Country point Macedonia - a different way of getting there


The Country point Macedonia is actually quite easy to reach from Germany: for around 100 EUR, the Ryanair plane brings the inclined cacher to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, at a good time. There is nothing to be said against this path. But there was another way...

Here I would like to tell you how you can get to the country of Macedonia with a rental car from Thessaloniki - or not. But read for yourself...

 

Greece as the starting point for the country point Macedonia

Since, as a “Mainz girl”, I don’t really have carnival in my blood, I regularly flee far away on the foolish days. And what could be more obvious than getting a country point? This time it was supposed to be Greece and the almost grown-up daughter just had to come along. Their enthusiasm was not very great in advance, but in the end they really liked our days together at the Edessa waterfall or the photo session in Meteora or the eventful trip to Macedonia. It's the experiences that stay in our memories...

We bought cheap flights with Ryanair from Germany to Tessaloniki a long time in advance. We also found a good, reasonably priced hotel in the narrow belt around Tessaloniki. Since we also rented a car from/to the airport, the location of the hotel wasn't that important to us. More important was the availability of free parking spaces and a quick access to the nearest major roads.

Geocache as country point Macedonia

For the eager geocacher from Germany who has a few days in Thessaloniki, it is obvious to drive the almost 90 kilometers to the country of Macedonia comfortably on the well-developed country road. Since we had rented a rental car for the entire duration of our stay, we also planned this tour. The destination was the Tradi Library in Gevgelia, GC4F97N.


Country point Macedonia

Road from Greece to Macedonia

After a hearty breakfast we set off. We were both excited about the last few kilometers of the road that leads directly to the Greek-Macedonian border. We knew this stretch of road from the news of the last few months about the streams of refugees who were looking for their way to happiness here. So while driving the car comfortably, there was a little time for a political discussion with the young people next to me. We could well imagine what the families went through when they migrated here to the border with the Republic of Macedonia. Through our memories of television pictures, an oppressive feeling crept over us. We are now crossing a border where we need ID and vehicle documents. We hardly know such border controls from our European environment. Suddenly I wasn't sure anymore whether we had all the papers we needed with us. Disappearing across a border into the neighboring country in a rental car? There was something…. A quick look in the glove compartment while the street was getting more and more illuminated, heading straight for the sentry boxes that could be seen from afar. Surely the feeling that crept up on us at this point cannot be explained well here. But it was a tense situation when we finally lowered the passenger window at the border control booth with our ID cards in hand and the car papers in a thick folder.

Border crossing from Greece to the Republic of Macedonia

And then came the surprise: we were greeted in a very friendly manner by the border guards, who were decorated with lots of medals and buckles. Perfect English, when he saw our IDs, he greeted us in broken German, clearly pleased. Of course we smiled back and handed over our passports. Passport control: check. We were asked if we wanted to visit the church in the next town. Yes, we wanted that, because that's where the closest Tradi is, the only one that's accessible in the area. Then vehicle papers: check. Or not? We didn't have a green insurance card with us! No, we really didn't have that. We were offered to buy one in the house next door. But it would be expensive and not worth it. I would have taken the money for such a special country point, but the nice border official took pity on us. He offered us to park our car next to him and take a taxi. It's a lot cheaper and good. So we parked our rental car within his sight on the Greek side (he thought it was important!) and changed to a taxi that arrived directly. A talkative taxi driver drove us to the nearby town for very little money. It's a good thing that this cache is located at a sight, otherwise we would have had trouble explaining it.....


Country point Macedonia

Cache in Gevgelija - country point Macedonia in an extraordinary way

In about 15 minutes we went by taxi and with an always smiling driver directly to the desired church. Of course we started looking for a cache and the incredulous look of the driver made us smile. But it didn't matter. We hadn't said what we were doing there... Unfortunately, I find it increasingly difficult to find caches under pressure and so we didn't find anything at first. After what felt like 30 minutes, which was more like 5 minutes, the driver got out and joined us. Now the only thing that helped was to flee to the front and we explained in English, hands and feet, what we were doing there. As expected, he had never heard of geocaching. But he knew how to catch Pokemon – from his nephews and nieces. There you go! So we allowed the comparison and showed him that we were looking for a small film canister. From then on the three of us searched and Angelo – our taxi driver – finally found a small bag with damp paper. We were actually looking for a film canister…. But since there were already several logs on this, we put in a clean piece of paper, donated a can of film and hid everything from the eyes of the taxi driver. He was visibly proud to know something now and to know that he can use for the next visitors.

return trip

On the way back, our taxi driver tried to speak to us, but this was not promising due to our lack of language skills. We arrived back at the border cottage unharmed. A short talk about geocaching with lots of smiles took place. We had to promise to send all German geocachers to exactly this one taxi driver. After all, he could now show the right place. He understood really quickly! So if you ever get into a taxi at the border between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, ask if it's Angelo. After all, he knows geocaching and the hiding place of the cache on the wall….

Instead of the agreed 3 EUR, the driver got 4 EUR from us, thanked us profusely and we were given the car key from the border booth. International understanding at a rather negatively famous border crossing can be that easy.

It might have been easier and quicker for us to choose to fly in via Skopje. More impressive and formative for us was this way over the point at the border. This country point was unforgettable for us, it is easily accessible for everyone who wants to go from Thessaloniki to Gevgelija!

 

Reports on China, Mongolia, Serbia, Luxembourg, France, Russia, Switzerland, Kosovo, Belgrade and India will follow soon….