Read more about the article Skopje – Republic of North Macedonia
Skopje - Macedonia

Skopje – Republic of North Macedonia

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Roman Scupi

Another weekend and another two new countries never been before ahead of us with new great places to see. 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.

I must be honest in saying that I was not impressed at all with this city, and if at all, I think I was actually shocked for seeing those unnecessary and nonsense statues placed literally on every possible space, with many more yet to come. No wonder why Skopje is known as the city of sculptures, but to this extent it is extremely overloaded.


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Read more about the article Pristina – Kosovo
Pristina - Kosovo

Pristina – Kosovo

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Capital of the 2nd newest country in the World

Squeezed in between the 2 days we were meant to spend in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, this has been by all means one of our oddest destinations ever, probably the weirdest so far to this date for sure. The capital city of Kosovo, Pristina. Yet in the other hand we could not resist the temptation of being so near and not going, specially for how convenient it was to move between both countries of Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo by bus. Skopje to Pristina is barely 80 kilometers far from each other, and the border was in fact very straightforward and quick, not even 15 minutes to pass both sides in either direction.

For us, believe it or not, it was very important to do this trip and to tick another country from the list of countries visited, furthermore knowing that we might not even return here (I don’t see a good reason why); or at least, for a long time and probably only to visit the second largest city which in turn, is the most beautiful and historical; Prizren, and where you can also find one of the four monasteries inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as part of the Medieval Monasteries of Kosovo.

Another of such UNESCO monasteries is just 7 kilometers south of Pristina, Gračanica, which was an obvious stop in our journey and one of the highlights in the trip. And with it, another World Heritage Site ticked off the list. (more…)

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Read more about the article Belgrade – Serbia
Belgrade - Serbia

Belgrade – Serbia

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The White City

Loosing the track on how many new countries I have visited so far during this year alone, this time I land in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, in company of two of my travel friends. Thankfully we managed to find such great air fares, although this had to involve travelling there on Friday very early morning and returning Sunday on the very first flight of the morning. Unfortunately, we could not enjoy an extra full day as it could have been Sunday, but at least, we used it to recover and sleep.

Saying this, 2 days are more than enough for this city. I could not imagine another one unless going somewhere else, so yes, it’s a perfect city size for a cultural weekend trip. Very compact, cute old town and great for walking everywhere; however evolving and expanding with plenty of new construction going one and countless projects to restore the older parts becoming the next tourist destination in the Balkans.

To our surprise, the city has much more to offer than we originally though. Searching for pictures and information over the internet did not give us any greater overall idea and image of what Belgrade really is. This was a great sign as we thought we would become sort of stranded without knowing what else to do after few hours. (more…)

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