I’m writing this month’s recap from Starbucks in Budapest, Hungary (I was trying to find a different place but failed; it seems like this city is full of people who spend time in cafes with their computers, even if the weather is beautiful outside!). I’ve just landed from Skopje, Macedonia and in 4 hours I have a night train back to Warsaw (and I will go straight to work because that’s what I do ;)).
September was a good month with some really decent travels! Let’s see what I was up to!
I was supposed to start the month in the Balkans but I didn’t, I had to postpone the trip due to work. Lesson learnt, I will never plan bigger trips around the time when trains’ schedule changes as there is no way I can go away. Or probably I could, I just don’t want to leave my colleague with too much of (my) work to do when I’m enjoying some nice place.
At the beginning of the month I traveled to Lviv, Ukraine. Again. I just can’t help myself, this city is just too beautiful and I enjoy it every single time.
Despite my numerous visits there I still keep finding new amazing places! My newest discovery was the Ethnography Museum with the staircase that made my jaw drop, literally.
I also went for the rooftops tour and it was nice but not as amazing as everyone says. But for 200UAH (~7€/8€) I’m not complaining at all!
This time I managed to get a room in Hotel George – the oldest hotel in Lviv that is a real bargain! And to add to the whole experience there was live piano music to go with the breakfast, for a better start of the day.
On my way back when I arrived by train to Przemyśl I ran into Mikheil Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia who was trying to force the Ukrainian border (his citizenship was recently taken away and he tried to get to his adopted country anyway). This is one of the reasons why I love going from Lviv to Krakow by train, you never know what might happen along the way!
A week later I was supposed to go for a weekend to Kaunas, Lithuania. I never was that close to going somewhere but actually not going after all.
Two days before the trip I got pretty nasty food poisoning, I even had to leave work earlier (at 9.30…) and I never do that – that’s how bad I felt! Things were going ups and downs and until last moment I didn’t know what to do. I felt a little bit better some 3 hours before the bus so I quickly ran home to pack.
I was already at the bus stop when things got bad again. The bus arrived, I was sitting at the bench and I literally couldn’t face 7 hours journey when feeling so nauseous. With a heavy heart I turned around and came back home to spend the whole weekend in bed.
I still am so angry but you can do nothing about those things. And I really hope to go to Kaunas in the spring time! I enjoyed the city so much when I visited last year I really want to get to know it better!
And then I went to the Balkans, the trip I’m returning from at the moment. The first plan was to go only to Serbia for a weekend but since I had to cancel the previous trip I’ve decided to spend more time in the area. I found crazy cheap flight back from Skopje to Budapest and besides Serbia I also stopped quickly in Pristina, Kosovo (that happens to be one of my favorite cities) only to go for 6 days to Macedonia.
I was supposed to fly to Serbia but just two days before the departure I’ve realized I missed a good, old train trip. I used to do a lot of those but all the cheap flights changed my travel style a lot. I figured since I have my free train ticket from work (that I can get once a year for European countries of my choice) that cover the whole route from Poland to Serbia why not going by train! And so I did!
On the way I had 3 hours for a quick stroll around Budapest and after 23 hours I was already in Belgrade! And it felt so good! I definitely need to do more of train travels around Europe! If only the trains were slightly faster…
After spending a weekend in Belgrade where I finally got to know the city (and loved it!) I moved for few hours to Pristina to see this year’s version of the NEWBORN sign and enjoy some of the best cafes ever! But also by accident I’ve discovered that for 1€ you can take the elevator up to the cathedral’s tower to see the panorama of the whole city and surrounding mountains. It was beautiful, even in the crappy weather!
Then I had this crazy idea to go from Pristina to Skopje by train because I never did that! There was a train but running only to the border where the Macedonian train should have waited, but it didn’t. Apparently it’s often canceled but no one really knows when it’s going to happen.
On the day when I was going the Kosovar conductor said the last time he saw the train from Skopje was 2 days ago. Fortunately smart locals know about that and so they were waiting at the border station ready to take travelers all the way to Skopje. For only 5€ I shared a ride with 3 Polish guys.
From Skopje I took the bus to Bitola in the south of Macedonia. At first I didn’t know why everyone recommended me this place but it turned out to be really great, with a vibrant main pedestrian street, impressive ancient site and two abandoned places on the hill!
From Bitola I went to Krushevo, with a short stop in Prilep. I was hoping to visit Krushevo for years and when I arrived I could literally see nothing, that’s how terrible the weather was. I spent the whole afternoon in the hotel hoping it will get better in the morning. It didn’t.
When I was ready to admit the defeat and I was leaving to catch the bus down to Skopje the sky suddenly cleared and I could see the stunning view of Krushevo! My highlight in the town was, just like I expected, Macedonium – a brutalism monument that looks kind of like dog’s toy!
As for Skopje – it was amazing as always. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love to hate it but at the same time I hate loving it. There are always so many things to do in Skopje!
As always I stayed at Main Square Apartments – Public Room Anja but this time I had the best view ever! I was ready to spend the whole time in my room, just staring at the Disneyland outside my window.
But I did go out and explore my favorite brutalism gems as well as the bazaar that I grow to love! Skopje is really such a fun city to visit!
And now I’m on my way back home.
No major events here. Just the usual meetings with friends, last BBQs of the year at the riverside and hugging my dog (that technically isn’t mine). Too bad the weather sucked big time in September, I would have spent even more time outside!
I’ve been a terrible blogger again and I published only one new post, about my weekend away in Hannover, Germany (click here to read).
I’ve been writing though, a lot, and I have at least 3 posts almost ready to publish – I only need to reread them and add pictures but somehow it feels like a big deal. But that also means soon you will have here few new posts: about Albania, Pristina and Chernobyl. I will really do my best to publish them soon!
I also finally started adding pictures to my online gallery. There are still not too many of them (editing and especially choosing them takes ages) but I’m slowly working my way through. You can see the gallery here.
Finally I’m also back to be active on Twitter and Instagram. I neglected the first one few months ago and was really demotivated with the second one but now I seem to be over these breaks! Speaking of Instagram, my most popular picture in September was from Lviv, Ukraine, followed by Tbilisi, Georgia!
This weekend I'm going back to one of my favorite places – Lviv (Ukraine). It will be my 10th or so visit there yet there are still so many spots I'd like to see there! I just hope the weather will be as lovely as the last time I visited in June! Do you have any travel plans for this weekend? Share them in the comments below!
Plans for October
I was supposed to go for the weekend to Romania next week but to be honest I’m too lazy and I might just skip this trip and go to my parents’ instead. I also need to get ready for the biggest trip of the year!
On 20th October I’m leaving to Zagreb, Croatia and two days later I’m going to New Zealand (via London and Kuala Lumpur)! I still can’t fully believe I’ll visit literally the other side of the world! I planned a perfect itinerary there (given I have only 10 days) and I’m already super excited for all the places I’m going to visit! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for live updates from this trip!
Hope you had a good September! Here’s to an even better October!
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