Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hot Skopje

Skopje is hot, as in warm.  We are having our first days in the 80's F, thankfully only days.  I now look forward to going home and vegetating in AC.  All together we have had only a handful days in the 70s.

Because of the weather, for the first time we had to scale back our hiking ambitions at Lake Makta.  Calling Matka a lake is really short-selling it.  It is really a canyon, very scenic.  Deservedly popular on a Sunday, our return bus was 35 minutes late, mired in gridlock.

Skopje itself is very remarkable.  Its old Ottoman Quarter is the biggest and most authentic for our  whole of Balkan trip.  Compared to Skopje, Sarajevo seemed to have been the boondocks.

The controversy about Skopje is the new town that the city is feverishly building - called Skopje 2014

John: It's like Disney (not that we have been or ever plan to go).
Sun-Ling: This must be what Las Vegas looks like (not that we have been or ever plan to go).
Sun-Ling:  They think they are in China (where kitsch neo-classical architecture is much favored).
John: It's like all the building projects put together from 10 different Chinese cities.
John: Maybe Rome was like this.
Sun-Ling: Maybe ancient Athens, Delphi were like this.

Maybe Skopje can pull it off.  We wish them well.

The old bazaars are still atmospheric and active - Cafe Culture.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

At one point on a pedestrian bridge in the Ottoman Quarter Sun-Ling counted 8 minarets - there are many mosques. The mosque in this photo (Sultan Murad) has an old clock tower on its grounds.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

And there are several Orthodox churches in the Old Quarter.
Skopje, Macedonia

One of the old hans (inns) is now a restaurant and Islamic School for girls.
Skopje, Macedonia

Looking towards the Old Ottoman Quarter and its Bazaar.
Skopje, Macedonia

The Warrior (and friends).
Skopje, Macedonia

Alexander the Great! With fortuitous horse and carriage.


Matka Canyon walk. A hot but scenic 12 kms.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Looking back to the dam.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Clear waters near Vrelo Cave.
Skopje, Macedonia

This part of the trail was a bit of a leg trembler.
Skopje, Macedonia

Some new shopping venues and hotels in city center. 
Skopje, Macedonia

Buying tomatoes at Vero.
Skopje, Macedonia

Vero Mall.
Skopje, Macedonia

Lots of "stuff" for sale at JUMBO, a Greece-based chain.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

More than several pics of Skopje 2014 at night.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Street Performers Festival.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia

Sunset view from our hotel balcony.
Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje is also know for its brutalist (exposed concrete) architecture.
Skopje, Macedonia


1 comment:

Crash Eddy said...

For the life of me, I don't know how you do this. Involve yourselves in the culture, then return to a hotel room and involve the rest of us in it. I can't thank you enough.

We spend two weeks in NY City and Boston and I have posted nothing. I have two dozen photos for the whole two weeks and I've culled them of bad apples.

It's been my pleasure to follow you through Eastern Europe for the past 90 days.

Where to next?