Things are getting quite busy in Skopje this month! A lot has been going on inside and outside of the office. The most exciting being that I got to go to an aerial yoga and aerial sling class last night. The waitress at my favorite cafe became a good friend of mine, and she kindly invited me to her studio. I’ve never done anything like sling before, and although challenging, it was a really cool experience.
With deadlines creeping around the corner, the work days have been long and the breaks have been short. Besides this weekend of course 🙂 I finally left the Balkans for a trip to Budapest, Hungary.
By traveling through various areas, I’ve been able compare their unique cultures. Although many European regions are often similar in taste (especially the Balkans), they each breed a distinct charm. They differ in obvious qualities (history, geography, etc.), but I’d never pondered the subtler distinctions, like the overall attitude of the people or how tourism affects the region, until now.
Budapest is by far the most touristy city I’ve visited this summer. It felt young and upbeat, and I appreciated the liveliness. It was definitely a change of place from some of the past cities I’ve traveled to this summer. Much of Hungary’s history has been preserved in the architecture and museums scattered throughout Budapest, but it’s noticeably been impacted by tourism. Seeing American chains and encountering (pretty much) no language-barrier issues wasn’t bad, just different.
I’ve really come to enjoy the unique confluence of characteristics each European area offers, even if the city is infamous for being the most boring city in Europe (looking at you, Podgorica). They differ slightly in their social activities, mannerisms, warmth/welcoming attitudes, and customs. It’s been really insightful to notice the variances in each region, and it’s been a joy to enjoy them as they are.