Since our planning was so rushed, we decided to skip the beautiful lake Ohrid and stay in the capital – apparently, the capital city isn’t known to be a great hot spot for tourists. ”The most popular thing to do in Skopje is to leave” – people said on the internet.
Arriving in Skopje I kind of realize what they were talking about. The train station looked so run down that we wondered if it was closing down, and the tourism information center was nowhere to be seen.
People kept pointing in opposite directions leading to nowhere, and we soon realised that there was no such thing as a tourist information center in Skopje, and no real maps of the city either…
And with a video episode to film, we were wondering how it would turn out.
The main attraction in Skopje for example, the castle, had suddenly closed without any warning.
The tour groups coming in buses all the way from other places like Ohrid, only to see this castle, were rudely informed in the gates that it was closed due to ”politics”, and disappointed they had to go back to their buses and return home.
But once we got to the city center, it turned out not to be too difficult to fill the day.
”Skopje GOOD!” a man yelled at us on the street and smiled proudly.
”Welcome to Skopje!” someone else said on a market, and asked us to take a photo of him, while the neighboring stall keepers laughed without being able to hide their excitement.
Being one of the few tourists there we had many people staring at us, and when asking for directions in a bar the worker would actually drop everything, come with us outside and lead us through the whole city to show us his favorite cafe.
This is what I love about smaller places, often in places like this people take more time for each other and treat you with a lot more respect.
It’s all in the little things…