Balkans

Magnificent Macedonia – Balkans trip anecdotes and photos

This blog mainly concentrates on providing information that will help in living or travelling in Malaysia.  However, I do blog a little about trips abroad.  On my recent trip to the Balkans I’ll do a series of short blogs providing one anecdote per country, and then a few assorted photos of the country unrelated to the anecdote.

The last post in this series.

Macedonia was surprising – so many statues, monuments, and, apart from the trains, modern and functional.

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Skopje, capital of Macedonia.  Could that be Alexander the Great?

Skopje

Skopje – Vardar River and the Opera House in the background

Skopje

Skopje – mosque

at the station

at the station

the beest train I caught in the Balkans - and the last

the best train I caught in the Balkans – and the last

park in Bitola

park in Bitola

Bitola

Bitola – my hotel on the left

Macedonian salad

In the hotel restaurant – Macedonian salad

lamb

lamb

moon

moon as seen from my hotel window

Heraclea - ancient ruins near Bitola

Heraclea – ancient ruins near Bitola

Heraclea - ancient ruins near Bitola

Heraclea – ancient ruins near Bitola

Bitola

Bitola at lunchtime

Church opposite my hotel

Church opposite my hotel

Church opposite my hotel

Church opposite my hotel

bus to

bus to Ohrid

in

in Ohrid

Lake

Lake Ohrid

e

Basilica

e

Basilica

c

Fortress

c

Fortress

c

Holy Mary

restaurant

restaurant Svete Sophia

restaurant

restaurant Svete Sophia

Macedonian salad

Macedonian salad

stwe

stew

dessert

dessert

statue

statue

another nice morning

another nice morning

I spotted a Yugo

I spotted a Yugo

bus back to Skopje

bus back to Skopje – it had WiFi

so that's how far it is

so that’s how far it is

through the mountains

through the mountains

a short walk in the forest

a short walk in the forest

back in Skopje

back in Skopje – St Clement

inside

inside St Clement

Skopje Airport - leaving the Balkans

Skopje Airport – leaving the Balkans

 

 

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Kids in Kosovo – Balkans trip anecdotes and photos

This blog mainly concentrates on providing information that will help in living or travelling in Malaysia. However, I do blog a little about trips abroad. On my recent trip to the Balkans I’ll do a series of short blogs providing one anecdote per country, and then a few assorted photos of the country unrelated to the anecdote.

I did have an anecdote about this, but I’ve forgotten what it was. So instead I’ll point out that while the schoolboys seemed to have to wear a blue shirt as (part of) their uniform, schoolgirls had to wear a checked dress.  Otherwise, almost anything seemed to be OK – so long as they wore the checked dress.

schoolgirls' uniform seems to be anything goes so long as they wear a checked skirt.

schoolgirls’ uniform seems to be anything goes so long as they wear a checked skirt

KOSOVO – ASSORTED PHOTOS

The world’s newest country, they told me.

in the mountains in the south of Kosovo heading towards the capital, Pristina

in the mountains in the south of Kosovo heading towards the capital, Pristina

there are plenty of buses from Skopje to Pristina, but only one train per day

there are plenty of buses from Skopje to Pristina, but only one train per day

the train arrived in Pristina aound 9pm

the train arrived in Pristina around 9pm

cars park all over the "footpaths" - often you must walk on the road

cars park all over the “footpaths” – often you must walk on the road

lots of mosques

lots of mosques

lots of mosques

lots of mosques

lots of mosques

lots of mosques

clock tower

clock tower

small street near the market

small street near the market

market

market

market

market

cheapest I've seen for a kebab in euros

cheapest I’ve seen for a kebab in euros – and the best cup of coffee I had in Europe this time

another mosque

another mosque

in the centre of Pristina is a display with people's comments on the war. It's quite upsetting.

in the centre of Pristina is a display with people’s comments on the war. It’s quite upsetting.

main pedestrian street in Pristina

main pedestrian street in Pristina

Mother Teresa gets around

Mother Teresa gets around

ethnographic museum - quite hard to find, but interesting - and I had a personal guide show me around

ethnographic museum – quite hard to find, but interesting – and I had a personal guide show me around

ethnographic museum

ethnographic museum

ethnographic museum

ethnographic museum

cathedral

cathedral

church near the university

church near the university

dawn on the morning I left

dawn on the morning I left

Pristina Station

Pristina Station

the train locomotive shunting into position for our train

the train locomotive shunting into position for our train

aha

aha

snow on the mountains

snow on the mountains

near the southern border of Kosovo

near the southern border of Kosovo

Gyros in Greece – Balkans trip anecdotes and photos

This blog mainly concentrates on providing information that will help in living or travelling in Malaysia. However, I do blog a little about trips abroad. On my recent trip to the Balkans I’ll do a series of short blogs providing one anecdote per country, and then a few assorted photos of the country unrelated to the anecdote.

