At the end of March and the beginning of April this year; I, Evelina, Jens, Bengt, Alexander and Ann-Kristin went to the south of Macedonia to attend two international dog shows. These shows were held 15 km from the Greek border. When we had landed in Skopje and got hold of our transfer we experienced beautiful nature and an incredible mountain landscape and it’s a truly beautiful country to see. Just to feel the difference from Swedish winter to instead have 24 degrees and sun was ery nice! The sun was shining and one just enjoyed the ride. Our friends in Macedonia had taken care of the entries to the shows and also the reservation of the hotels in Bitola and Skopje. Sonja and her husband, od mano kennel, were a great help during our stay there. Another star was Helena, our puppy buyer from Serbia that also helped us, during our stay there. With her knowledge of wines, we of course tried several exclusive wines from the Balkan area.
Bitola is a very nice and beautiful town. On Saturday we attended the first show, which was held at an old training ground. In one of the corner an old tank was placed. When looking around there were mountains on all sides – all with snow on the top, and the sun was shining!
We had a great day for the Macedonian judge, both dogs won CC, CACIB and Monique won BOB and Mickey BOS. Jens and Alexander have found their way to a small place were they bought whiskey and drinks for just a couple of Swedish crowns. In the finals we had great success. Evelina showed the dogs in Brace class, winning BIS 2nd placement. Monique was group 1st and in the finals our breed judge placed her on 1st place! Monique won BIS in Macedonia!
We celebrated with Macedonian champagne and it was really good. During the afternoon we walked around and explored Bitola, visited shops and markets. In the evening we and the other exhibitors were invited to a dinner at a local restaurant. It was extremely nice to taste the local cuisine and the dogs loved being in the centre of the things and rested calmly in their bags. During the evening we all danced to Macedonian music together with our friends.
Sunday morning we went to the other show in Prilep, 1 hours drive away. The show was beautifully placed on a hill and you could see the town on all sides. A Serbian judge made Monique BOB and Mickey BOS. Both dogs got their CACIB and both became Macedonian champions. Evelina’s Mickey became International champion! In the finals the brace was 3rd in BIS and Monique got a great 2nd placement in the group. During the evening we walked with the dogs in Bitola. We also attended the casino and Evelina were real good at the Black Jack. The next day we went to Skopje and spent a few days there. We went to the Millenium cross, which is situated on the top of a mountain outside Skopje. We went by bus, sitting on the second floor in a Double Decker. When turning in these narrow mountain roads the bus leaned outside the cliffs and you could look straight down in the abyss. When we were finally there we also had to take the last way to the top in a ski lift. It was very beautiful there but a bit chilly though.
On the way down, one could feel the smell when the brakes got burned in the narrow and tilted roads, but we all had a lots of fun.
After saying goodbye to Helena it was also time to go home to Sweden. It was a wonderful, successful trip and Macedonia is well worth a visit.