What's your first impressions of Macedonia?

 This is the question my friend and family in France asked me when I just arrived in Prilep. Most of French people don't know much about Balkan’s culture and they are curious about it. I arrived two weeks ago and I can't pretend to picture everything in a short time, but at least I can share some of my first impressions!

To introduce myself quickly: I'm 23 girls, I'm from Brittany in the west part of France. I just finished school and travelling is a hobby so it's the reason why I came in Prilep for an EVS. I'll stay in SEGA for seven months.

 

Let's start with the most important topic:

What is my first impression about food?

I googled « Macedonian food » before coming, and I was happily surprised. Everything looks tasty and the first word that came to my mind was « generous ». I was eager to try it for real! When I arrived, a few volunteers took me into a traditional restaurant in Prilep « Makedonska Kuka» to enjoy traditional food like:

Tavce gravce which is a thick and chunky bean stew that is cooked in the traditional Macedonian earthenware. My opinion: Substantial and nutritious.

- Shopska Salata: this salad consists of big chunks of tomato, peppers, cucumber an onion and is topped with a generous amount of feta cheese. Very fresh.

Sirenje vo furnais oven-baked feta cheese. Very good if you like cheese.

Baklava uses phyllo dough stacked with honey and nuts. One of the best food ever, there is no word to describe the taste, just try.

Homemade Wine: The taste is different from the wine I use to drink, it’s more fruity and it contains more alcohol than an industrial wine. And it is made with love:)

I am really happy with my first experience with Macedonian food, and I decided notto leave Macedonia without having discovered all traditional dishes (be ready stomach!). 

 

How is the Landscape in Prilep?

Prilep is surrounded by mountain which is very nice. I've had the chance to go in Markovi Kuli tower (or Marko's Towers) by a sunny day. It's about 30 min by foot from the center and on top, you can enjoy a fantastic 360° view of the city of Prilep and the Pelagonian plains. You must see it if you visit Prilep !

 

 

 

 

How is your first opinion about people?

They don't hesitate to invite you to share a meal or to help you if you are lost in the street or looking for something in a shop. They are curious about foreigners and sociable.

Before Christmas, people light fires outside and invite their neighbors to share food, wine and play traditional music. I and others volunteer were invited in a neighborhood, and during this evening I realized how people get attached to traditions in this area.

I also learned that several generations can live in the same house We are born, raised, married and we die all in the same house.” It's a part of their culture and it is also less expensive.

My first impression is that local people in Prilep are friendly and generous.

 

 

 

 

What about the weather? I arrived in a sunny but cold day (-6 °c). I was not ready for that because in France I live in a region where the climate is mild. Hopefully, I was lucky enough to see the first which makes me completely forget that I was cold.        Apparently Macedonian have cold winter and warm summer, so let's wait for summer! 

 

Others stuffs:

             Price: The money here is the denar 1euro = 60d and life is cheap

             Petard: Children are crazy about fireworks, especially for special events (like new year). It made me jump with fright at the beginning, but now I'm used to it!

             There are small shops everywhere: it's very convenient

             Taxi are very cheap: if you are too lazy to walk do not hesitate to use them.

These are just my first impressions, and they are different for each of us. You have to make your opinion by yourself! It will certainly change during my stay and it will be fun to compare it with my impressions when I will leave Macedonia.

 

Albane D.

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