierce his navel or head. According to them, if a person had a swelling, they would become a vampire because of the blood and would start doing terrifying things through the village.

 

Cutting the chest

 

A second variant of this practice is piercing the chest with a needle or cutting the chest with a knife, so the soul could not follow the demons, nor the dead could transform into a vampire.

 

Pouring water around the tomb

 

This custom was also often used. People believed that if they poured water on the grave of the deceased (forty days in a row), the grave would be blocked and the deceased could not leave the place because vampires can’t cross the water.

 

Pressing the coffin with stones

 

People covered the coffins with heavy stones, so dead couldn’t come out and turn into a vampire.

 

In ancient times, people in the villages of Macedonia believed that if the close ones mourn the deceased, he would turn into a vampire.

 

A short folk tale about the girls drowned in the lake

 

In Krani, Resen (Macedonia), there was a shop where two young girls were making carpets. Having completed their work, they went for a swim in the lake. The girls entered the water while holding hands and suddenly one of them got stuck in a water whirl. Frightened, she levered the other girl by the hand and they both drowned.

 

After this event, when people would pass by the lake, they would hear something crying underwater and there was also a blinding light in the middle of the lake. The body of one of the girls was found by a child, and the other one never appeared. It is believed that one of the girls has become a vampire, because they both were young and the whole village mourned them.

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i've been to both. i really liked skopje and it was the 'other side' of the river that appealed. there is an old town with an ottoman/muslim community there and great macedonian/serbian/turksih coffee.

they were redeveloping 'this side' when i was there but i got the impression it would be quite tacky.

as a city it still carries a eastern european economy feeling. i can see why that might not be some peoples cup of tea. theres a really nice set of mountains/lakes with hiking to the west of the city (1 hour on bus) if you want to escape

i went to ohrid on a separate trip so not sure the time distance between. ohrid it ain't. set round a really nice freshwater lake. great for swimming and on the albanian border. the albanian side isnt as nice but if you want to eat the river fish you'll need to go there as fishing is band on the macedonian side

went to both places in summerand they were both close to 30degrees.,i believe winters can get pretty chilly

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By Macedonia, you mean Northern Greece?

I'm going to Ohrid and Skopje, are they in Northern Greece? I suppose my destination is as much northern Greece as yours is Somalia
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Nice one thanks chaps, probably can't make it to Greece, only there for 4 days and my wife would mostly need a visa.

 

The quirkiness of Macedonia is appealing to and part of the reason it was chosen, well moreso that I know almost nothing about the country. Think we'll check out a Museum, go on a pub crawl\wine tour and generally wonder around in Skopje. Cable car sounds like my sort of thing too. Do you recall any unusual restauraunts/sights or anything like that?

 

We go in just over 3 weeks, the weather should be spot on, but maybe we will plump for air con as it was essential in India.

Food wise it was fairly straight forward. Can't recall the food options being that exciting. We had as good food in the Muslim/old town as we did in the more European side of the city. But as I say, don't recall any particular exciting experiences or dishes. Very much on the Balkan inland diet of grilled meat, salads and stews.

 

Quite a meat led diet and not sure what it would be like for a veggie.

 

Lake Matka was worth the bus ride, think it's a public bus and about £1-2 a journey even for the miles out.

 

They have red double decker a like a cheap knockoff route master. I know you defo get one of those to the millennium cross/cable car.

 

Museum wise, I think we did the halocaust museum, museum of Macedonian struggle and mother Theresa house (as it was open, we were passing and I think free)

 

The rest of the sights are pretty much walkable and will take a day trekking around. We did a free walking tour which was just starting up there and while a bit haphazard was worth it (you pay in tips). We did the bus tour, pretty average, but very cheap, they needed 5 people to go there was only three so we paid for the extra tickets, think it was about 75p, so you can't complain.

 

The Old Town was good, enjoyed that very much and would echo what a previous poster said.

 

Hopefully it will have come on a bit in the last two years of so. They are certainly giving it a shot.

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I'm going to Ohrid and Skopje, are they in Northern Greece? I suppose my destination is as much northern Greece as yours is Somalia

The Greeks still won't recognise Macedonia as a state and consider it part of Greece and Hellenic culture.

