The center of Skopje is under a lot of construction at the moment but you can tell that when it’s all finished it will be a very charming and attractive city. Most of the sights are close to the main square and medieval stone bridge that spans the river. On one side is the carsija, or old Ottoman district, with its bazaars, Turkish baths and mosques. The other side is the new town, with lots of malls, cafes and churches. There is a gigantic neon cross perched atop one of the hills, something that reminded me of Boise, Idaho. Because it’s so close to the Kosovo border, accommodation and food in Skopje are much higher than other parts of the country. But we managed to find a decent hostel offering private rooms not far from the bus station. My favorite part of Skopje was definitely the old town because it was such a contrast visually to what I’m used to here. I know that when I visit Turkey it will be more of the same but I really love just wandering around and admiring the architecture (especially at one of the old baths which had been turned into an art gallery).
St. Clement, a well-known and loved Orthodox saint. The walls and towers of Csar Samoil’s fortress provided an unbeatable view of the town and the lake. Not far away was the less-than-impressive ancient theater and archaeological museum. Most buildings in the old town were in a similar style to the Bulgarian revival period houses I’ve seen here. There was also a bazaar area with a few mosques and a thousand year-old tree still standing in one square. The best part about Ohrid was the lake itself. The first evening we arrived we had dinner in a terrace restaurant above a hotel overlooking a gorgeous sunset. It was a perfect getaway, and not too far from home. I loved it and would definitely go back.