SKOPJE - THE SAFEST CAPITAL YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF
After Ohrid, the destination was Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. And supposedly the safest capital city in Europe, according the European Union. Weeee!
So I boarded a bus, the bus traveled for 30 minutes, then the bus stopped and everyone started chattering in Macedonian. Turned out that the road was closed, and the bus was going to be stuck there for like 3 hours or something. So I went outside, checked out the shitloads of stars, and met some peeps. About an hour later the bus started moving again, yay! We drove past a car accident but I was dissapointed because there was no blood or anything, just an old car missing a wheel. Anyway, I arrived in Skopje and chilled with these peeps:
Yeah dude! Drinking in the park! Bro on the left is Ivan, who is kind of Serbian but studies in Canada. He's holding a 1.5 liter bottle of tasty beverage. Girl is Ivan's girl, from Serbia. Dude on left is some Macedonian dude they knew. It was like the United Nations. Even more so, because Macedonian guy who didn't speak Serbian could understand Serbian, but Serbian speakers could not understand Macedonian. That made for some hijinks. Yay. So after some beer, it was time for some good clean fun:
CARDS! And that's when it happened...
Mr. Camera died! Well, actually, the "on" button got stuck. I know, it sounds stupid, but I couldn't fix it. So the next day I went around and tried to find someplace to fix it. I found a place to fix it. Dude opened the camera up, said he would have to send it to Norway to fix it and it would take 2 weeks and like 100 Euros. Seeing no other choice, Lukashenko had to procure another camera, or fail at mission Iron Curtain 2K6. With the help of Mr. Credit Card Debt, another camera was procured. It was just like the old one I had, but with MORE MEGAPIXELS (I wanted the same model I had, but it had been replaced by this one with MORE MEGAPIXELS). So I turned the Megapixels down so all the pictures would still fit to our blog template, haha. It's not how many Megapixels you have, it's how you use them. Then, after emerging from the camera store, I took my first picture:
DOG IN THE MALL! DOG IN THE MALL!
It was really fucking annoying to have to replace the camera. The previously detailed adventures took me an entire day, blowing half of my time in Skopje. Stupid fucking technology. Anyway, after a long day, I decided I needed a good meal. So I paid 4 dollars for this:
That's PROSCUTTO in that pasta. The good shit. The 20-dollars-a-pound-in-the-fucking-US shit. Yeah. Tasty FYROM.
So I had one day to see the sights, and see shit I did. LUKASHENKO! But first I had to eat again:
That's a powerburger. I've named it, because it's my baby. There's a pork cutlet in there, under tons of veggies and sauce. And a freshly baked roll.
Anyway, here's the most "famous" thang, the Stare Most (old bridge). BO-RING:
On the bridge were gypsies selling stuff. One dude was selling medical supplies. Not syringes and valium, but band aids and knee braces. I was too scared to risk my brand new camera by taking a photo of him and getting my ass kicked by the gypsy stench.
And the main town square. Let's hear it for the weather!
Across the bridge is the old Turkish Quarter, AKA where all the Albanians (Muslims) hang out. There are a bunch of Albanians in Macedonia and the Macedonians and Albanians hate each other. SUPRISE!
And the Bazzar. Bizzare!
I got another set of hat and gloves here (I keep losing them). It was like 6 dollars. I wonder how long until they fall apart...
And here's another ancient fortress. Cool! Let's play D&D, fags.
Check out the view:
Hey! It's a fucking cross!
That's the Millenium Cross. It's really fucking tall, and really fucking far away. And super-tacky. I'm sure Jesus LUVVZ it. Probably about as much as the Albanians think it's stupid.
Look! A military target!
And another military target:
That previous military target contains a church. The church looks like a house on the outside, but is actually dug into the ground and goes quite deep. That's how they hid the church from the Turks, back in the days of the Ottoman Empire. Are you begining to understand why everyone in Europe hates each other? Anyway, the church is inside those walls, but they wanted like 2 dollars and Lukashenko was like, "FUCK THAT. That's 1/300 of the Belarusian salary cap!"
Then there's the bathhouses:
Hey wait...what does that sign say?
Wow. How's that for a chapter in the culture wars? Old Turkish Baths converted into art galleries. Scope my bad pictures of the interior:
The art is totally overshadowed by the interiors. Looks like the Turks win again. Here's another converted Bathhouse:
Let's get out of Muhammadville and head to the modern city center. Where we find this:
This is the old train station, and this clock is stopped at the time of a fucking awful earthquake that rocked Skopje back in the day when FYROM was YROM. Going around behind the station, we discover this:
And that special message is from...guess who?
It says something like, "A great tragedy has befallen Skopje, but we will prevail and build new buildings and shit".
Here's a train car. No, it's not still in service.
Here's what the real city center looks like:
And the crown jewel, the post-psychedelic post office.
And we wash it all down with a delicious Skopsko:
Maybe not the best beer I've had on this trip, but pretty fucking good. I'm suprised Macedonia isn't know for it's beer. OH WAIT, MACEDONIA ISN'T KNOWN FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR HAVING A FUNNY NAME. FYROM!
I was in FYROM!