"They are not stray dogs, they are sheepdogs. They are trained to defend the flock. Against wolves for example, but also against anything that threatens the sheep. You have to react quickly. And well."
After a year and a half on the road, here we are in Macedonia! Well, now we have to call it the Republic of North Macedonia (or North Macedonia for those who know it well). Previously, you found the country under the name of FYROM for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. If the change is made for a name a little nicer, it puts an end to a conflict that opposed Greece since 1991 and behind this information a priori anecdotal hides the possibility, eventually, to join the European Union and NATO.
Just 15 km from the city center, the land opens up into a lush canyon. Matka is one of those places that makes you feel like you're at the end of the world in a split second. Suddenly, the land opens up into this lush canyon. In the background, tiny boats carry tourists on the river. Several paths lead to the heights where you discover ruins and a breathtaking view.
We entered the park of Mavrovo by the lake of the same name. Artificial, it became famous for its flooded monastery. The biggest national park of the country left us a mixed impression. We found it not very wild and not very preserved. There is a ski resort and a lot of facilities. By searching a little more on internet, we understand that our itinerary in the park was not the most interesting. Here again, we will have to return!
The oldest lake in Europe and one of the deepest is located between Macedonia and Albania. On the Macedonian side, the Ohrid lake is a splendor. It has been classified as a World Heritage Site for its exceptional natural character. Indeed, its crystalline waters welcome a rare fauna and flora. We spent a few days in the town of Ohrid on the shore of the lake. With its small beaches and its Byzantine monasteries, it is the tourist capital of the country.
"As in many of the other countries we visited, the European Union is at the heart of many discussions. Joining it represents for some countries the hope to exist. Whatever the price to pay, it is seen as a necessity. This choice is often guided more by the desire for a financially more comfortable future than by a real desire to build together.
To be honest, our crossing of the NORTHERN MACEDONIA left us a bit disappointed. Our itinerary was very "western". We stayed on the western part of the country and more or less followed the Albanian border. Did we miss the best part? The whole section around the Ohrid lake was beautiful and allows us to leave the country with nice memories.
Discover the pictures of our crossing of North Macedonia from the Šar mountains in the north, to the Ohrid lake, at the Albanian border. An adventure in the heart of North Macedonia, its abandoned villages, its unknown culture and its exceptional canyons.