If you were to ask me where to spend a quiet weekend, Skopje could quite well be it. We’d heard about the crazy building spree that had been going on lately with statues everywhere but honestly we we’re blown away by this. It’s like they are trying to build a historic town in the modern day and to be honest, it looks great.
We spoke to some locals who said that Macedonia didn’t have the money for it, which is true but I really don’t know what to think. I feel that if you give people pride then they will try to achieve more. An example was one of the local waiters in town who in between customers was repainting the lamp posts that had graffiti on them, he didn’t need to do that and if the city looked like a dump he wouldn’t have.
Generally the people we met were very friendly and offered to help wherever they could. There isn’t even a remote air of danger about Skopje, we always felt very safe.
Spot the statue…..
The old stone bridge with the fortress in the background.
Well if you are going to build a man on a horse why not make him 30m high and on top of a fountain. Words can not describe how big this actually is when you’re stood in front of it.
We had “breakfast” around 5 pm in a local restaurant where the waiter talked us through the entire menu and recommended the steak, which he said is the best quality as the restaurant pays 70+ euro for a kilo of it. There wasn’t even any fat on it. It was amazing.
He even put together a mix of the deserts they did at the place which looked like this and was a plate with ice cream (home-made), tiramisu (home-made) and a chocolate cake with runny chocolate inside (home-made 20 minutes before we had it).
When we walked back to the hostel from the restaurant we spotted a litter of four stray puppies (there are a few pictures of them further down) and spent while there playing with them, when all of a sudden two German girls, who were in Macedonia building a playground in a gypsy slum area, showed up with this puppy. They said they had found it in a hole in the ground, next to a dead puppy and it was being kicked by some kids so they rescued it and thought it might be a good idea to try and integrate it with the other four puppies. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to work, and not because of the other puppies but because the new puppy was too shy to stay and play with them.
We went back to the hostel anyway, and chatted to a lovely couple from Los Angeles, and then Mike and J.C. decided to go tks the shop and get more wine and when they got back, mike had the new puppy on his arm. We spent the next few hours playing with it, giving it cream cheese and water, and when it was time to go out, Mike and I decided to take it back, find it a bed for the night and take it to a vet the next morning so it could get a flea-bath, all its ticks removed, and so we could get some advice on what to do with it next. Who knows, if it had been there when we got back, we might have even taken it with us for a bit. But it wasn’t. Poor thing.
We had lunch the next day in a brewery garden, this was the view from our table onto the old town.
The fortress was smaller from inside than it looked from the outside.
The view on Skopje from the fortress.
The old town.
Double decker busses made us feel like we were in London.
The litter of four puppies that we found. It seems like people here don’t own dogs but they feed the ones they want to feed and kick or ignore the rest. In return, the puppies are extremely cute.
Me playing with the runt of the litter.
All in all, we were both absolutely blown away by the city and we can only say: Skopje, we’ll definitely see you again soon!