Aya's first gondala ride up to millennium cross in Skopje
Millennium cross overlooking Skopje
Steve walking fortress walls in the old city of Skopje
Skopje wins for most statues
A really scenic playpark above SkopjeOverlooking Skopje from the fortressCelebrating Arwen's birthday in a Skopje Motel

We were in Skopje for a whopping total of 18 hours (in transit from Kosovo to Greece) but loved every minute of it. Well, minus the two hours of waiting for our train which two attendants assured us said arrived at 5am, but actually arrived at 7. (Breakfast and entertaining two young children on the tracks ensued for two hours).

It is a charming little city with an astonishing number of sculptures and monuments. Everyone from Alexander the Great, to Mother Teresa, to an 'Ode to Breastfeeding Mothers' is on display. I vacillated between awe and chuckling as we wandered the old city. There is no end to the demonstrations of grandeur.

We loved roaming the old town, taking the gondola up to the top of the “”Millennium Cross”” mountain, meeting another expat couple with kids the same age as ours followed by a delicious dinner of kebabs and Greek salad at an old Turkish-style eatery.

Oh, and of course birthday cake for Arwen! Macedonia is where Arwen turned one!

We're only sad we didn't have longer to explore.


Macedonia ended up being the Balkan that we spent the least time in. Perhaps that was to be expected for a country that most people would question even exists. Maybe that's why Skopje took us by surprise. We were greeted by one of the region's most pleasant capitals, now beginning to grow in tourism after a completely redeveloped central walking area is now finished. No one was shy about erecting a few more dozen statues either (Skopje has hundreds of statues, many of which anger Greece who claim sole ownership to Alex the Great). We ended up hitting it off with an expat family we bumped into unexpectedly and they showed us some of the hidden secrets Skopje had to offer.


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