Final day in Skopje and departure for Sofia

View from my window
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David in Skopje

Entrance to ‘Closed Castle

The Hostel in Skopje provided the typical breakfast of cereal, bread, jam, diluted juice, instant coffee and an added bonus of boiled eggs cold.  David stayed in most of the day  then  headed for the Castle on the hill.  He was across the street taking photos when  he heard some one yell don’t bother going up there. David asked him why but couldn’t hear well and thought he said it just was not worth the trip.  David asked about the view and the man agreed the view was nice.  David told him that he came all the way up this far so would  go up anyway.  What the man was trying to tell him, was that the Castle was closed.  He found that out when the police turned him away from the main Gate.  David asked what was the reason it was closed and the guard replied “No reason”.  That was a little strange until later the owner of the Hostel explained the Albanian Muslims attacked the  Church in the castle as part of a protest about them being denied certain religious rights and  a major conflict developed around the Castle so they closed it down about two months ago .

The Bazzar was across the street so the afternoon was spent wandering around the stalls and through to the adjoining Flea Market then on to the bus station to get his ticket for tomorrow.  He forgot his passport so after walking for almost 4 hours decided to take a taxi to the City Hostel and return to get his ticket.  The Taxi driver was honest and friendly so after  he got the 8:30 am departure to Sofia , David was dropped at the main square for great coffee at the Triump Barrista Bar.  The London Bistro looked interesting and a change from where he ate yesterday but after waiting 5 minutes at a table he returned to the Hotel terrace where he ate the day before and had the same waitress serve him what had to be a pound of pork grilled and served with a cognac sauce. David had to stop at the Irish Pub for last call.   He found the same taxi driver that took him home the night before and returned to the Hostel.

There it was time to organize his photos and relax.  One of the Englishmen from Kent was still around and they chatted and compared photos.  The  owner bought them each a glass of wine and  David retired around 10 pm.

Arrangements had been made with the Taxi driver to pick him up at 7:30 and he did.  The bus was almost empty when  he boarded it .  Wow this would be the best bus ride so far!  While he was waiting in an outdoor cafe David noted that the same fly had followed him from Belgrade when he arrived.  These flys are agressive.  The more you swat them the more they attack you.  This one had been nipping at David’s heels to Zagreb, Split,, Kotor, Mostar, Tuzi, Kosovo, Skopje, but not Sofia.  David gave him the slip and pretended to get on one bus then quickly jumped on the other as it was leaving the station.  While at the outdoor Cafe he also noticed  the smell of cigarette smoke was everywhere in the Balkans even in the outdoor cafes.  7:30 this morning and half the tables had people drinking beer, brandy, wine, coffee and smoking cigarettes.  Every table had a pack of cigarettes on it and as for the booze…half these people were drunk.  This was not an uncommon scene.  We will see what Sofia, Bulgaria , the ninth country, has to offer. Damn…how did that fly get on board?

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