Macedonia, getting here was an adventure in and of itself. Renting the car, crossing the border, having no cash, no phone, no knowledge of the language. And yet, we made it here. First to Skopje to settle and then out here to really explore the next day. 

Here, Mavrovo, a national park on the western border, about 1.5 hours away from Skopje. By all accounts we had read online, it seemed to be a populated place, a place with something to do. We arrived, though, to isolation. Seeming abandonment, though I’m sure it was just the season itself. Abandoned, that is, by all except a dog.

And that’s how we came to befriend Mac, the Macedonian stray dog, who so kindly accompanied us on our adventures for the day. She was covered with fleas (we made sure not to touch her directly), but oh so sweet and loyal. She climbed steep hills with us. She posed for photos. She waited patiently for us when we paused to take in the view. 

A true friend, who left us at her own accord at the end of our hike to venture off into the abandoned town, which made goodbye much easier. I’m not sure I could have left her otherwise. I am sure that I’ll never forget her. 

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