Chills and Thrills in Skopje
P r e P a r e t o b e s u r P r i s e d b y t h e c a P i t a l o f M a c e d o n i a — t h a t h a s M a n a g e d t o s h r u g o f f i t s f o r M e r y u g o s l a v h a n g o v e r , a n d e M e r g e a s a M o d e r n i s t c i t y r e P l e t e i n
The morning I arrived in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, I knew I’d done the right thing. The sixhour bus ride, including border checks at the Serbian border, was s mooth; a nd a s beautif ul mornings go, it was one of the finest. I walked into the cold morning, smiling. The moment demanded it.
Promptly, I hailed a taxi and directed it to my hotel ( Bushi Resort and Spa for me, yes sir!) nestling between the 6th century Kale Fortress and the Old Town; I saw no sense in lounging about the bus station, photographing a grey skyline so early in the morning.
By 7.30am, I was ready to explore the fortress that, I was told, was always open and free to visit. From atop the ancient fort walls, I saw the beautiful city of Skopje, fanned by national flags fluttering in the wind accompanied by gentle rain showers and, of course, the chill that came with it.
I was drenched, but deeply in love.
Following a satisfying breakfast of Macedonian cheese, I arrived at the brand- new Macedonia Square ( the Town/ City Centre) after a short but fruitful visit to the Old Town market. The contrast was stark and I stared till somehow the reality of Macedonia started to make sense.
Twenty five years ago, Macedonia had peacefully won independence from former Yugoslavia. But how did that tie in with the hugely expensive makeover of the Square that I stood staring at?
Well, the multi- million euro makeover that gave the city gigantic statues was intended to HISTORICAL SIGHT: The Old Town bridge at Skopje, Macedonia