Let the tourists arrive!

Bit Pazar Green Market Skopje

While the last spring rains are still hanging over Macedonia, we are ready for the summer. Firstly, our new website is in the air, as you can see. We are no longer Skopje City Walk, we are Walking Macedonia. Because besides Skopje, also Ohrid now has a brand new city walking guide for tourists who like to explore cities on foot.

The beautifully designed city walks of Walking Macedonia, interesting information, photos and all previous blogs can be found on our new website: www.walkingmacedonia.com. And you will be able to purchase the city walks in one click, which will then be directly sent to your mailbox. Discovering Macedonia has never been easier!

Ohrid City Walk is taking shape

ohrid lake

Greetings from Ohrid! It’s Sunday morning and we are sitting in a cafe with our laptops, working on the Ohrid City Walk. In the last two weeks, we wrote our first draft and yesterday we walked along the route to check all the information. Now we are enjoying a cup of Turkish coffee, while at the same time rewriting some parts of the text. Later today, we will walk the route again to be sure everything is perfect.

In 100 days, the second edition of the Skopje City Walk will be published. In addition, we want to bring out the Ohrid City Walk simultaneously. But to keep up with the modern world, the Ohrid City Walk will not be published on paper, but as an app. That will still take quite some doing. So while working hard, we keep our fingers crossed, because for now it all remains exciting.

Well, we are going back to work!

Dotting i’s and crossing t’s

statue prometheus skopje

We make a few last minute changes to the text (both new pedestrian bridges are now open to the public) and we put the finishing touches to the map (we place numbers next to the sights and we add the street names). Then we take a red pen and start to pick apart the test print of the final design. There are still quite some more changes to make.

After that, we rush to the Dutch Embassy, where we have an appointment to brainstorm about promotion opportunities and possible help with that. The conversation is very inspirational. (But how much there is still to do!) In the late afternoon we send all our comments and two belated ads to the designer. In the evening he sends us an updated version of the Skopje City Walk. Ooooh, it’s looking so great!

City walks in style

statues skopje

The layout of our designer is beyond our expectations. What a difference compared with the plain text we have seen so far! We’re experiencing a real WOW-moment when we admire our walks in full regalia. They are really coming to life. Of course there are always some things that can be discussed, but we are very content. We’ve only a few more corners to turn.

Self-guided walking through Skopje


Everybody we tell about our city walks is enthusiastic. “Nice, something like that does not yet exist in Skopje!” Exactly, that’s why we really wanted to create these city walks. They are fun and convenient!

The designer we eventually found (designing was obviously not our strongest asset), was also impressed by the idea. Though he didn’t really understand at first what we wanted. Normally he only designs company brochures. We have to wait another week to see what he created and then there are only a few bumps in the road.

We might not make our deadline of May 1st, but we are proud that we have already come so far. Soon the first city walk through Skopje is ready for purchase!

Walking in English


Now we dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, the time has come to translate our Dutch walks to English. It’s obvious that we will be able to serve many more people this way. The English version will also be our main version. Perhaps we will eventually be able to sell a Dutch version in print as well, but we will first have to prove that there is a demand for that. Are there really enough Dutch tourists visiting Skopje?

An American editor checks our texts. Where we like to say left and right, the Americans seem to have a taste for east and west. That might be useful in the U.S. blocks, but not on our winding route. But at last, the English city walks are finished as well. Step by step we are getting closer!

Changing city walks


Both the walks through the old town and the new center are ready! At least, as far as possible. Because the city is constantly changing. New statues, new buildings and new bridges arise. New museums open, old museums close down, current museum are being rebuilt or change their opening times and admission fees.

When we cross the stone bridge to the old town, even the whole intersection seems to get a remake. But we have everything checked and double checked, the route is at its best and we provide the latest information. This is the best we’ve got. It is time for the final touches. We will just have to do a comprehensive update next year!

From city walk to walking guide

Stone bridge on the side of the old centre of Skopje, part of Skopje City Walk, a publication of Walking Macedonia

The city walk directions have been written down, but we are constantly editing them. We are also still waiting for a nice, sunny day to take some pictures. At the same time, we are already thinking about the layout of the guides. We would like to do this ourselves as well. But this is also proving to be more difficult than expected.

We have a professional layout program, but after countless hours of copy-pasting, the first print still looks amateuristic. This is a small setback. The printing costs have been researched, but the differences between the different printing companies are rather large. It seems there are still quite some things to do. And about two months to get everything done!

Skopje through the lens


A walking guide without photos is not really an option. Even though most sights look different in reality (for better ór for worse), you still want to create an atmosphere: “This is what you are going see.” Photos are also useful for recognition during the walk: “Look, we have to go that way.” But snapping a good picture is easier said than done. To determine whether our own photos live up to the requirements, we are waiting for a sunny day. Dull pictures are out of the question!

Walk through history in Skopje


Why do people purchase a self-guided walking guide? 1. Because they want to discover a particular city, 2. by themselves, 3. in their own pace. But wait, you can also discover a city without a walking tour. You don’t need directions to explore. That’s right, a self-guided walking guide should also share interesting information on all the sights you come across. Things that you wouldn’t know otherwise. That’s why we dive into the history of Skopje to make our city walks come alive.