Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Neighborhood, Skopje, Macedonia: January 17, 2012
Last weekend Alex took us to see the The Old Bazaar located just across the river. It contains several 15th century mosques and converted hammans (bath houses) from the Ottoman period as well as churches from later periods. The shops sell gold, metalwork, silver filigree, silks, and quilts quilted by hand (a dying craft).
Our apartment is 1/2 block from the Pedestrian Street (Macedonia Street). At the other end is Macedonia Square with its statue officially called “The Horseman” but identified by the population as Alexander the Great. It is a delightful square surrounded by cafes and shops and next to the Vardar River.
When we first arrived, Skopje was still wearing Christmas decorations. Orthodox Christmas is January 7 and the Old New Year is January 14. Since Old New Year the decorations are slowly being removed.
The 15th century Stone Bridge crosses the Vardar River and leads into the Old Bazaar. When the weather becomes milder, the fountains at the base will be turned on and flowers will be placed in the flower beds. It should be lovely.
Because it is so cold now there are many chestnut vendors on the square. The smell and taste of roasting chestnuts is a new taste sensation for me.