We’ve already covered Croatia and Albania in big blog posts, but wanted to give some time to the other Balkans we visited on this trip.
We spent a couple of days in Kotor, which centers around the original well-preserved medieval walled town. We spent one day doing a big walk around both sides of the massive bay on which Kotor rests, which feels far more like a lake than an oceanic bay. There were a lot of expensive cruising motor yachts pulled up here, which suggested there was a bit of money around. It’s a place with a lot of tranquillity and natural beauty – we were certainly found it peaceful walking the lake’s blue oval.
We went to two places in Macedonia. The first was Ohrid, a lakeside town famous for its beautiful architecture and views. We wandered in and around Ohrid on our first day, taking in the stunning lakeside setting and old architecture. We saw ancient mosaics uncovered in the archeological dig, an amazing church right on the edge of the lake, and a meditation garden right on the water. The second day we were in Ohrid, it rained. Pretty much non-stop. We had an amazing view of the storm coming across the lake, but saw it all from our room on the top floor!
The second place we went in Macedonia was the capital, Skopje. Skopje is an interesting place, both architecturally and culturally. We had a bit of a wander around, looking at the newly built but classically styled buildings which have provoked divided opinions among residents. Most of the new buildings are civic offices that make the riverbank look a little bit like Las Vegas, with unexpected shiny and classic looking buildings nestled with the more traditional style. Skopje has a strong religious history as well – with Mother Teresa’s house and a massive mosque as well as many other churches. It was a fun place to spend a couple of days.
We ended our Balkans run in Belgrade, after a pretty entertaining bus trip from Skopje. We found our accommodation and quickly headed out to find food, as it was getting darker earlier and earlier. Belgrade was cold – colder than the other places we’d recently been at least. It was an interesting city to walk around, and we visited the huge temple of Saint Sava, as well as some very fun local restaurants and shopping areas. It was a great way to conclude our time in this part of the world.