Крушево – the town in the clouds

Krushevo is one of the greatest surprises I have had since I am in Macedonia. And, for sure, one day spent in this wonderful town is not enough to get to know it.

My curiosity about Krushevo started back, in Moldova, when I found an article about a small Macedonian town inhabited by Aromanian people. From that early moment I decided that it is a must to go there. I was imagining myself shaking hands with a local person and speaking Romanian language, as in my country. Of course, it was not exactly as I thought. But it was a moment I will never forget!

Krushevo  is the highest situated location in Macedonia. Traveling with my friends from Prilep to Krushevo, I could feel, even inside the bus,  the constant temperature decrease. It was like in thirty minutes we passed from Moldova, let’s say, to Finland and didn’t have to check in and check out. The town is definitely impressive! The snow carpet made us realize that irrespective of the global warming, it is still February and winter.

The first „must see” in Krushevo is, for sure, the Tose Proeski Memorial House. It was the first time to hear about this legendary pop-singer and his terrible life end. I was so impressed by his tremendous talent and social kindness that I researched the whole next day about him and his songs. I have a nice added value to my music list now! Also, it was a wonder to find out that „Elvis Presley of the Balkans” is coming from an Aromanian family and his first participation at a TV contest was with an Aromanian song. His songs are so emotional! Even if I do not understand the words sometimes, I keep listening and enjoying them.

An architectural masterpiece worth visiting is Saint Nicholas Church, that dates back to the 19th century. The most impressing thing is that at the entrance we saw an electronic platform for tourists’ information that you will never meet in Moldova.

We stopped by at the Libra restaurant, near the Tose Proeski museum and delighted with some Macedonian traditional food. We had Tavče gravče, a national dish made in the oven from beans and spices and Topeno Sirenje, also traditional Macedonian, made of tomatoes and different types of cheese. And, of course, Zlaten Dab. We made a very good choice!

Makedonium Monument is another touristic attraction to visit. The impressive dimension and size of the monument is completed by the interesting history it carries. The museum carries the tomb of Nikola Karev, the first revolutionary president of the Republic of Krushevo and is dedicated to all the fighters and revolutionaries who participated in the Ilinden uprising of 1903, as well as soldiers-partisans of the Macedonia National Liberation Struggle in 1941-1944.

Of course, the museum was nice, but my golden moment was the talk with the guide. We entered, I told him that I am from Moldova and surprisingly, he answered me, in a half clear Romanian: „Buna dzua. Ce faci?” (which means „Hello. How are you?”). I was so astonished that I didn’t know what to ask him first. That was the moment when I discovered that Aromanian is not the same language as Romanian. It is a historical mix of Romanian with Slavic words. But it is so similar to Romanian, especially to the Moldovan dialect, that I can understand almost everything. That’s a pity that nowadays only the old people of the town know the language. Of course, I couldn’t leave the place without buying the 1903 Epopee of Kruševo („Epopeja Mechkin Kamen”) written in Aromanian as souvenir.

The very nice guide agreed to take us with his car to the ski lift. And there we had a truly amazing view of the entire town. It was so beautiful! When we arrived on the top, we discovered where the sun comes from. The landscape was breathtaking! Only white mountains all around, a sky painted in different colors because of the twilight, a cluster of white small houses on earth and a very hazy limit between them. There is no better possible way to finish your trip in Krushevo!

My only regret for this trip is that I didn’t try the paragliding, the town being famous in Macedonia for this extreme sport. It was obviously too cold to fly with a parachute, but I so much hope that I will catch a moment to do it before going back to Moldova. One day can be enough to visit Krushevo, but not enough to enjoy all its beauty. There, on the highest peak, you can really feel closer to God, closer to his natural wonders.

 

Prepared by Raisa Tofan