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Skopje

We spent the last day of our vacation in Skopje. The city has been the capital of Macedonia since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991. Skopje has a very deep history from 4000 BC, but most of the history was destroyed by the earthquake in 1963, as well as the life of people.

Since then, the city has tried to stay on its feet with new construction projects. The first thing we noticed in the city was the massive amount of statues. It is said that they are the ‘Skopje 2014’ project of the government, which aims to make the city look more historic in a classic way. Does it look good? Definitely not to me, because of the unnecessary number of absurd statues which have nothing to do with the history of the city; especially statues of famous people (some of them were not even Macedonian) on the bridge (no, actually on top of the bars on each side of the bridge). So, this part of the city was extremely kitsch to us (check this out).

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When we walked a bit more and reached the main square of the city, it was a relief because we faced the old part of the city, which looked really beautiful. Barış and Yafen wanted to rest at a cafe, and the rest of us took a tour of the old city.

The real historic bridge was not destroyed by the earthquake. The old city was very much influenced by the Ottoman Empire, since Macedonia was under Ottoman rule for almost 600 years. We visited Kapan Han (Kapan Inn) and Kursumli Han (Kursumli Inn), which were both built during the Ottoman period in the 15th and 16th centuries, and are today being used for cultural events. The old city was so beautiful. Many street names, shop names were still in Turkish. It felt very much like home to me.

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After we explored the most important parts of the city we were done with our tour and went back home to pack. We ate a great lunch that Jordanka’s parents prepared for us, then said goodbye to Macedonia. We promised everyone we met that we would come back again to see the places we hadn’t seen and to eat more food that we didn’t manage to eat.

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