By Vesna Naumovska, YES Abroad Coordinator, Macedonia
On May 5th, 2017, YES Abroad students Jeremy Slater, Kyra Jasper, Jaleh Shambayati and Arshia Badani accompanied by AC staff Semra Amet and me – Vesna Naumovska started our exciting and long waited excursion through Eastern Macedonia.
First stop was Kokino – worlds 4th oldest observatory. It took us longer than planned to enjoy the perfect view and to take photos.
On our way to the next planned landmark we stop to a village of Staro Nagorichane where we visited the Monastery of St. George built in the 11th century and renewed in the 13th century.
We stopped for a lunch break in village of Ginovci where we tasted cheese dishes and fresh salads.
It was our day of ancient history, so we stopped in the village of Kuklica where we could see Stone Dolls and hear more about the interesting legend of the stone formations. The most famous legend is that of a man who could not decide which of two women he should marry. So, the man planned to marry each woman on the same day at different times. When the first wedding was in progress, the woman to marry the man second went to see who was getting married on the same day as she. When she saw her future husband marrying another woman, she cursed all in attendance at the wedding and turned them into stone. We took plenty of photos.
Just as we arrived in the city of Kratovo it started raining, so our tour guide told us story about the towers all over the city. Kratovo is small city in Macedonia rich with gold and the towers from the Ottoman period were built so rich people can hide their gold at the top of the towers and they were and still are all connected with underground tunnels. Before we left the city a beautiful rainbow wished us a safe trip.
In Kochani we meet with Stefanija Petrova, YES Alumna. She welcomed us and showed us her home city. After visiting many places and having long walks we spend the night in Kocahni, by the lake Gradche.
On May 6th, full with energy and eager to see more places we went to Pehchevo. On our way to Pehchevo we stopped to see the hidden nature beauty and visited Skokoto waterfalls and Crnodolski waterfalls. We enjoyed and got an energy refill from the fresh scent of the forest and the river and soothing bird sounds.
Berovo was the next city we visited, Berovo is famous for white cheese and potatoes, so we tried every specialty dish with potatoes and enjoyed our lunch.
We stopped for a rest in the village of Suvilaki and had coffee in the newly built resort Bela Voda.
By the end of the day we were very tired, so we spent the night in the city of Strumica in order to get ready for the next day.
On May 7th, 2017, our day started with the visit of the village Banja Bansko, and we were astonished by the archeological findings of Roman Thermal Bath witnessing that the spa existed earlier in the ancient period and the baths were the center of the social life.
We visited Koleshinski waterfalls and after a long walk Kyra still had energy and accompanied by our tour guide they visited the famous Tsar’s Towers in the city of Strumica, where they could enjoy the perfect view of the city while we all had coffee in the center of the city.
We ended our wonderful weekend excursion with lunch at the vinery Popova Kula surrounded by the breathtaking nature and view.