Friday, 6 September 2013

London, Paris, Vegas? Nope - Skopje!

Skopje is Macedonia's capital city, pronounced Skop-yay. It has an identity crisis for sure. It has double decker red buses like London, an arch just like the Arc De Triomphe in Paris & crazy huge statues with dancing waters like Vegas. I LOVED it.

What a city, I have no idea about Macedonia's economic situation but where are they getting the money to renovate the town like this? It is crazy. In a good way. The renovation is still going on - I would love to visit again in 5 years or so and see how it looks.

Macedonia Square is in the centre of what seemed like quite a small city. It has a huge statue of Alexander the Great called Warrior on a Horse that is also a fountain. As we got there we marvelled at the size of it (24 metres high) & I said I'm sure there's supposed to be water. A few minutes later the water started and it was almost like being at the Bellagio in Vegas. I never expected dancing waters in Macedonia. We watched for ages and I was fascinated, it was just brilliant. 

As you go over the old bridge there are 4 more fountains, not as impressive as Warrior on a Horse but still brilliant.

We had decided to visit the Holocaust Memorial Centre because it sounded interesting and it was free. It was really good, we spent ages in there reading about the persecution of Jews and watching documentaries.

Something else we learnt - Mother Teresa was born in Skopje however her family came from Albania and her parents were born in Kosovo so Albania & Kosovo also try to claim Mother Teresa. Unsurprisingly there are a few statues of her and there is a Memorial Centre on the site she was baptised. This was also free so we had a look around. It was very small and a bit random - there was a bed in the room that would have "looked" like her bed?! Russell did something really funny. I was stood next to him but then moved on to to look at the next bit. Russell turned to where I was stood & said "I'm guna have a lay down" he mistook another lady for me!! haha! She looked a bit shocked. But he didn't make it any better by saying "hey its a good job I didn't pat you on the bum eh"? 

On a more serious note I'm sure everyone already knows how ace Mother Teresa was but I was amazed to learn she went to India at the age of 18 - even now a lot of 18 year olds wouldn't go to India to help the less fortunate but in 1928? That is quite something.

We had a really cool hostel in Skopje, we were in an 8 bed dorm but each bunk bed had curtains round so you had a bit of privacy. The best bit was there was a garden where everyone would sit drinking beer from the local shop. We met a couple of British guys called James & Andrew and the best Australian we have met called Aaron. James & Andrew loved Peep Show, I love anyone I can talk about Peep Show with. We had some beers and once the shop stopped selling beer went for a bit of local food.
One night sat in the garden a cute little dog squeezed in through the gates. She was lovely and I called her Shanti (the name of the hostel). She really loved me but was terrified of males, even Russell who was feeding her beer soaked bread.

1.5L of beer for £1.66

On our last night I really wanted to see the fountains at night so after some beers in the garden me, Russell & Aaron went into town (unfortunately James & Andrew had left by then) and saw the fountains in all their lit up Vegas style glory. 

We found an antique shop & Russell made me put this hat on

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