We entered North Macedonia on Tuesday, October 5. We had stayed in Prizren – a lively, modern and very pretty city – for a couple days, but we were ready to explore another new country. The border crossing was very easy, although we had to show our proof of vaccination for the first time.

Our first tasks in Skopje were to find an ATM and a local SIM card. The weather was great, so we took our time and enjoyed a delicious meal in the sun. The next morning, Nienke went running and we both went swimming in the indoor swimming pool. It had been a while since we had had our last warm shower, so this was a real treat. The rest of the day, we wandered through the city, exploring Macedonia Square and the old fortress.

On Thursday morning, we woke up in a grey and rainy world. We had planned to do the free walking tour of the city, but we found out that we had to do some paperwork instead. Supposedly, tourists need to register themselves when they enter Macedonia. Our Workaway host had told us that we needed to go to the police station to do this, but the officers told us that we couldn’t register without an address: “You are staying in our country illegally, you need an address.” While it was raining cats and dogs, we biked to the city to find a hostel that wanted to register us. It took us the whole day and we had to pay for one night in the hostel, but finally we managed to legally stay in Macedonia!

Because everything in the car was wet and we didn’t like the weather forecast for the next week (rain rain rain!), we decided to go to our Workaway right away. Although the host didn’t have much work for us, she was happy to have us anyway. We are staying in a hostel, so we can sometimes help cleaning the place and changing the beds. It has been raining most of the days, which didn’t allow us to explore the mountains that are surrounding us. This place is supposed to be gorgeous, but all we have seen is the city center and the inside of this hostel!

Luckily, we had two days without much rain. We were able to help our host grill sweet peppers, which they use to make ajvar. This delicacy is traditional for all Balkan countries and every family makes their own. We really love to learn how to make things like this!

Tomorrow, we will leave this city again. Although the weather forecast still isn’t great, we want to see more of Macedonia and spend some time in nature again. Let’s hope we’ll find some sun along the way!

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