Macedonia, first impressions

Day three in Skopje, I just enjoyed a meal at the Skopski Merak, number 1 restaurant here according to TripAdvisor. It’s a nice and quiet place, with friendly staff and decent food. It is not Gaggan (Bangkok),  but it’s one of the better places for a rest when it’s a blazing hot 34°. While listening to Chopin on Tidal and after ordering another 75 cl of water, I decided it’s time for a short blog entry.

As I wrote to my sisters, this country is as good as a holiday destination as France or Spain, but for a fraction of the price. Yesterday’s visit to the Matka canyon reminded me if Les gorges du Verdon, Matka is a river surrounded by impressive rock formations, and with an enormous cave that can best be reached by motorboat.

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For lunch, my friend Frosina and I stopped at one of the quaint restaurants abundantly decorated with hanging baskets. Something went wrong with the salad I ordered, they forgot to put the fried turkey in. As a compensation, we didn’t have to pay for our drinks.

We ended our day with a loud and energetic concert by Swans. Those guys know how to play music. Three guitars on stage, an enormous wall of sound.

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Small venue, enthusiastic audience, for a very very reasonable price.

I just love it when countries are inexpensive. Means we can travel more often. Sorry for the less privileged on the planet, I do realise how lucky we are.

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Meet Frosina, a Macedonian beauty who lives and works most of the year in Brussels, where we met a year ago or so.

She told me so many things about her country, the political situation, the struggles the people have to deal with, the millions the government invested in redecorating Skopje, … More about all this in a next blog entry.

I’m off to the shopping mall, by taxi. Price: 60 dinar for 1 km. Why exhaust yourself walking in this heat?

PS: all the pics are from my Motorola, my best ones are transferred from my Leica to the iPad, I’ll make a flickr album with a representative selection when back home. For some reason, uploading pics from the iPad takes an eternity.

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