An afternoon in Ohrid

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Apple Festival in Tetova

A couple of weeks ago 6 of us - 3 Peace Corps trainees from my village and 3 from a neighboring village - headed west for the annual apple festival in Tetovo. Tetovo is in the northwest part of Macedonia, not far from Kosovo and Albania, though you'd have to go over some significant mountains to reach Albania. It was a gray and rainy day, and we took the bus from Skopje. Traveling in Macedonia is a lot like traveling in New Hampshire or Vermont - because it is small the distances aren't nearly as far as they look on a map. We almost missed our stop in Tetova and went down to Gostivar, but at the last minute a friend who was smart enough to remember her guidebook realized we were in Tetovo and we got our grumbling driver to stop again to let us off. At that point we discovered there really wasn't a festival - the person who had thought of the trip had told one of our friends that Tetovo had the best apples in Macedonia, and that got translated into a feste. But for us it was a feste! We visited with Peace Corps volunteers living there, went to see the painted mosque, and ate in a good Italian restaurant - I had chicken shishkebab which was very salty like much of the food here but also delicious. It was too bad the weather wasn't better - I could see that the mountains literally came down to the edge of the city, and when it's clear it must be gorgeous. It's an ethnic Albanian town of about 80,000 so we got to practice some of our Albanian. We went to the treg (bazaar) to get pictures of our apple festival before catching the bus and train home. It was a fun way to practice taking local transportation in Macedonia, and one of the nice things about being in the Peace Corps is that there are people everywhere that we can go visit.

Next week we go to for our site visits - to the places we'll live and work for the next two years. I am soooo excited - can hardly wait to see what I will shortly call home. Miss everyone and send my best.

1 comment:

  1. I am Macedonian from Tetovo and i like your story - BUT>
    If you work in Peace Corps in Macedonia you should know what is or is not correct to say> Tetovo is not Albanian city (is Macedonian city with predominantly Albanian population, but with many other ethnicities.)

    I worked in OSCE FS Tetovo and i know that you should be more sensitive about this - since you represent organization such as Peace Corps.

    Darko, Tetovo