On the northeast bank of Lake Ohrid lies a city with a relaxed, almost fairy-tale atmosphere. There are located countless monuments of ancient and very recent past. Above the town rises the limestone mountains Galicica with red soil terra rosa and karst topography.
China's hard work and discipline accompanied us at every step and a visit of Beijing Foreign Studies University just confirmed it. Here we had a chance to appreciate even more characteristic of Chinese - adaptability.
Read more about one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and about its frightening history...
All one week of May I spent in the Hotel Metropol, which lies on the shores of Lake Ochrid. Every night I was impressed with the most endearing red sunset that I've seen in my life. Seven days later I watched how the calm lake level alternating with turbulent waves, which caused the winds, the falling of the lake from the Albanian mountains on the opposite side.
Visit of Beijing food market and edibles of all kinds, shapes, smells, often of unknown origin and a long life even more dangerously we were really stunned for a moment and quietly wandering Chinese traders staring at the blonde, which move at a rate of marathon runners. Phew. We are off and miraculously in front of us pleasantly familiar signs shucks "Starbucks Coffee".
The first thing, what I could see from the Macedonian capital of Skopje, if I won´t speak about airport, it was one big construction site. All around the Vardar River, which rushed the city quite sharply, lay concrete blocks, metal plates, wires and other junk. Almost all buildings in the vicinity, as far as my eyes could see, were under scaffolding. Bridges were broken, impassable.
Beijing is for us concentration of paradoxes. Endless skyscrapers, luxury living residences, shops of all tech brands on one side and then thousands of artifacts, ancient Chinese culture. We are interested in both of it, but the traditional one is but much more interesting.
I went to Macedonia due to my work. I spent there all week, and although it was business trip, wasn´t problem to see beauty at least the part of this wonderful country, if possible, and look best known.
The first dining experience in China didn’t impress me too much. Five stars beautiful hotel, a lot of fuss on arrival our journalistic delegation - a bow and waving fans welcomed us beauties in traditional dress, from the table.
Last day of our trip before departure to Auckland was reserved for sightseeing of Queenstown. The city with its 23 thousand inhabitants has a great location – lies in sigmoide bending of Lake Wakatipu and sharply uprising mountains.
From the bus window, we could see Beijing crisscross, authentic atmosphere of the streets and alleys and hundreds of thousands of people in them, but we sucked up in the role of hikers and then of course after "bedtime" is ended with an official dinner with selected potent and our tired guide disappeared behind hotel room door.
Night that we spent in the cottage was not too nice, at least for me. First, there flew a few stray "Sandflyes' and the second one in the bedroom still was snoring. This could probably be expected, because all 40 people were divided only into two rooms.
In the morning we woke up to a rainy day. Because we have booked this day to move from Fox Glacier to Queenstown on the south part of the South Island, we were forced to pack up all things.
We "elect" could see the Chinese megalopolis through largely a luxury air-conditioned bus with a smiling dude behind the wheel. It is also part of local standard, certainly not just for a small group of natives and of course for wealthy tourists.
Aquataxi brought us back to the start of the trek, where we have transgressed of coach to Nelson. Here we planned to sleep in one of the local hostels and buy food for our next trip. Nelson, who is known for its fruit orchards, winemaking and mainly brewing represents during the main tourist season, one of the liveliest cities of NZ.
Guadeloupe is one of the French Departments. What is hidden here?
World media today proclaims that the Chinese state television CCTV triumphantly finished its job and officially opened a new headquarters in Beijing. The futuristic-looking building that should symbolizes the emergence of China on the world stage, journalists dubbed it - thanks to the remarkable shape for her grace in the world called the Chinese "Great boxers."
Our wishful expectations about better weather fulfilled. We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning - you would not say that the day before there was torrential rain all day. We were very happy today because we had planned to go on a 3-day trek - Abel Tasman Coastal path.
Being in China and not visit the Great Wall is equal to savagery. The official program that the Chinese government has prepared us is this trip only alternative and we have to earn deserve it. From early morning we sit in the Red Hall headquarters of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China and pretend to listen to propaganda papers enthusiastic speakers.
Peace Square is one of the busiest places in the Czech capital. What hides?
Ferry docked in the small town of Picton, where we had booked InterCity company bus as part of our "Travel Pass" to Nelson. Here we had about an hour then the next and last for one day change for a bus that should have led us to the beginning of a coastal road in the Abel Tasman National Park - to Marahau.
Finally Beijing. Our journalistic team has battled a series of security checks and we find ourselves in an endless airport lounge. The feeling that the local crowd have to absorb us was not correct. Then we see a smiling Chinese lady and in minutes everyone sit in a luxury air-conditioned bus.
To the New Zealand capital of Wellington we arrived in the evening. We had arranged lodging at some Englishman of CouchSurfing. His name was Mark and he lives in New Zealand for about 6 years. He lived in the southern part of town called Kilbirnie, from the city centre had to take a bus which took about half an hour.
Asia - a continent with many faces, climatic zones and incredible differences. With an area of 44 milion km² and about 4 billion people is the largest and most populous continent in the world.
The nice weather filled our expectations. From one of the local hostels in Taupo, where we spent last night was a wonderful view of snow-capped volcanoes in the National Park (NP) Tongariro, towering above Lake Taupo.
Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.