So I am in my apartment in Skopje. It was easy to meet up with the owner so that was great! The place is nice so all set for the one night then move tomorrow to another place. May come back here after the other place not sure yet.
The place I move tomorrow is overlooking the main square here. I don’t think this place on the square has the room available after my 3 days but she said she knew someone else that had one so we will see. Then I will choose where I stay from there.
Went to the market and back decided to just hang out and chill out the rest of day. Got dinner though and supplies. I passed out shortly after eating lunch just got up a little bit ago. Guess I was tired slept 3 hours! I am good just very tired from getting up at 2 am and all the moving and trying to figure out how to meet people when I get rooms. It is hard some people are easy to get up with others not so much. So I always worry how I will find my room once I am in town.
Well the next morning I went to meet the girl I was supposed to meet for the next apartment. This room the girl was 2 1/2 hours late to meet me. I was going crazy emailing her calling her on Skype. She just had a baby so she fell asleep and forget me. She was very apologetic and I understand it’s very tiring with a new baby. This new room is really nice and my balcony overlooks the main square. So I am at the heart of the city and very happy with my new room. YAY!!!!!!!
By the time I got in the room though I was super nerved up. I just went to sleep and did nothing the whole day except go to the market for food again. Did sit on the balcony the better part of the day watching the people and looking at the amazing statues in the square. It is a real pain in the ass if people do not respond right away and show up when they are supposed too. I get very worried. I am good just tired from the trip it has been a long one with trains, planes, buses and rooms. Plus everytime you move you lose a day just getting situated.
Turns out she had a couple more nights available so I will be here till the 14th. That gives me 5 days here to explore so I am good with that. Would have liked a couple more days but I will get a few more nights after I come back from Ohrid where I am going next. It is hard to get the amount of time you want when you have to wait till the last minute to get a room. I just do not always know till just before where I want to go next. This time of year everyone is on vacation in Europe so you have to get what you can and be happy. Or be able to book way in advance.
I heard varying opinions of what Skopje would be like before I came. I can say that after a few days of being here and exploring that it has turned out to be much nicer than I thought it would be after all the opinions on it.
There are very few of the soviet era stark crumbling concrete buildings that are so common in the Balkans or if there are I didn’t see many. The big apartment buildings here at least have a little bit of style to them and the biggest share are well kept, nicely painted and colorful. There are many buildings under construction and many being restored that have been started but look like they have stopped work on them. This is a poor country so that is just part of the evolution to get things started and they are headed in the right direction.
They start these massive projects then run out of money and have to wait till they get more money to continue. Such is life here and in most of the Balkans. At least they are trying very hard to develop what they have. There are huge statues everywhere that look like a giant built them. Some dwarf the buildings around them. It seems like thousands of them they are everywhere you look. They are of important people, priests, scholars and animals lining the bridges and placed throughout the parks and plazas. Some huge some life size.
One of the bridges crossing the Vardar river is made of solid bronze all intricately embossed. One of the most famous is the Stone bridge it is considered the symbol of Skopje and is in it’s coat of arms. Many of the bridges have statues lining both sides all the way across. There are many of them crossing from one side to the other. Pretty amazing!
In the old part of the city there is a huge bazaar mostly made up of Turkish immigrants selling tourist items etc. They never left here from many years ago when it belonged to the Turks. The old town is pretty much the Bazaar. The old buildings are all filled with tourist shops. So not so nice as far as I am concerned. The city has a big Turkish presence and many mosques throughout. It makes it an interesting and diverse culture. It has a good size castle sitting on a hill across the river from the main square in the old town.
I think it is a pretty interesting place and it is dirt cheap to stay and eat. That always has some influence on me liking it or not! The one thing about it though is I didn’t get that warm fuzzy feeling about it. I think because the statues are so so massive and so many it is hard to get that warm a feeling. I personally think it is a little over done in that respect but still a great place to visit. The 6 days went by fast and I never lacked for new places to see and things to do. I won’t mind coming back after my trip to Ohrid to stay for a few more days before I catch the bus to Thessaloniki. It has been a really nice stop along the way for me. It is a work in progress with good potential. Glad I stopped to see it. Life is Good Dave