Macedonia

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Skialp in Northern Macedonia

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Inserted: 02.03.2022
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com
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Extremists

Do you know where a dog steals your beeper? In Northern Macedonia! It was supposed to attack, but it didn't happen. Even so, we conquered three valuable hikes to the almost three-thousand-meter peaks above the village of Popova Šapka – a short distance from the border with Kosovo (tvl, fuck the traverse). I can't blame you, I was with the boys from the Beskydy Mountains. Last week of February 2022.

Moving from the Czech Republic

The move from the Czech Republic was highly efficient, but we nevertheless spent thirteen hours on the road. There were eight of us – one mayor, one photographer, two owners of construction companies, one manufacturer of skis, one manufacturer of the best caps in the world, one sales director and one school principal. During our stay in Popov Šapka, several dogs joined us (some of them wanted to take them home) and one Darko from the bar. Money (Macedonian denar – exchange rate at the time of our trip: 1 MKD = 0.40 CZK), please do not withdraw, you can pay everywhere in euros.

Moving from the Czech Republic
Author: Karel Kadlubiec © gigaplaces.com

Hotel Konak

The boys told me that we would get out of the car straight to the hotel and that we were packing in big bags (just one person with one piece of luggage, so that it fit well into the vans). My premonition that it will turn out differently, of course, can be seen in the photo. Fortunately, it took me a while to tell them that I was 5 weeks after knee arthroscopy (which is true, by the way), so they pulled my bag there (downhill). My knee lasted (the trip was actually such an attempt as it will continue to be – a torn anterior cruciate ligament). Our hotel had a distinctive name – Konak. We did not disgrace the name.

Hotel Konak
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

You want a temple or a mosque

We had an Orthodox church right in front of the hotel, the minaret was in sight in the valley. In Macedonia you can choose. Most Muslims are Albanians, Orthodoxy predominates.

You want a temple or a mosque
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com
Don't underestimate the equipment!
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

Don't underestimate the equipment!

On the first morning in the hotel, we blew up one avalanche backpack. No, it wasn't intentional.

Ascent to Antenna

Anteni 2531 m we chose as the goal of the first day. At times it was not visible for more than a few meters. The snowfall looked promising, but the miracle did not happen. The descent down was hell (diffusion, ice) at times, but the few centimeters that came made the surface more bearable, and then we drove down to the soft fir.

Ascent to Antenna
Author: Radim Kovář © gigaplaces.com
A few numbers came up
Author: Viktor Polášek © gigaplaces.com

A few numbers came up

We could have imagined about the powder. Thanks to Viktor for catching me, it looks like I'm using edges.

Snow dog
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

Snow dog

The first meeting with the local dogs followed right after the descent into the valley and a late lunch at the „Ski rent Nordic bar“ (we had beef soup, meat, salad and actually everything they had there). Dogs have big paws and look happy and healthy. They live their own lives on the slopes. The picture shows a puppy, of course.

Let's do an avalanche exercise

With this picture, I am slowly getting to the refutation of the introductory hoax that dogs are stealing beeps in Macedonia. Please don't steal! But to be sure, we kept an eye on them for the rest of the trip! The incident is really simple. We wanted to fill the rest of the afternoon usefully, so Viktor and Hejkal and I set out to hide their three beeps in the adjacent hillside and then simulate an avalanche for the rest of the staff. The simulation worked! Two beeps were rescued at intervals of several minutes. The one I hid but didn't make any signal (well, I switched it to send, but as I stuffed it into the ice crevice, it turned off …). However, it meant nothing to our fighters. They picked up a signal from the dogs and set out to chase after Pop's Hat. Every time they approached the dogs, they picked up a signal. This confirmed their theory. In the meantime, I went to take a shower to find out that Viktor was writing me desperate news and then calling where I had put the beeper, that the boys were running up and down the village.

Let's do an avalanche exercise
Author: Markéta Fibigerová © gigaplaces.com

View of Anteni

The peak of Anteni – 2531 m is located above the rock wall in the middle of the picture (we walked around it from the left), the photo is taken the next day, when it was finally seen where we actually climbed.

View of Anteni
Author: Radim Kovář © gigaplaces.com
Day two
Author: Radim Kovář © gigaplaces.com

Day two

The sky widened and it was finally a little visible. We decided to walk 800 meters to the top of the two-seater cable car (we wouldn't go anyway). The resort was deserted. As you can see, the local dog or female made us company again. She walked up with us – to the elevation of 2437 m and then she went down safely.

Valley views

In the afternoon we went to Tetovo. The boys decided that I would drive and packed into one van (one Pilsen in each hand). With rumors that they were making seven brothers for me (as a woman, I was basically incapacitated here), we first went down the serpentines and looked for views of the city, then wandered the city streets.

Valley views
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

Tetovo

Tetovo is the fifth largest city in North Macedonia (the first sentence from wikipedia). The first place we headed was a painted mosque from the fifteenth century, which attracts with its exteriors and, of course, the space to purify before prayer. Libor would probably look for another cultural heritage, but the rest of us were looking for something to eat.

