lower Balkans & Greece travel blog

accidents were always possible on these roads ....

...... and road surfaces were unpredictable.

our first and only stork sighting

old working methods remain.

grand homes were sprinkled .....

...... among Soviet era high-risers .....

...... and very basic farm houses.

colourful landscapes featured throughout Macedonia

Skopje was a very interesting city .....

...... with monuments .....

..... of every shape and size.

the Stone Bridge was a central feature ....

..... while statues .....

..... of every notable person .....

...... from all times in history .....

...... were everywhere.

The river dominated the city .....

..... and had all sorts of entertaining features.

Mother Teresa had her own museum.


Rather than take multi-lane motorways to Skopje we decided on secondary roads which allowed us to travel through farmlands and small villages. The roads were generally very good but sometimes a little too narrow for comfort. A truck roll-over at one point did make things a little tight.

Shtip and Strumica were particularly interesting where we encountered numerous horse drawn carts and lots of extremely old roads and houses. We had our first stork sighting along the way.

Our arrival into Skopje was slightly marred by gipsy windscreen washers at stop-lights who would not take 'no thanks' for an answer. The first still cleaned our screen and was unhappy when we moved on.

Another set of lights, another gipsy and another 'no' gesture from us. We had our 'cleaned' screen cleaned again. He was unhappy as well. We hoped we would not catch another red light.

Our apartment for our three night break was spacious, right opposite the Russian Embassy and very close to the city centre. We wasted little time exploring on foot.

Skopje was a great city with many wide 'people only' plazas, cafes and museums. More than anything it had statues, even more than Saint Petersburg. It seemed that every notable person in Macedonian history had one to their name. Some were ugly, most were beautifully detailed and others were simply huge.

We did plenty of walking including around the ramparts of the city's fortress and through some very pretty parks. The old bazaar which covered a massive area got a good work-over. It provided all sorts of goods from fruit and veg to hardware and renovating supplies. Davo was in heaven.

For something a little different we 'boarded' one of the replica galleons on the river for drinks which was a nice change from bars and cafes. The drinks as always went down well.

Our last stop in Macedonia was in the mountains near Lake Mavrovo so we were soon back on the roads again.


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