 

Can't remember the full story now, but they had trouble being recognised so hence they are called FYR, Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia

 

Dunno why people on the GF would question a state called Macedonia or raise the FYR? Have you stumbled on a hotbed of anti Macedonia on the GF?

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Have to laugh if the Greeks are claiming its theres and part of Greek culture considering it was Alexander the Greats Dad,Phillip that beat the shit out the Greeks and pretty much forced Macedonian rule(though he was very clever in how he did it). He also brought Alexander up in the Greek style and had loads of statues made of him looking Greek so they would accept him.

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Have to laugh if the Greeks are claiming its theres and part of Greek culture considering it was Alexander the Greats Dad,Phillip that beat the shit out the Greeks and pretty much forced Macedonian rule(though he was very clever in how he did it). He also brought Alexander up in the Greek style and had loads of statues made of him looking Greek so they would accept him.

I thought the Ancient Macedonians spoke Greek, believed in Greek Gods and shared Greek culture, while the modern day macs speak Bulgarian and they are Slavs. Also Spartans were fighting with Athens constantly, aren't they both considered Greeks?

 

I'm going to Ohrid and Skopje, are they in Northern Greece? I suppose my destination is as much northern Greece as yours is Somalia

My destination is Somalia? I live here (Somalia). Come here instead. Good food and world class entertainment for your GF.

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The Macedonians did speak Greek and shared the samish culture. But the Greeks viewed them as Barbarians from the North till Phillip beat the shit out of them and took control of the Greek council and ran things as he saw fit

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Here you go Remmie

 

It s a very nice place. I plan to go back.  Its not hard to find your way round, a  couple of tips

 

Try this restaurant.  - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Potpesh-Beach/117350971691040

 

 

Go to the Monastery, that juts out from the lake (its near the restaurant) and then walk around the corner, lots of nice coves, good for picnics.

 

Dont bother with Naum Monastery unless hiring a car (which we did) its nice enough but not worth the faff of a 2 hour boat trip)

 

Use the little local shuttle board, they are dead cheap and easy. Don’t bother with a proper trip.

 

Buy your beer before 19:00 (21:00 in summer) they don’t sell it afterwards, except in restaurants.

 

Go up the hill in to the old town, and walk along the fortress walls.

 

Lots of cafes to sit in by the lake, but my favourites are the ones on the right hand side as you look out towards the lake.

 

Just use taxis to get to and from the airport, and don’t check in early – there is nothing to do and only about 2 flights a day!

 

Hope they have a great time.  

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You should got o Benidorm Remmie if you're looking for something radically different to your standard version of a holiday.

Haha I have actually been to Benidorm when I was a teenager, think I discovered San Miguel and enjoyed the old town there

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Haha I have actually been to Benidorm when I was a teenager, think I discovered San Miguel and enjoyed the old town there

 

I was in the old town with all the dutch and it was pretty chilled.  Went into the neon part specifically to see Sticky Vicky which was something which haunts my dreams

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Here you go Remmie

 

It s a very nice place. I plan to go back. Its not hard to find your way round, a couple of tips

 

Try this restaurant. - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Potpesh-Beach/117350971691040

 

 

Go to the Monastery, that juts out from the lake (its near the restaurant) and then walk around the corner, lots of nice coves, good for picnics.

 

Dont bother with Naum Monastery unless hiring a car (which we did) its nice enough but not worth the faff of a 2 hour boat trip)

 

Use the little local shuttle board, they are dead cheap and easy. Don’t bother with a proper trip.

 

Buy your beer before 19:00 (21:00 in summer) they don’t sell it afterwards, except in restaurants.

 

Go up the hill in to the old town, and walk along the fortress walls.

 

Lots of cafes to sit in by the lake, but my favourites are the ones on the right hand side as you look out towards the lake.

 

Just use taxis to get to and from the airport, and don’t check in early – there is nothing to do and only about 2 flights a day!

 

Hope they have a great time.

What kind of a fucking country stops selling beer at 1900????
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