Jens back from Africa and I back from Asia and finally both in Europe again. We decided this summer to try something: Jens would check out the paragliding conditions (and obviously also fly) in Macedonia and I would work from there. An entire month. So no competitions this year. Jens left alone by car since he wanted to pass by Greifenburg and I would first visit some friends in Kosovo.

So ten days later we met again at the airport in Skopje. Not really since anyone of us was flying at that time, simply since they sell sim-cards over there…

Macedonia is a really pretty country when it comes to nature. Driving through it, immediately shows you this: there are lots of storks on peoples chimneys in the little villages, majestic mountains, lots of green still, etc. Flying turned out to be quite nice as well.

It also feels a bit like going back into time here. Just have a look at the cars… Most of them have no lights or max one that actually works, none of them would be allowed into Germany or Belgium and some even have wooden chairs…

This little town in the mountains full of cars from the middle ages (or maybe a little later) is called Krushevo. All the streets are very narrow and cobblestoned. Everybody seems to know each other, but since most people haven’t been travelling a lot, it’s sometimes a challenge to talk to them.

The launch was pretty close and so easy to get to. Just a 10 minutes drive, maybe even less. And right in front of the launch is a very broad and flat valley where you can easily do some cross country flying and land almost everywhere.

However, sometimes there was simply too much wind (as you can see…) or wind from the wrong direction and then it was possible they would decide to cross the valley and launch at the other side of it. A longer drive, but definitely worthwhile. It was a memorable flight for me, since I got to fly a little bit too. I admit you need a pair of good eyes, but if you look at the last picture in the next bunch: that is me flying!

Sometimes that also meant looking for other activities. Like visiting a marble lake for example. Unfortunately they were working right behind it, which made it a little less idyllic, so we didn’t swim in the end. We did make new friends and the ‚marble lake boss‘ gave us his written permission to come and swim whenever we wanted!

In little Krushevo, there were probably less then 10 places to have lunch or dinner. Macedonia is not the best place to be when it comes to food. We are definitely not a fan of ‚Krushevo Pie‘ and although we love cheese, we learned that you actually can have too much cheese. Or at least cheese on things were it doesn’t belong. Like a salad  with a big pile of cheese on top for instance…

One of the highlights was absolutely our little trip to lake Ohrid. There was one launch and cross country flying wasn’t really a thing there, but the surroundings were simply stunning. As we went higher, you could even see two lakes at both sides of the mountain ridge and as far as Albania. We also top landed on a mountain where there was still snow! With the tandem. Also so what do you do, when there is snow? You built a snowman!

And after snow up, we went for a swim down in the crystal clear water of lake Ohrid. Afterwards we had the best fresh fish ever and we even ended the day with a little romance. Who would have thought…

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