Tetovo
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

Mosque in Tetovo

Picture of the above-mentioned mosque – Macedonian еарена џамија (Šarena Džamija). The whole area has been inhabited since the Stone Age and has a turbulent history. At present, the city has a population of about 90,000 and is also significant because the university is located here.

Mosque in Tetovo
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

Watch out for the ceiling

It is not advisable to climb in the restaurant. We ordered basically everything they had on the table. Another program consisted of finding a shisha bar, a Barcelona disco and chatting with several Macedonians who were all in the Czech Republic.

Watch out for the ceiling
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

It is usually dark under the candlestick

Alcohol is not just served anywhere. In fact, we walked around the square three times and drove a few miles before we discovered this bar (name: Dante). Spending 60 Euros for 8 people came in handy, finding a local groom for me (they took care of me for a whole week) no longer took place. Viktor took us up the serpentines again and we went to bed quite well.

It is usually dark under the candlestick
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

Trip to Titov vrch

On the third day it was decided to make a good hike. In fact, we looked at the map as far as possible and went there. Elevation gain 1150 m plus cable car exit, route length 21 km. Titov vrch is the highest mountain in the area with its 2747 meters. Basically, you are already on the Kosovo border. The trip there means several kilometers of traversing under the peaks of Karabunar (2600 m) and Bakardan (2700 m).

Trip to Titov vrch
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com
Traversing
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

Traversing

You have a cramp in your upper leg, but be cool, it will turn around on the way back. It wouldn't be nice if someone came down. It remains to complete the story of how David and Hejkal worked on the cable cars on the two-seater at the start to turn it on, but Libor threw a pitchfork into it. He was right, it turned out afterwards, it was better to get out of the six-seater, because we connected to the route, which saved us unnecessary repeated ascents and descents.

Group meetings

When the lookout tower at the top was in sight, the wind was getting stronger and we hid under the rock for a while to agree on how to proceed, a group appeared in front of us… „Didn't I hear Czech?“ „He heard.“ „And why do you ride snowmobiles, dicks?“ „Robin…“ „Ah, Robin…? Aren't you Robin Kaleta? ”“ I am. Are you here with Palic? ”“ No, we're not. "Yeah, it's okay and there's no danger of an avalanche today.“

Group meetings
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

Titov vrch - peak

At the top is a lookout tower with a bivouac and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. A strong wind was blowing there. Viktor pulled out his skis and then slid down quickly back to me. I forgave the last two hundred meters of steep climb because it occurred to me that I should be glad that the knee held. I stood under a rock and picked up the phone for my parents, who were calling for entrance exams. The way back was faster than the way there, but annoying enough. We went into two groups and upstairs at the cable car we met Radim, who spent solo that day, because it's really stupid to do this on a snowmobile.

Titov vrch - peak
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com
Cultural insert
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

Cultural insert

No, it's not Macedonian … Grandma with Kasha sum in church. August and muvi come to the arena. What is the place where the grandmother is the most chupata? Grandma says to Kashi: „Kaša, arrest your ears, here, banjos, shake bardzo glitter.“ Obok šiedzoncy policjant povjy babče: "Něch ši pani Ně martvi.

View from the drone

On Friday morning, we walked up the high altitude to let go of the drone and enjoy the day of skiing at all.

View from the drone
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

Pop's cap from above

It was quite decent to drive in a soft firn. We shot some shots, which of course look flat.

Pop's cap from above
Author: Martin Novotný © gigaplaces.com

The last evening

The evening unexpectedly succeeded until the morning hours (the twin brothers celebrated their birthdays), so at eight in the morning throwing everything in their bags and setting out on their way back for a while seemed like a wild idea. But the energy was so good that we were able to focus on the travel experiences we had planned for the return trip. We have two Macedonian maidens in the picture – a mother and a daughter. Congratulations were received at Libor's request – a bit of a surprise for the boys.

The last evening
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

Mother

The evening unexpectedly succeeded until the morning hours, so throwing everything into your bags at eight in the morning and setting out on your way back for a while seemed like a wild idea. But the energy was so good that we were able to focus on the cultural experiences that we planned for the return trip, ie a visit to the Mother Canyon, including the monastery and a tour of Skopje. We had 12 hours to go to the Czech Republic, which took a four-hour stand on the Hungarian border. Radio reports of the Russian army's advance into Kiev are part of this. Radim decided to send the bill for the trip from all of us to the Red Cross. We will hope that the next ski alpine tour will take place in peacetime.

Mother
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com

Skopje

Skopje at the end. Twelve hours of travel to Bohemia awaited us, which took another four hours to stand on the Hungarian border. Radio reports of the Russian army's advance into Kiev are part of this. Radim decided to send the bill for the trip from all of us to the Red Cross. We will hope that the next ski alpine tour will take place in peacetime.

Skopje
Author: Libor Fojtík © gigaplaces.com
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