After a busy day on set we caught a bus across to Skopje, the Macedonian capital. It was a pretty uneventful evening after dinner and the Euro games a great night sleep was exactly what was in order.
The next morning however we wandered through the city on a free walking tour, meeting some pretty cool German travelers – Mimi and Johanes like us exploring some of the lesser known cities in the far east.
As we explored the city we noticed a couple of things – firstly the leaders of this country have an amazing case of me too syndrome. They have their own ‘White House’ an ‘Arc de Triomphe’, pirate ships and 3 of the most expensive trees in the world (costing 250,000 euros). Our tour guide asked us to pray that the party leaders don’t go to Venice as the country won’t be able to afford the exorbitant cost to install them.
Another thing that we noticed was many of the monuments are covered in paint. Coined the ‘Coloured Revolution’ the young people of Macedonia are protesting over the terrible state that the country is in while the government wastes exorbitant amounts of money buying and making new attractions and monuments.
One of the beautiful things about Skopje is the amazing architecture and the many many statues – everyone from Alexander the Great down. Too many famous people, and perhaps some regular folk as well. It is something quite impressive to see – literally every corner has a different set of statues.
After a cool walking tour we joined Mimi and Johanes and went to check out Matka – the lake close to Skopje. This amazing part of the city was very cool, unfortunately the weather was much, much colder and swimming was a little off the cards, at least for the lads in the group.
Back in Skopje we found a little bar to watch the French game, with quite a large group of people who had made the trip in from Kosovo and people we had met – too many to name but every one of them cool! The bar that we stumbled into (the local Irish bar) happened to be full of French fans. We were set for a great night if France won – alas a 0-0 draw was all they could manage.
After the game, we had quite a bit of fun stumbling across a Zumba club and meeting a few locals who would take us to a concert with Macedonian RnB group DNK. Another night of local music (ala Belgrade). DNK are quite cool – a great style of music but a much better act live than they are in the studio. It was a lot of fun!
The next day we took a pretty chilled day, our new German Friends were joining us on the bus across to Sofia, and after a chilled morning we headed over. Next stop Bulgaria.