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Sunday, Sofia, Bulgaria to Skopje, North Macedonia by Bus

Skopje, North Macedonia
Sunday, October 20, 2019
I got up at 05:30 and left the hotel. There were taxis on the corner so I took one to the Central Bus Station and used up all of my remaining Bulgarian lev.

The bus left at 07:00 and was about one-third full. The driver wanted all of us to put our hand luggage in the compartment below the bus but everybody refused. At first he said we couldn't go unless we did it but then he gave in. I wonder if he goes through that on every trip, creating a big hassle for no reason.

We got to the Northern Macedonia border at about 09:30. At the Bulgaria exit, they made us open all of our luggage so they could check inside. The entry to Macedonia was simple. The immigration agent came on the bus and collected our passports and then went to his booth to process them. That's the best way to do it.

We got to Skopje right on time at 11:30. I had a couple of coffees at the bus station and then walked the 1.7 km to the Aen Hotel where I had reserved a room for three nights. The hotel is right in the middle of the Skopje Old Town. There are restaurants and souvenir shops everywhere and the Old Bazaar is very close.

My room wasn't ready until 14:00 so I dropped off my big backpack and walked around. I bought a hoodie for 12 euros at the Grand Bazaar since it is starting to get chilly at night. I also had a typical meatball lunch, had some more coffee, and bought a few small souvenirs.

When I checked into the hotel at 14:00, they offered me a smaller cheaper room and I took it since they needed my double room for a big group.

In the evening I ate dinner at a bakery. Then I walked around the magnificent Macedonia Square with all of its huge statues and the stone bridge. Everything is lit up at night for nice photos.

The astronomy guy had his telescope set up in the square pointed at Jupiter. He was charging people a small amount to take a look through the telescope. I paid for a look but it wasn't as clear as I'd hoped and it was hard to see while wearing glasses.


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