Statues. That’s what’s up in Skopje. Literally.
Walk around the capital of North Macedonia (or FYROM as it was called when I visited) and you’ll see statues everywhere. Statues of men on horses, statues of men on bridges, a statue of a bull, statues of men on chairs, a statue of a women on a chair, a statue of a man looking very similar to Alexander the Great (but not him, just ask the Greeks about that one).
Before arriving in Skopje, I didn’t even how to pronounce it correctly (Skop – yay for those who were also ignorant), but I did know about the statues. It turns out there is far more to Skopje than just a grand collection of statues, and we were lucky enough to have a few days there to see as much as we could.
Summer is hot in Skopje, which may or may not be the reason I have a lot of photos from golden hour… when the scorching sun dipped below the horizon, taking temperatures down a notch. Or perhaps it’s just because Skopje is made for golden hour, with its grand buildings catching the light perfectly, as the sun sets over the river.
If for some reason, you get tired of getting up early to explore the city while it’s not too hot, then finding refuge in the shade of your hostel to read, nap, eat, nap and then keep reading until it was cool enough to go and explore Skopje some more, then a day-trip to the Matka Canyon might just be what the doctor ordered. While I was quite comfortably settled into the routine of relaxing, adventure was calling so off we went.
I almost skipped Skopje and North Macedonia on my trip south, in favour of Albania. It was only because Skopje seemed the easiest way to get to Greece from Kosovo that I stuck with my original plan. And I’m glad I did, I know I’ll make it to Albania one day and when I do I might just pop back across the border to explore more of this country, starting with places I missed like Lake Ohrid!
Are you interested in reading more from my trip through the Balkans? I started in Ljubljana, took a side trip to Lake Bled, stopped quickly in Split and Dubrovnik, then went to Mostar and Sarajevo. To get to Skopje, I spent a night in Kosovo. Click on the links to find out more.