So you may be wondering what exactly this bizarre thing is? I have heard it been called the bomby-knocker and the popcorn but it is actually called the Makedonium Monument. It sits atop a hill on the edge of the highest town in the Balkans called Kruševo. The monument is dedicated to the Ilinden uprising which took place here in 1903.

I had seen this bizarre looking monument on Atlas Obscura a while ago but never intended to visit it. However when I realised I was only about 70km from it and had a whole day to kill I couldn’t resist making the trip to check it out.

Unfortunately there isn’t any reliable and convenient public transport running from Bitola to Kruševo. So I had to hitchhike the hour trip to the town. After 15 minutes of thumbing I was picked up by a nice Macedonian guy who was happy to have the company. He was heading to the town to pick up some merchandise from a factory for his retail business selling bed sheets and duvet covers.

We chatted the whole way until he dropped me in town and wished me good luck. I made my way to the monument on foot, but once I reached it I realised it was closed. I hadn’t come this far to just see the outside of the monument so I started asking the few people in the car park how I get inside. Eventually I found the manager who spoke perfect english and he took me on a tour of the monument inside and out. I couldn’t help thinking how much the clear windows looked like the inside of the millennium falcon.

After a few more hours of exploring the town, I boarded a bus that happened to be returning to Bitola. I arrived back in Bitola a few hours earlier than I had anticipated so I decided to hunt out some home made Rakia (50+ percent fire water). I tried a hostel on the way to the Bazaar but came up empty. But once in the old Bazaar I asked the first giant jolly Macedonian fruit shop owner I came across and struck home made Rakia!

As soon as I asked for Rakia he pulled out a water bottle from under his fruit shop stall, poured me a capful and it sure burned like a good Rakia. After a slap on the back, a handshake and 80 Denars (about 1.80 AUD) I had myself a 600ml water bottle full or home made Rakia for my bus ride to Sofia. All in all a pretty great last day in Macedonia.