Getting to Macedonia

Thessaloniki/Skopje – So close, and still so far away. Try getting to the Macedonian capital Skopje these days from Thessaloniki,. the capital of Greek Macedonia. I did it, today, and it was a classical travellers´ hassle.


Greece is undergoing a serious crisis these days. Therefore, the Greek railways suspended all international train departures to Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey at the beginning of this year. I read about it, and foolish as I am, I expected there there would be some sort of alternative transport. A bus, for example. But no way. The Greek railways does not offer any other transport. They do not care either. Nor does KTEL, the Greek state bus company.


So if you want to get from Greek Macedonia to Macedonian Macedonia, you´re on yuor own. Good luck! Here`s my travel advice: first take a local bus to Polikastro in Northern Greece. Then take a taxi to the Greek-Macedonian border. Walk across the border. Take a taxi on the Macedonian side to Gevgelija. And then, finally, take a stone-age train to Skopje. All in all, the 260 kilometers will cost something like 40 Euros this way. The trip takes roughly seven hours. Extra bonus: you will immediately have a pretty good impression about the state of unification between the two Macedonias......


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