Macedonia - country of the south of the Balkan Peninsula. The population is about 2 million people, almost a quarter live in the capital - Skopje. And a quarter of the population are Albanians. In the UN, the country is called the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as Greece is dissatisfied with the "incorrect" name of the country (most of the historical Macedonia is in Greece).
Macedonia was the poorest republic in the Yugoslavia, and now the economic situation has not greatly improved, rather the opposite. Contributed to the Kosovo conflict and sanctions from Greece. According to the level of economic development, Macedonia confidently occupies the second place from the end in Europe, second only to Albania.
But, this does not mean that in Macedonia there is a lot of devastation, dirt and crowds of beggars - nothing of the sort. Slums in the cities do not, rubbish heaps do not roll. Most residents may not be rich, but this does not happen in the eyes.
The main attractions of Macedonia are natural - mountains, forests, lakes ... All of Macedonia is one big nature reserve.
The main tourist city of Macedonia is Ohrid, really very interesting.
Tourists are quite numerous, despite the fact that tourist information is extremely inadequate. Even on the Internet it is not easy, and sometimes impossible, to find a description of the object of interest. I'm not talking about the usual European tourist centers, where you can take a free map and other printed materials. In Macedonia, it is not easy to get even for money.
Street food in Macedonia is traditionally Balkan - products from puff pastry of different shapes and with different fillings. Cheap. In general, local products and products are rather cheap, import - on the contrary. Well it is clear.
Strong alcohol is also traditionally Balkan and is also traditionally nasty. The wine is good, but the cost of a decent Macedonian wine, perhaps, is higher than that of other European wines of the same quality.
Public transport in Macedonia is not too cheap. But, anywhere you can go to any passing car, and it can cost even less than a bus. The main thing is to imagine how much the bus costs and not to agree to an amount much higher than the tariff.
Intercity buses leave from bus stations, but, usually, take passengers and along the way. Bus stations are quite familiar, with a general cashier for all destinations, or there are a type of Spanish - each carrier company sells tickets only for its buses. However, unlike Spain, it will not be possible to find any information on the Internet or, even more so, to buy a ticket online. There are a couple of sites that give information on the schedule of buses (not just Macedonian, but generally Balkan), but the likelihood that this schedule corresponds to reality is extremely small, so I will not even refer to them. If a long trip is planned, you need to visit the bus station or the office of the transport company in advance (if, suddenly, you already know which one you need) and find out the schedule on the spot. And it is better to buy a ticket at once - it is not known how vivacious this direction is, tickets for all may not be enough. This, of course, is very inconvenient, but, in comparison with Albania, Macedonia is just a sample of the organization of public transport. :) Here, at least, there is a timetable, which, in the main, is observed. "Basically" - because buses are still often late. But, at least we know the time of departure from the initial station. :)
Macedonian languege, in my opinion, is a cross between the Bulgarian and the Serbian. They write in Cyrillic. In English they speak only in very tourist places and a small part of the youth.
Macedonian language :)
Macedonia is convenient to combine with Albania. Albania also has few direct flights, and from Macedonia it is possible to go by bus and return back. Well, or not to return and fly back already from Albania.
The border is more logical to cross in the area of Ohrid - checkpoints and at the northern and southern end of Ohrid Lake . In the first case, from Ohrid you need to get to Struga - there are passing buses to Tirana. In the second - to go to Sveti Naum, the same bus goes further to the border. Border to cross on foot, further to Pogradets by taxi (there are no options - it's not close, but there is no other transport).
No visa required for Macedonia - welcome! :) It's really interesting, and it's unusual - absolutely for sure.