Balkans 2016 – Day 25 : Bitola to Resen, Macedonia

Today was planned to be a short ride to Resen so I took some time in the morning to have a long morning coffee at a cafe in the center of Bitola. After I had my coffee fix sorted, I proceeded to ride out to see the ruins of the ancient city of Heraclea Lyncestis.

Heracles was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. Its ruins are situated 2 km south of the present-day town of Bitola, Macedonia.[5] It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC, after he had conquered the surrounding region and incorporated it into his kingdom of Macedon. The city was named in honor of the mythological Greek hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built. ( Wikipedia)

I had a great time exploring the ruins. The mosaics and the amphitheater was amazingly preserved. I was a tad disappointed that a couple of the attraction was closed for renovations.

After this I proceeded to ride out of Bitola towards Resen and continued on the rural road R1101. Around 3km out I finally bumped into a fellow cycle tourer from the opposite direction. So I waved him down to have a chat. Turns out he is from Basque Country in Spain and he is doing a 15 day tour to Greece. I asked if he knew Lorenzo Rojo whom I have hosted earlier this year in Malaysia. And to my surprise he said he did. He told me Lorenzo is kinda famous in the cycling circle in Basque Country. Amazingly, Iousu will be the third Basque Country cyclist I have had the pleasure to meet.

After a couple of pictures together Iousu and I parted ways in opposite direction. The climb started soon after which was moderate and when the downhill came I was hit with mostly cobbled stones road. Thankfully these stones are modern ones that are flatter and more uniform. Even so it was bumpy and slowed me down.  The rural road is very low in traffic which is a good thing but there is really nothing in between except for a couple of farms.

The second climb was a monster one and it took me to almost 1200 m and must be around 15km of climbing. The road was mostly badly maintained Tarmac with long stretches of cobbled stones. So the climb was slow. I was relaxed about it as I had plenty of time to get to Resen today.

After awhile the road became narrower and narrower and the elevation steeper and steeper. It felt as if I am riding on a mountain bike route. Maybe it was. In any case the bike performed well and I had no issues.

Upon reaching the peak it was a steep decend of 5 km to Resen. The road started fine but the last 2 km was cobbled stones again and that kind of spoil the downhill fun a bit.

Anyway just 2 km before town I found a hostel that was offering beds at 8 Euros a night so I grabbed it. The room has 3 beds but I am the only guest for the day so I have it all for myself.  Had a simple dinner and turned in early.  Overall another great day of riding with great discoveries and wonderful weather.

Lions Project : RM 112.40

One for the road with Robert
Coffee time Bitola
Ancient city of Heraclea
Amazing well preserved mosaic.
Amazingly preserved amphitheater
Hello there.
Distant view of coal generator


Iousu from Basque
My first encounter so far with a fellow cycle tourer.
Many sections of the road today is like this
And this.
Time for a refreshment to cap off the day.

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

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