Archive for February, 2019

The soldier and the saint.

Saturday, February 16th, 2019



Our next adventure is to Macedonia, in the Balkans. This is to celebrate Thea’s big 7Oh.

The area known as Macedonia, which spans both the newly named Northern Macedonia and the Greek provence, is home to two legendary people, one ancient, the other contemporary. 

Alexander the Great (356 to 323 BC) was King of Macedon and born in Pella, a part of ancient Greece.

Macedonia is intrinsically linked to the legend of Alexander the Great, hence the current dispute between the Greeks and Macedonians.

Anjezë Gonxha Bojaxhiu (1910 to 1997) or Mother Teresa, as she later became know, was born in Skopje, in Northern Macedonia.

The two couldn’t be more different.

Alexander was born into Greek aristocracy, a member of the Argead dynasty. He succeeded his father Philip II to the throne in 336 BC, when he was 20.

In his youth he was tutored by Aristotle and founded 20 cities which bore his name. He is often ranked amongst the most influential leaders in history and is regarded as a classic hero.

He was only 32 when he died in Babylon.

Mother Teresa’s first 18 years were spent in Macedonia and then she moved to Ireland and finally India, where she spent most of her life.

In 1950 she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic order that in 2012 had over 4,500 nuns and operated in 133 countries.

In 1979 she won the Noblel Peace price and in 1916 she was made a saint.

She was 87 when she died.

Given the nature of these two local heroes, I think that this trip will be very interesting start to our journey.

From the Balkans we will head into western Europe and then back to the US. This time we hope to do a reverse drive, east to west, across the southern part of the States.