Saturday, June 14, 2014

Macedonia Pt.2 - Skopje continued

Being my city of birth, Skopje had a lot for me to see and do.  Visit places, and visit family and friends.  At the end I don't think that I was able to give each place or person the amount of time I would have wanted.  

I enjoyed the zoo which was small, but it was well re-done.  And at just over a $1 entry fee, it was a great deal.  Aside from the domesticated animals, it had a hippo, a bear, monekys, wolves, a giraffe (actually 2).  There was an old, abandoned part of the zoo, which interested my husband.  I enjoyed the sheep.  Yes, I know, of all things I enjoyed the sheep.  I feel connection to them, even though I've never cared for sheep.  They are sweet natured, their milk makes a great feta cheese, and their wool makes cozy blankets.  See they are givers, that's what draws me to them.
Skopje can also surprise you with unusual sights, like this bench, with no person sitting, but a bottle of booze and a glass half full of it.  I came across this one morning while walking to the bus station with my kids.  I though for sure there's gotta be a person around whose bottle and cup sat on this bench.  But no...there was no one.  Perhaps a left over from the night before, where the person did end up finding their way home and forgot their booze.
In the center of the city there is a fort called Kale.  It originated somewhere in 5-6 century and off course it has been changed and rebuilt over the years.  In the years I lived in Skopje, I don't recall much about it.  Nowadays there was signs of excavation projects going on.
Almost attached to Fort Kale is the Old Bazaar (Stara Carsija).  It's an old market place, probably one of the largest in the Balkans aside from Bazaars in Turkey.  Traditional gold and silversmiths, potters, weavers and other artisans sell their handy work here.  
The photo below is of one of ceilings in Daut Pasha Amam.  Dating back from the Ottoman Empire, today it is home of the National Gallery of Macedonia.  As in most of the museums we went, we were the only visitors.  In fact, the attendant told me he's going to lock us in, while he goes and gets lunch.  Sounded perfect to me!!

A little deeper in the Stara Carsija just near by Kursumli An, we also visited the Museum of Macedonia.  It's a combination of historical, archeological and ethnological museum.  It houses a gallery of icons, from old churches.  Flash photography was not allowed, and my phone camera wasn't the best at taking pictures of the elaborate icons.  At this museum we got an artist discount, it cost a little over a $1 to get in.

There is a part of Stara Carsija called Bezisten, a covered market place.  It's basically a 15th centry mall. My cousin's wife Maja,  has an atelje (workspace/gallery) there.  I was envious.  What day...I have a space there.  What if?


Joseph Buckley said...

Vesna, thank you so much for sharing this vacation with us. This is like reading a National Geographic article!! -Joe Buckley

bee wenzlick said...

Vesna I am learning a lot thru your eyes. thank you for posting this