Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is Macedonia* the perfect country?

Macedonia has tasty, fresh, local fruit and vegetables
We had envisaged that southern Europe would be full of roadside farmer's stands selling the bounty of the Mediterranean harvest, but until now the selection of fresh fruit and veg was pretty limited. In Macedonia, we finally had the full choice of summer produce: juicy peaches, strange-shaped tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, zucchinis, plums, eggplants, etc, etc. Absolutely delicious!

Ohrid farmers market

Macedonia has beautiful lakes
Anyone looking for a beach holiday would love the crystal clear waters of Lake Ohrid. If (like us) you'd prefer less resort-filled shores, then Lake Prespa is just over the hill (actually a 1400 m mountain pass). The lake is beautiful, the perfect temperature for a swim and the local communities are unspoilt. We'd particularly recommend the small town of Brajcino, where we stayed at Benito's perfect little campsite and hiked up Mt. Pellister. For us, this was the perfect tourist experience.

Lake Ohrid (a remote beach once you got past the resorts)
 Macedonia has bicycle-only highways (almost)
As the highways were upgraded, new roads were built beside the existing ones. Now, all heavy traffic uses the newer roads, leaving parallel roads almost deserted. The road surface may not be ideal for smooth cycling, but it was pleasant to be away from the cars and trucks.

Our road (left) running alongside main road (right)
* our Greek friends should read this as "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)"

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