Krushevo is perhaps one of the most unique cities in Macedonia and it is also a perfect place for a unique experience. The city looks like a postcard filled with small and large roofs, surrounded by mountains and untouched nature. It’s a really small town where everyone lives as a big family and that is exactly what will allow you to have a unique experience because here you can talk with the locals and they can share with you part of their life. If one day the road leads you to Krushevo, try to do at least one of these things:
1. Get to know “dedo” (grandpa) Mile – the barrel master in town. He is still working with handmade barrels. Unfortunately, no one is interested in continuing the craft, a problem that many other craftsmen face. Meeting with “dedo” Mile will not only allow you to see how it works and what is the ultimate product, but you will also have the opportunity to hear a story or legend from Turkish time. For example, the legend of the name Krushevo, in the past there was a huge pear in the city and the Vlachs shepherds were settled around it, so they gave the name Krushevo (it means the city of the pear). Other people say, the word Krushevo pronounced on syllables in Turkish means an eagle’s nest. But this is not everything, if you are curious you can also ask “dedo” Mile to tell you the story of how everything started with this craft, he is the fifth generation doing this with a big love.
2. Visit the last shoemaker in the city – Gjorgji Gabel. In the center of the bazaar of Krushevo, there are still some craftmen working. When you will go inside of his shop you will feel like you went back to another time, in another world, where shoes are still repairing with a big love and where you can hear stories from the past . A truly unique experience, first of all because of the opportunity to ask anything that interests you and to learn something you may not know about this craft and in general about the city of Krushevo.
3. Local lokum shop – Do you love sweets? If your answer is yes, then you should definitely visit the local shop where they sell the best lokum in Macedonia. The lokum is produced in the town but not in the same shop where you can buy it. Still you can meet the owner or someone who is working there and they will answer any question and curiosity that you have, but be sure that they will not unveil the secret recipe why their lokum is the best in Macedonia.
4. The biggest collection of guns and rifles in the area – Are you passionate of guns and weapons? Again in Krushevo you will have the opportunity to meet with the only weapon collector who will show you his home collection of the oldest guns and rifles. At the same time, he also has his workshop where he is still repairing hunting rifles and even produces a special piece of guns that can not be found elsewhere.
5. The local sled shop – in the very city center of Krushevo you can visit the local sled shop “Apolo”. Here you can have a look how they make the sleds. The owner told us that it takes maybe two years to have the final product. Their sleds are made from oak and beech wood and probably they are the best sleds in Macedonia.
Written and photographed by Elena Mitkovska