Category Archives: Trip Reports

Trip Report: Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM) is My Favorite Eastern European Capital

Good afternoon everyone.  Last week, I published 2 trip report posts about my recent EuroTrip (Visit Chisinau, Moldova & Transnistria (Breakaway State / Frozen Conflict Zone) and 6 Hour Layover in Bucharest, Romania? Visit Palace of the Parliament (Second Largest Building in the World)).  Today is the third and final trip report post about my experience visiting Skopje, the capital of Macedonia (FYROM = Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). My friend and I had a rental car and made the 3-4 hour drive from Sofia, Bulgaria to Skopje, Macedonia.  We stayed 2 nights at the beautiful Skopje Marriott Hotel, using 10,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.  Thanks to Marriott elite status, we were upgraded to a suite with complimentary access to the lounge (snacks, drinks, desserts, etc) and complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  Here is a photo from inside the spacious lounge and the view outside the lounge.

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Trip Report: 6 Hour Layover in Bucharest, Romania? Visit Palace of the Parliament (Second Largest Building in the World)

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you enjoyed my post from yesterday: Trip Report: Visit Chisinau, Moldova & Transnistria (Breakaway State / Frozen Conflict Zone).  In today’s post, I am going to tell you what I did on my 6 hour layover in Bucharest, Romania.  My friend and I were flying from Chisinau, Moldova (KIV) to Sofia, Bulgaria (SOF) with a connection in Bucharest, Romania (OTP).  Since there were no nonstop flights between KIV and SOF, we intentionally built in a 6 hour layover in OTP so we could explore Bucharest.  We boarded our Tarom Airlines flight in the morning and I was excited since I never flew Tarom Airlines before (I like flying new airlines).  I’m not sure what type of aircraft it was, but the checked bags went right behind the cockpit and passengers boarded from the back of the plane.  The seats were pretty tight and I have never been on a plane that had economy seats facing backwards.  That must be a pretty interesting takeoff and landing experience.

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Trip Report: Visit Chisinau, Moldova & Transnistria (Breakaway State / Frozen Conflict Zone)

Good morning everyone, what a busy January.  I was hopping around Eastern Europe for a week, then I was working on wedding planning, and then I was entertaining family for MLK Jr. Weekend.  This is the first of 3 blog posts about my Eastern European vacation.  The other 2 posts should come out in the next few days.  I am not a huge fan of writing (or reading) trip reports, nor am I an expert on geography, history, or politics, but I did link to Google Maps and Wikipedia to help provide you with more information.  With that said, let’s get started.  After flying Turkish Airlines business class from Chicago (ORD) to Istanbul (IST) to Chisinau, Moldova (KIV), I walk out of customs/immigration into a beautifully decorated airport.  It felt more like a shopping mall in mid December than an airport in January.  My friend flew in a few hours earlier and got us a rental car.  We then drove 20 minutes to our hotel.

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Grant’s 2019 Eurotrip: Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova & Romania

Good morning / evening from the SFO Centurion Lounge ORD Polaris Lounge IST Turkish Airlines Lounge!  Sorry I have been very busy the last few weeks and it looks like I will be busy for another week.  But this week, I will be hopping around Eastern Europe… in winter!  I’ll be visiting Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova & Romania over the next few days and I am looking for recommendations.  I will be spending 1-2 days in each country.  I’m not planning on doing a trip report or any hotel reviews (no fancy hotels booked on this trip).  So if you have any recommendations for must-see, must-do, or must-eat items, please share them in the comments below.

I have a few other posts in the queue, I just need to make time to sit down and write them.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Here are parts of my trip report:

Who Wants To Be Italy’s Next Dubbing Star? Do You Have What It Takes?

I love traveling to Italy. Is there anyone who doesn’t? One way I immerse myself in local culture when in Italy is to go see a movie, even if I don’t completely understand the language. I do this whenever I travel and it’s always fun. Movie-going culture is so different and fascinating around the world. I’ve noticed that often movies use dubbing rather than subtitles.

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