Skopje day 2 - 27th April 2008 @ 5:29 pm «   »

Location: Macedonia : Skopje day 2

Photos of Skopje here

So short into our trip, we had our first real bad luck – Jan’s card was swallowed by the ATM at the bus station. But all is not lost, the guys at the hostel very kindly called the bank and we should be able to get it back tomorrow. This means that we had to change our plans slightly and stay an extra night in Skopje (instead of taking the train through to Sofia tonight).

As we now have an extra day, we had a very last minute brainwave this morning and decided to go to Prishtina in Kosovo for the day. When we checked out the website and saw that the bus left in 15 minutes, we just grabbed our stuff and ran to the bus station (normally at least a 15 minute walk).

We actually made it in time, but then found out that the only bus back to Skopje is at 14:30, which would give us only 1 hour in Prishtina. We had to sit down in the station afterwards to cool down and wait for the colour in our faces to return back to normal (at that stage a slight shade of purple from all the running!).

After all this excitement, we then had the whole day to explore the sights (all 3 of them) in Skopje. The Old Town is very small and very run down – you really notice the relative poverty compared to Western Europe. Apparently the average salary in Macedonia is only 200 Euro per month.

The capital is not a beautiful city, but there are many small cafes (even a McDonalds!) and clubs and the young people here are sure to make this an upcoming place. The people are very friendly when you speak to them, but seem fairly reserved otherwise.

We are going to cook a meal at the hostel tonight – the first “home cooked” meal in a month – are will just chill with a cold Skopsko (the most popular Macedonian beer).

We shared a room with a very nice Austrian guy called Andreas Steinbichler. He has just returned from Tibet and took many photos of the situation there that have been published in various magazines and papers. Check out some of the photos here.

Andreas joining us for the ride to Belgrade

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

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