Alexander the Great was likely the greatest Macedonian that ever lived – and he drew us to him – all the way to North Macedonia.
Mum went to fill up at breakfast – we need fuel for this long journey. Well, actually Mum went for breakfast as no pets allowed in the Hilton restaurants. But she did not forget to bring me some sausages. 🙂
Our trusted driver, Dragan picked us up early from the Hilton – after we said hello and goodbye to Marko.
He and Luca – the two concierges at the hotel were the linchpin for our whole trip being a success. They came up with solutions at a time when Mum was ready to throw in the towel as she thought maybe this was a road too far. Thanks to them, I got to travel with Mum.
The car journey to Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia was about four hours. There are only a few positions on the car seat – on the seat by myself,
finding something to put my head
or on Mum.
Mum sometimes throw her jacket over me – and I know it’s time to be quiet.
This is for when we are crossing the border, just to avoid any unnecessary questions.
Now onto Skopje.
Oh! A familiar sight! Red doubled decker buses in Skopje!
We crossed one of the many bridges and arrived at the town centre. And then there were more bridges – with a lot of statues.
And a LOT of columns!
Walking along till we found Alexander the Great.
Just to show you how tall this monument is …
Not really. That’s Dragan trying to take a photo of us.
When we told him that we couldn’t see ourselves in the photo, he came closer.
It really wasn’t his fault because the iPhone 11 screen is very deceiving. Mum then realised maybe we could use the wide angle lens and voila!
When Alexander the III was king, he led his army more than 11,000 miles and created an empire across three continents – stretching from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far to the east as the Indian Punjab. It was a trading union.
Alexander adopted foreign customs in order to rule his ethnically diverse subjects.
And yet with all his power and might and successful battles, he died of a fever at age 33.
We spotted another great monument across the Stone Bridge
which was reconstructed in 1421 -1451 during the rule of Sultan Murad II on the 6thcentury foundations.
Let’s take another photo Dragan! Make sure you get this other Alexander the Great statue and the Millennium Cross.
Let’s try it again
Look! A North Macedonian local – taking a nap in the hot sun, but lying on the cool stone floor. And he’s got a tag on his ear.
We didn’t stay very long in Skopje as we needed to make it in time for a surprise birthday dinner.
We didn’t have time for lunch in Skopje. Dragan suggested we stop in a small town, Vranje just across the Serbian border at a little restaurant introduced Mum to Ustipci
– a typical Serbian meat dish.
We were also sitting under an apple tree – Dragan pointed out. Mum was wondering if an apple would fall from the tree?
And Mum had other ideas …
We arrived back in Belgrade after dark. And there was the moon over the Danube.
Let the party begin!
May’s comment: North Macedonia was an impulsive decision. Actually if we didn’t have a birthday party to go to, I would have asked Dragan to keep driving to Sofia in Bulgaria – it was only 3 hours by car from Skopje … and we could even have driven onto Thessaloniki in Greece!
It made me realise that if I dare to drive in Europe, I mean outside of London, there would be no stopping us! LOL! I would be gone half the time just driving from one place to another – wherever the fancy takes me. For now, we have Dragan.