Another weekend and another two new countries never been before ahead of us. The first of the countries never been before so far this year as all other trips before this have been to countries we’ve been many, many times, although visiting totally different cities totally new to us. Travelling is not just a fact about ticking off countries from the list, but to keep returning to the many other cities and places within those countries. This is the countless list after all, and the most expensive part (as general rule) as having to travel to secondary and tertiary cities not the capital generally cost more.
The Republic of North Macedonia, also known as the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, or under the acronym FYROM, was born in 1991 after the break of Yugoslavia, but of course its history can be traced back thousands of years to what was the Kingdom of Paeonia, inhabited by Thracian people that were a group of Indo-European tribe. Then the Greeks, the Romans, Slavic, Ottoman, Kingdom of Serbia and Yugoslavia; all left their part of history and culture in the region.
Skopje is the capital and largest city in the country. With over half million inhabitants it accounts for more than one quarter of the total country’s population. Despite being a medium size city, the old city center is very small and can be entirely visited in just a few hours. It is centred along what used to be the bazaar during the Ottoman rule, and it is in fact one of the largest outside Turkey nowadays. Across the river and linked by the Stone Bridge, which is the landmark of Skopje; is the new town which highlight is Macedonia Square. Farther beyond there is nothing to see from the tourist point of view. Just ugly commie blocks everywhere. It is for this reason that you can easily include any other city or place coupled with your visit to Skopje. In our case, this was Pristina, capital of Kosovo, just 80 kilometers to the north.