Skopje: the city of the thousands statues. The Sustainable European Tour, day 5

Skopje, Macedonia 19-20/08/2017

I’m on the last km of the 250 km that there are between Sofia and Skopje, this autobus looks like he saw better days. But, for 14€ and a trip of 4 hours, it’s good enough. It is, surprisingly, full of young tourists. When the bus arrives at the central bus station isn’t too late, so, I decide to go to the hostel drop my bag and discover the Saturday night of this capital in the middle of the Balkans. In the hostel I meet, 3 aspiring doctors from Turkey that are spending some days in Skopje, so I decided to join them. The city centre is a surprise. It is full of lights, music and bars. It seems a great presentation for a great city. In the night, the first thing I see is the huge amount of statues that are, with their lights, signing the centre, together with some old buildings. In the morning, during my exploration of the city centre what I notice is that the city seems to be build up with artificial monuments in order to distract/attract tourists, like a big amusement park. Moving from the centre, just for a couple of km what I find is a dirty city, full of uncompleted construction and falling buildings. The city park, that is also the main street for the city castle, it is full of garbage. The difference between the centre, with golden churches, huge statues and super technological places and the rest of the city, dirty and decadent, leaves space for reflection.
The expectations and the hype generated in the night are destroyed by the light of the sun.
I expect to come back here, in a couple of years, and to find a different city like it happened with Sofia before. I hope to.
The schedule of the Sustainable European Tour is strict and it doesn’t leave me time to explore the green mountains that are surrounding the city. It is time to leave again, destination? The coast of Montenegro.

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