Ilgaz Blog

How I ended up in Macedonia
How I ended up in Macedonia

Hello!…or здраво! My name is Ilgaz, and I am a recent EVS participant from Turkey. For one month, luckily, I volunteered in this beautiful city of North Macedonia called Bitola, at the foot of Mount Pelister.

After my trip to North Macedonia last year, I started looking for ways to experience this country more. After the short-term voluntary submission, acceptance came, and the story began.

North Macedonia is a small country, but despite its obscurity, it has many advantages: a good location, a warm climate, friendly people, and cheap prices for Europe. Don’t be fooled by the small size of the country, because there are beautiful places to experience and visit.

Although it is my second time here, we can find different places to visit and see every weekend.

Although I have visited many cities here, Ohrid is one of the places where I will not get bored even if I go there every day. It is truly a holiday destination that deserves its name as the “pearl of the Balkans.”

Furthermore, the Magnificent Monastery of Saint Naum, near the border of Albania, should be at the top of the list of places to visit and see in this area.

Another attraction of the city is the Bay of Bones Museum, the water museum on the road to Saint Naum, one of the stops on the way for those who want to visit the monastery. The very interesting open-air museum is known as the oldest settlement in the country.

Matka Canyon, near the city of Skopje, is not only the city’s but undoubtedly the country’s most important natural beauty.

For me, Turkey and North Macedonia are very similar. As such, the languages are not very similar, but I could snatch some familiar words from the conversations of people passing by. Cezve, cay, perde, pencere, masa, cami, fener, pazar, carsi, biber, corap, kasap, tutun, badem ….. etc.

One of our most similar features is our kitchen and food culture.

Within the scope of our project, “Poverty of Humanity,” we work with my project partner, who is a Czech Republic volunteer, in a small kitchen in a local factory called “Baga Food ” two days a week. While working here, it made me very happy to see that we have common meals and similar tastes. Especially dolma, corba, musakka, sutlac, tulumba, borek, guvec, kacamak, turlu tava, sarma, etc. I have had the experience of cooking and eating dishes whose taste and appearance are quite familiar and whose names are well-known.

My experiences in this country, where warm and helpful people live and where the Balkan cold comes, were full. See you next month in my blog post.

Чао чао и се гледаме.

Best Regards

Ilgaz SERT