The Macedonian Tendency: Mountain Climbing in Macedonia

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mountain Climbing in Macedonia

the 3rd time is a charm « Fox Tales From Macedonia Blog:
August 24th, 2011 § 3 Comments

Or was it 4 ?  
Last weekend was momentous, mountainous … I have tried a few times to do a day hike to Tumba peak on the Belasica Mountian range ( where Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria meet.
A big thank you to the Strumica Hiking club that organized the two day hike. They hauled our (75 people?) tents, sleeping bags and extra stuff up on a tractor. We hiked the 1st half of the trail in a few hours then had the evening to eat, drink, relax and meet new friends. In the morning we rose early for breakfast and the remainder of the hike up to the top to celebrate, turn around and make our way down to the bottom stopping mid way for lunch and pack up our things. They provided the 3 meals as well as having a medical person on hand “just in case”.
This experience is one of my favorite Macedonian experiences. Wonderful people and beautiful scenery. We listened to traditional music, danced and sang, picked wild berries (raspberries, black raspberries, blue berries), tried different home made rakjas, ate fresh made sheep cheese – right there on the mountain so close to the peak and made s’mores for the locals.
The s’mores were a hit (thanks to Austin), they don’t exist here. Marshmallows, if you can find them are a specialty item, very expensive and packaged differently. Graham crackers also do not exist here, they have cracker/biscuits that are close and would actually be really great on a s’more. They do have Hershey’s  chocolate bars. Most were afraid to try, the bravest were eyed suspiciously, waiting for the poisoning to take effect. Yes, some thought we were trying to poison them. My favorite … 2 old guys each with a s’more in their hands, one eating one watching. Eyeing his own s’more and his buddies half eaten one,  after much encouragement, he took a bite. He ended up eating at least two and then helped us make them by handing us the marshmallows to roast and stacking chocolate between the graham crackers for us to make and pass around, with sticky marshmallow cream stuck to his huge grin and whiskery chin. When the chocolate and graham crackers were gone we just roasted the marshmallows and passed the sticks around for people to pull off and eat the toasted sticky treat.
I could do this again. It was well worth the exhaustion and aching feet and legs. There are so many more stories I could tell, just enjoy the pictures. Thank you Eli, Austin, Christine and Robert. Thank you, Macedonia.

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