I wish that my deadlines this weekend would have allowed me to take the tour of Skopje rather than tomorrow because this city feels like a hard nut to crack.
I slept quite well last night thanks to the really comfy bed and woke up realising that I’m reaching travel burnout in that all I wanted to do was spend the day working in my jammies. I had zero desire to go out and explore. By about 1:30, I’d done the pressing work for today and forced myself to dress and head out.
My flat is located in a neighbourhood about 1KM from the centre of Skopje. The neighbourhood feels very liveable, being quite well kept and full of restaurants and shops. I decided to head to the centre to orientate myself ahead of tomorrow’s proper sightseeing.
This is the bakery where I stopped for lunch yesterday, Silbo.
Across from it is this structure, which is a bit of a landmark for me. You can see it is quite run down.
As a stationary and office supplies nut, a store devoted to Staedtler and 3M products made me drool!
Yet another church. I’ve seen so many churches and mosques since I got to the Balkans!
The city felt dead. There was very little open. I wanted a cheap fast food joint, like a pizza place, for a late lunch but I met one shut door after another. This is the first city I’ve been in that appears to shut down on the weekends. I hope tomorrow won’t be a wash… I finally found a hamburger joint that was open. The owner quickly switched to English and apologised for not having an English menu. He was delighted that I was able to handle the Macedonian menu without needing help. I asked for onion rings inside of fries and he upgraded me for free! I’m sad to report that was the highlight of my day. *wry grin* Lunch was very expensive, on par with what a fast food burger combo is in Canada, 8CAD, and I wish I’d noticed the prices before committing, even though my meal was very tasty. But it ended up being the only non sit down type restaurant I found in two whole hours of ambling, not counting bakeries, and I’m rather sick of puff pastry. So, really, it was that or my leftover pasta from last night and then I would have had to find dinner food…
There are some nice buildings in Skopje, but I have yet to see anything that I know is genuinely old.
I thought that the colours add a lot of panache and visual appeal to an otherwise ugly building.
The red double decker buses really made me laugh.
Some of Skopje’s MANY statues. I will explain about that after my walking tour tomorrow. If said tour doesn’t happen, I’ll cobble together something from my internet research. 🙂
*squints at label* This is Hristo Uzunov, a Bulgarian revolutionary.
Some of the nicer graffiti I’ve seen in my lifetime.
Or maybe the building was designed that way? A question to ask a guide.
Here’s Skopje’s famous Alexander the Great statue.
That’s all I saw of note today after two whole hours of walking. Skopje is really gritty to the point of looking and feeling absolutely filthy. I didn’t enjoy the bit of the downtown pedestrian zone I encountered and was not tempted to stop for a beer or coffee. I really hope that the tour happens tomorrow and that it will leave me wishing I had more time to give this city. As things stand right now, I don’t feel that I would have missed much by not coming. However, I do want to stress that everyone I’ve encountered has been welcoming and friendly and done their best to serve me as well as they could despite the language barrier.
I’m off to get some more work done so that I can focus on exploring tomorrow!