I walked towards the heart of the city and find myself among wedding-cake facades that caught my attention. Skopje had a massive, very costly and hugely controversial makeover. If you ask me, it’s absurdity. New buildings with an old, faux-classical look are popping up everywhere and hundreds of statues are being erected all over the city centre. Except the big statue of Alexander the Great, you can find his mother, emperors, politicians, poets, lions, horses… This project has been criticized by many Macedonians as an expensive attempt to fabricate a national identity. I will not criticize anymore, that’s all politics anyway.
Architecture obviously did not impressed me (except for several buildings made in sixties), but people, food and nature around Skopje did. Macedonians are very nice and open, conversation with them always ended up with some interesting personal story.
I wanted to peel back the layers of this unexpectedly delicious city, renowned for its food. I crossed the Vardar river and entered the old bazaar district, the center of life during Ottoman-era, known as Čaršija. This place will take you to the world of filigrees, golden jewellery, rugs and local delicacies.
Skopje is surrounded with amazing mountains, visible from the center itself. Outside the the city lies its true beauty. Citizens of Skopje have localities that enable a real escape into the nature. Mountain Vodno and canyon Matka should be on your list if you decide to spend few days in Macedonian capital.
QUESTION: If you find yourself in Skopje, can you count sculptures on the main square?
I hope you like this little photo diary I put together to share my time adventuring through Skopje. Let me know if you have visited Macedonia (FYROM) and how did you like it. If anyone has any feedback I’d be so appreciative to receive your comments and questions below.