Three factors were involved in our decision-making process to go to North Macedonia for the weekend:
- It was summer
- We were in need of a vacation and getaway, and it was about time we did another one of our team buildings
- Our dev team, Vancho and Toni, live there and we’ve never visited them
So we packed our bags and, in a couple of hours, we found ourselves in Berovo!
Since we are all nature lovers, we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Berovo lake so we decided to reside in a hotel nearby. With a view like this:
The weather for the whole weekend was not exactly the greatest weather of them all (although some team members would disagree) – it was mostly thunderstorms with a slight chance of sunlight. But we did manage to use and abuse every chance we got in the sun so we:
1. Went for a hike by the lake
This was our first day in Berovo, directly after we arrived at the hotel and checked in. We did manage to squeeze in this hike in our program, right before it started raining – it even caught us on our way back to the hotel.
2. Visited Vancho’s weekend villa (викендица) in his vintage Maruti 800
We had to take an offroad mountain route to the villa in the rain – one would not believe how impressive this otherwise small car is, unless one has been in it.
3. Went canoeing
For some team members, this was the first time they set foot in a canoe, which made it really exciting. Others even took an involuntary swim in the lake, but we are not going to mention names due to GDPR reasons.
4. Visited Vancho’s family and pets in Berovo
The kindest and most hospitable people we’ve met. They even prepared a huge dinner for us that included traditional Macedonian “zelnik”:
…and later on, sent us back on our merry way to Bulgaria with a decent amount of homemade ajvar:
During the time the rain was pouring down outside, we made the best of it by participating in some indoor activities such as competitive eating of traditional Macedonian food in restaurants and playing UNO cards.
We saw each other in person – which in this remote working situation we hadn’t done in quite some time, and we enjoyed our time and activities together.
All in all, team building well done!