It is a magnificent day here in Skopje, North Macedonia, for my first outing to explore the immediate vicinity.
I had four objectives for the adventure:
✔️ Buy a local SIM card (15GB for 30 days for €20)
✔️ Buy Coke Zero (that’s my caffeine fix)
✔️ Buy alcohol (in this case J&B whiskey (not a huge selection where I was, but only €20 for a huge bottle)
✔️ Made it both up and down the stairs in the hotel alive! 😃
I will go into more detail in future posts re what everything is, the background and history etc as I discover it – for now, this is at least a basic image of where I am staying for the next couple of months.
It is quite delightful and has lovely quirks – the clock tower chimes the half hour at 21 minutes pas the hour – and six o’clock in the evening is sounded by six bells at 5:57pm.
View from the front of the hotel – and everyone is so lovely here!
That is the Stone Bridge across the Vardar River.
The current Stone Bridge was built on Roman foundations under the patronage of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror between 1451 and 1469. Most of the Stone Bridge originates from the Ottoman period and throughout the centuries, the Stone Bridge was often damaged and then repaired. There is historical evidence that it once suffered during the great earthquake of 1555 which heavily damaged or destroyed four pillars. Renovations were carried out the same year. Some executions have also taken place on this bridge, such as the execution of Karposh in 1689.
In 1944, explosives were placed on the bridge by Nazis. Upon a request from city notables, the Germans give up at the last minute and the bridge was saved from destruction. [Wikipedia]
This impressive building is the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia.
The ships – one is a restaurant, and the other a hotel and restaurant. Hopefully they will open again while I am still here.
Apparently decent fishing in the river…
Nice to see a wedding…
There is some begging, but not a lot – although this woman enlisted the services of her two-year-old (walking toward me) to help with the family business…
The sign says: Hungry? We will feed you. Thirsty? We will get you drunk. Lonely? We will get you drunk. Good to know!
There are almost no aromas in the air as the restaurants are still closed, but sound-wise, there is a strange cacophany… The town centre has a continual broadcasting of a mix of local music and a best-of from the 1980s – and add to that the buskers, the call to prayer at the mosque, and the local version of a Vespa buzzing around – it is an interesting assault on the senses!
They upgraded me to the family suite, so now this is the view from my window (please excuse the mesh)…