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  • Writer's pictureKelly

The City of Statues, Skopje

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

The pride of Macedonian culture and heritage is prominently displayed throughout its capital: on bridges and fountains, in parks and on the tops of buildings. These are regular reminders to everyone of those people who have influenced the country on everything from the Arts to the battlefields.

I guess the epitome of the Skopje statue-love is The Bridge of Civilisations in Macedonia with 35 important and historical figures dotted along both sides:

But other sculptures also show the Macedonian dry sense of humour!

This one is actually titled 'Skopje Posh Girl' :-)

Victoria Beckham look out...
The Millennium Cross Cable Car

Eventually, we were statued-out, so The Boyfriend and I took the cable car to the Millennium Cross, a religious symbol standing atop of Mount Vodno.

The Cross is twice the size of Rio’s famous Redeemer statue and is only dwarfed by the telecom tower on the same mound… an unintentional comparison between modernity and religion perhaps?

Our hike to Lake Matka. Kind of.

We decided to do the 14km hike through Matka Canyon to its namesake lake from the Millennium Cross. The views would have been excellent but it was so hazy with air pollution and burning fires that we couldn't see all that far.

The route had convenient red and white markers but when we got to a cross roads, both options had the markers.... we hedged our bets (50/50, right?) and chose the downhill path.

Unfortunately, this route just took us to a stream. This stream may have fed into Matka Lake but it was in no sense what we'd hoped to see! However, we did end up meeting a shepherd herding his goofy sheep to the farm which was some consolation after 14km of walking to NOT see Lake Matka.

After 8 hours of hiking, we were pretty tired on the bus back to Skopje so a well-deserved, traditional Macedonia meal was in order:

Roasted chillis, tavce gravce (baked beans), shopska salad, ajvar, kebabs and fresh bread

(I have since found this blog with good instructions on how to actually get to the lake!)

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