Greek Buddy Bear

Greek Buddy Bear

Greece didn’t really work out for me, because it just rained while I was there – from Corfu, and the west coast to the east.  My plan for rain was to keep on moving until I got away from it.  But at least I managed to track down a gyros in Greece.  On my first night there, in fact, in Igoumenitsa.  It’s the Greek name for what I’d call a kebab, or doner kebab.  The gyros from the shop next to the hotel, some wine and an apple from the supermarket, and a couple of Baklava from the cake shop.  But the Baklava was the star – the nicest baklava I’ve ever had.  And another gyros the next afternoon at the rail station in Thessaloniki – which meant I could use their WiFi to make a hotel booking for that night.

Baklava

Baklava

gyros

gyros

Thessaloniki restaurant

Thessaloniki restaurant

Thessaloniki restaurant

Thessaloniki restaurant

dolmades - vine leaves

dolmades – vine leaves

mixed grill

mixed grill

OTHER PHOTOS IN GREECE

Corfu Town

Corfu Town

spinach pie

spinach pie

ferry to the mainland

ferry to the mainland

ferry to the mainland

ferry to the mainland

Corfu from the water

Corfu from the water

double rainbow approaching the mainland

double rainbow approaching the mainland

rainbow approaching the mainland

rainbow approaching the mainland

Igoumenitsa

Igoumenitsa

bus to Thessalonili

bus to Thessaloniki

fog and cloud on the way to Thessaloniki

fog and cloud on the way to Thessaloniki

harbour at Thessaloniki

harbour at Thessaloniki

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

ruins discovered in the centre of town

ruins discovered in the centre of town

restaurant

restaurant

ruins near train station

ruins near train station

ruins near train station

ruins near train station

train station

train station

platform at train station

platform at train station

bus to Skopje, Macedonia

bus to Skopje, Macedonia

on the way to Skopje, Macedonia

on the way to Skopje, Macedonia

on the way to Skopje, Macedonia

on the way to Skopje, Macedonia

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Nicolas Sarkozy and Kirsten Stewart lookalikes having a smoke at the Macedonian border

Nicolas Sarkozy and Kirsten Stewart lookalikes having a smoke at the Macedonian border

Oh yes, and the driver on the bus I took from Thessaloniki to Macedonia was Nicolas Sarkozy, and one of the passengers was Kirsten Stewart.

 

Riding in Romania – Balkans trip anecdotes and photos

This blog mainly concentrates on providing information that will help in living or travelling in Malaysia.  However, I do blog a little about trips abroad.  On my recent trip to the Balkans I’ll do a series of short blogs providing one anecdote per country, and then a few assorted photos of the country unrelated to the anecdote.

Romania Buddy Bear

Romania Buddy Bear

I started my trip in Romania.  In late September there was a couchsurfing event in Timisoara, Romania.  On the last full day of the event one of the Romanian CS members organised bicycles for us, and we rode along the bike path by the river for about an hour to a cafe on the river bank for lunch.  And then later back.  This also fulfilled one of my aims of my trip, to do a little cycling.  It was really fun.

gathering at the riverside cafe before cycling

gathering at the riverside cafe before cycling

 

cycling out of town

cycling out of town

 

on the bridge where the bike path changes sides from one bank to the other

on the bridge where the bike path changes sides from one bank to the other

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

returning to the city

returning to the city

 

returning to the city

returning to the city

AND SOME ASSORTED PHOTOS FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF ROMANIA

Constanta, Romania - a club for senior men. So typical of the image of older European men - dresses in suits or similar, perhaps wearing a cap, and sitting with one or two others happily chatting

Constanta, Romania – a club for senior men. So typical of the image of older European men – dressed in suits or similar, perhaps wearing a cap, and sitting with one or two others on a bench happily chatting – or here in their club

 

The hotel I stayed in on my first night in Romania - Constanta on the Black Sea

The hotel I stayed in on my first night in Romania – Constanta on the Black Sea

 

Varma Veche - a resort on the Black Sea

Varma Veche – a resort on the Black Sea

 

Varma Veche - a resort on the Black Sea

Varma Veche – a resort on the Black Sea

 

Varma Veche

Varma Veche

 

sunset at Varma Veche

sunset at Varma Veche

a local train back to Constanta

a local train back to Constanta

 

a typical station - the station employee (right side in shadow of photo) standing at attention as the train leaves. I felt kind of honoured

a typical station – the station employee (right side of photo) standing at attention as the train leaves. They always do this.  I felt kind of honoured.

 

a tram in Bucharest

a tram in Bucharest

 

Parliament House in Bucharest

Parliament House in Bucharest

 

a first class slepper compartment on the night train from Bucharest to Chisinau, Moldova

a first class sleeper compartment on the night train from Bucharest to Chisinau, Moldova

 

early morning train from Brasov to Sighisoara

early morning train from Brasov to Sighisoara

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara

Sighisoara

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

a delicious Romanian stew

a delicious Romanian stew

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

western Romania countryside

western Romania countryside

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

In the very west, at the border with Serbia. Romanian border officials were very friendly.

In the very west, at the border with Serbia. Romanian border officials were very friendly.