Read Around the World: Macedonia
Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Read Around the World this month our randomly selected country to read was Macedonia.
Fun facts about Macedonia credit to this website.
Macedonia is officially recognised as the Republic of Macedonia.
The country is landlocked territory with no direct access to sea.
The country was formerly a part of Yugoslavia and did not gain independence from the kingdom until 1991. The independence was recognised two years later in 1993.
On exploring the inner regions of Macedonia, you will find the remnants of the civilisation as much as 3800 years old!
Kumanovo was the first luxury hotel opened in Macedonia. It was opened by the Popovic family in the year 1930.
The Lake Mavrovo is the largest artificial lake in Macedonia. It lies at an altitude of over 1,000 metres and has half submerged church at the centre of it, which is a prime tourist attraction. (This reminds me of the village at the centre of The Returned)
Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is one of the deepest and oldest lakes in all of Europe.
Just outside the capital city, Skopje, is a place called Matka, which literally means ‘womb’. It is named after Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and is solely dedicated to mothers giving new births and maintaining legacies generations after generations.
Macedonia is rich in nature’s beautiful endowments. It has around 50 lakes and numerous mountains. At least 16 mountains in Macedonia have an altitude higher than 2000m.
The Macedonian Stonehenge is the only discovered megalithic observatory in the Balkans. Built on the Volcano rocks, it was used to conduct researches on sun and moon, and was instituted about 4,000 years ago.
The lavish forests of the country are comprised of 210 families, 920 genera and 3,700 plant species while its rich fauna includes bears, wild boars, wolves, squirrels, chamois and deer.
Though urbanised, the country has not lost its identity as an agricultural heartland of the Balkans, producing foodstuffs rich in Mediterranean and Central European taste.
Macedonia is famous for its wineries, producing red and white wines, which can easily compete with any French, Italian and Californian wine.
Macedonia’s natural threats are seen in the form of high seismic risks. Some rising environmental concerns of the country point towards air pollution from metallurgical plants.
Macedonia is famous for its 10 million years old ‘Stone Town’ – Kuklica, in the Kratovo region. The town has 120 stone figures, reaching heights of 10 metres.
For Macedonia I chose to read The Catalyst 33 by Irena Jordanova . My reason for choosing this this particular book – the author is Macedonian and I was intrigued by this book description from Goodreads:
“When her life starts to lose any point, when her days are filled with fear, sadness, inability, and helplessness she chooses an unconventional medicine – a drug that will make her feel complete satisfaction and happiness, but any other feeling that does not include love, serenity and pleasure, will disappear forever … she will be human who can not cry or be afraid, she will be a woman without compassion, she will not know what fear or pain is.”
This is a relatively short book Goodreads puts the page count at 103 pages however it reads like a much longer book and I ended up reading the story twice as I felt there was a lot I missed the first time. This is not a book to read when you are distracted as you really do need to follow what is going on. Despite having read the story twice I am still kind of thinking WTF did I just read?
There are a couple of trigger warnings for unsuspecting readers this book does feature unconventional sex (in many ways the sex scenes reminded me of The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek) and domestic violence against both men and women.
This book has mainly star 5 star reviews in Goodreads however for me it was a 3 star read I am putting this down to the fact that the book is very surreal and I tend to like books that are rooted as opposed to free floating. It’s a short coming of mine but I prefer to finish a book understanding what I have read and I can categorically say that wasn’t the case here a lot of people enjoy this but I am not one them.
Have you read this book? We want to hear from you what did you think?
What books did you read for Macedonia and what did you think of them?
Next up on our World Travels is South Sudan share your reading plans with us.