Sunday, November 1, 2015

Skopje, Macedonia (again!) + maybe useful tips

Read about our first Macedonian adventure here!

Three and a half months later, we were back in Skopje, ready for another Balkan roadtrip adventure. After literally starting laundry for the trip two hours before we were supposed to leave for the airport and a nice run to the bus stop with all our stuff, we were of course told at the airport that our flight would be delayed by at least two hours. We picked out a camping spot at a pizza restaurant and as I reached for my phone to let Cairit (who was waiting for us in Skopje) know about the delay, I got a text from her: "Help! Help! Help! A guy just offered me sex in a park. Waiting for you!" We hadn't even left the airport and the Balkan-crazy was already happening...

Eventually we did make it to Skopje, though, and headed to the car rental counter to pick up our car, which turned out to be a Kinder-Surprise-Pikachu instead. I'll post a picture of it in the next post. This time we decided to avoid unnessesary stress and also get a GPS. Apparently we hadn't learned much from the last time and trusted it for taking us to our apartment, so we got to explore some more sketchy areas of Skopje at night, even though our place was literally on the main square. 

As for the city itself, not much had changed since we'd last been. Everything was still under construction, stray dogs running around and even the book lady on the main square seemed to not have sold anything from her impressive pile. If anything, maybe a couple more statues... 

Anyway, since we've done this for a couple of times now, I thought I'd give some info that I might have found useful prior to the trip: 

Car rental
Although in Germany, we've always stayed true to Europcar, in Macedonia we've tried out Hertz and Enterprise. So...
Better price: Enterprise
Less bullshit: Hertz (Enterprise made us pay some ridiculous border crossing fee per border which wasn't included in the price and didn't reflect anywhere when we were looking at options on
Better car: Hertz (Altough driving the Pikachu was pretty funny.)
Funny dude at the counter: Hertz 

As far as I'm concerned, go for apartments, which can also be found on booking sites. They're usually either 100% newly renovated and a little walk from the centre, or a little more older looking and right on the main square. The price range for us has always been around 10€ per person per night, but if anyone is up for an adventure ask me for our last guy's phone/WhatsApp number to try to get an even better price. :D

To get an idea of what the guy is like (in a good way of course!) and for all other reasons, check out THIS VIDEO.

If you have any experience with travels in Macedonia or Balkans in general, leave a comment, please. I'm super interested in other people's experience with this wonderful crazy region!

Oh, and Cairit was all alive and well!

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