On the Road: Poleka! Poleka! You are in Skopje

– Poleka! Poleka! (Slowly! Slowly!) – told me Dragan before asking a fourth round of Skopsko. It was my first day in Skopje, I was more than excited to discover the capital of Macedonia and, with me, there was a guy concerned in drinking beer – an activity we can do anywhere -, instead of showing me the highlights of his hometown.

– I´m affraid I will not have time to see all that I´ve planned: Stara Carsija, the old bazaar; the Kale, a fortress situated prominently on a hill, just across the Stone Bride; Matka, an impressive canyon and lake just 30 minutes from the city center; and the Millenium Cross, on the top of Vodno mountain – (please note that I mentioned it by showing some brochures and information taken from an intensive touristic research).

– Ima vreme PedroL, ima vreme! (We have time PedroL, we have time!), answered me back Dragan giving a shot in his beer.

sko 01

Macedonians are open and friendly people. They are interested in knowing more about other countries and cultures and, of course, in transmit their history and traditions. That´s why we love to travel right? If you are thinking about going to Skopje, I would like to suggest you to start your trip by visiting the Old Railway Station. On the wall of this disabled train station there is a stopped clock. It marks 5:17 am, the moment when Skopje was reached by a 6.1 (on the Richter scale) earthquake, in 26th July of 1963.

After living some months in Macedonia, I realized this clock is the perfect metaphor about this country and this people: although macedonians don´t have the power to control the time, I believe they know exactly how to extend it. In Skopje, and most macedonian cities, there is no rush hour and I rarely saw people running for whatever it was. Well, there are some people practicing jogging close to Vardar river, but even those do it for self-pleasure.

So, if you want to meet macedonians and know about their rich culture, go to a promenade or a kafana and take some time to speak and drink with locals. But do it poleka! (Slowly!) There is a lot of time in Macedonia. And time is the most precious thing in life.


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13 responses to “On the Road: Poleka! Poleka! You are in Skopje

    • thnk u for ur comment 🙂
      I believe you will find Skopje extremely different!!! I was there in 2010 and then on 2012 and I noticed many changes… and this year all the city center was rebuild under the project Skopje 2014. however, Skopje keeps their identity and multicultural spirit 🙂

  1. Only recently am I learning more about the country as I am working with a Macedonian, prior to that I think I’ve only ever seen and heard of Macedonia on Euro Vision song contest! Sounds like my ideal city 🙂

  2. Even tho the Balkans are somehow near me, I live in Romania, I never had the chance to visit Makedonia. Hopefully, one day I’ll do that and I promise to take notes of the tourist attractions you mentioned. Also, I promise to take things slowly!

    • Thank you so much for commenting! I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Skopje (and Macedonia): people are so friendly; food is amazing; there’s a lot of history! Once you go there, let me know your impressions! PedroL

  3. Originally I am from Romania so I share the Balkan spirit a lot; minus the taking it slowly part! haha! Barcelona, my city for the moment, taught me to run everywhere, always!

  4. Haha, this is so true, “In Skopje, and most macedonian cities, there is no rush hour and I rarely saw people running for whatever it was.” However, people do drive fast – Pedestrians watch out! Great write up! Добро е. I am so glad you enjoyed it there, it is a neat city.

    • thank you so much for your comment 🙂 Skopje is, in fact, a special city for me as I lived there for a few months during a volunteering project eheh it was great to be there!! have a great week, PedroL

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