Hot Air Ballooning, Paragliding and Kite Surfing – Turkey

I think the title says a lot about the two and a half weeks I spent in Turkey. It will be unforgettable, I guarantee that.

Amazing Macedonia

After the spring break craziness in Croatia I drove about 700 miles in one day to Skopje, Macedonia. I finally got to reunite with a friend I met in Alaska last summer! Dorotea and her sister Tara came from Macedonia to Anchorage to work. Unfortunately I didn’t meet them until well over half way through the summer so I didn’t get to show them around too much.

I rolled into Skopje just as Dorotea was finishing the last of her exams so she got to show me around the entire country for the week. Macedonia is one of those countries you don’t really dream about going to for most people but it did not disappoint! I’m sure it helped that I had a true local there to show me everything but still, it was amazing.

Skopje is pretty much like every other big city but I got the chance to go to a cowboy bar again. Definitely reminded me of Eddies! Just outside of Skopje is Matka valley where I got to do a little cliff diving. And after spending a couple days hitting some good restaurants and seeing Skopje we took a drive down to Ohrid.

Ohrid is a nice little town situated on a beautiful, almost crystal clear lake. One of the highlights, besides the fortress, old city, and antic theater was this little bar, Jazz Inn. Lots of locals, good beer, good Rakia and of course good music.

The one thing I learned in Macedonia was that you can never 100% trust Google Maps. We were on our way back to Skopje from Ohrid and I decided to take and different way back through the mountains. Originally, I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal cause it was a big yellow line on google, most of the time indicating there is some sort of road, maybe pavement maybe not. Everything started out well with a nice road winding through the mountains all the up until we went through this little village. After the village there was about 4 dirt tracks leading away from it, no signs, no nothing. I still think its a good idea to continue. Not more than five minutes after being on the dirt road I hit a huge rock in the middle of the path and have my worst cash on the motorcycle yet. Dorotea was a trooper, we were both ok and once again decide to continue on. Seriously 5 minutes after that I look over to my left and there appears to be a lion running full speed toward the motorcycle. One more glance and it looks like this lion is accompanied by a pair of wolves! As they get closer I can hear the vicious barking start. I was trying to be extra cautious after crashing just a couple of minutes before but once those dogs got about 4 feet away from the bike and I saw that the lion looking dog was almost as big as the bike, I decided it was time to get the hell out of there! Thank God I didn’t crash during those next five minutes while those dogs were chasing us or else I can’t imagine what would have happened. Now we are committed to this path, there is no way we can go back past those dogs. So the next 4 hours continued on like this with more crashes, trying to follow the “road” which sometime was non-existent and me cussing google the entire time. After it was all over, I thought it was fun, Dorotea might have a different word for it.

Enjoy the pics!