I have returned from Skopje (the capital of the Republic of Macedonia) a couple of days ago. It was quite a short trip and I must say I was a bit exhausted when it was over.
We went there as a group of 10 friends to celebrate NY 2010. We planned to enjoy what Skopje has to offer and now I can say we definitely succeeded in doing that.
If I had to describe our trip in three words I would do it like this:
Train - Food - Skopsko
Let me explain those three words...
Train is there because we had a really loooong train journey from Ljubljana via Belgrade to Skopje - it took us more then 20 hours (including an one hour stop in Belgrade) to get to Skopje and even more for the trip back. On the way there we couldn't get a reservation, but were lucky to get free seats anyway. On our way back we would probably have to stand the whole way from Belgrade to Ljubljana (almost 11 hours) if we didn't have reservations. Luckily we did.
Even with reserved seats it was not a very pleasant experience. I recommend you take a plane if you can afford it. Let me just say that trains we used have definitely seen better days.
Food is a real highlight of Macedonia. It is quite cheap to eat out and if you know where to go, it is also very delicious. The main ingredient of almost all of our meals was meat. I couldn't single out one particular favourite dish - everything we tried ranged from very good to excellent. Among other things I tried Grilled vešalica, Šapska pleskavica, Grilled ram-steak.
If you are lucky enough to go there during the summer months, fresh vegetables and fruits are also definitely worth mentioning.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention great desserts we were all excited about. One instance of that would definitely be Tufakija.
And the last one... Skopsko is a quite drinkable and also very cheap local beer brand. For a large lager we were charged between one and two Euro - depending on the location. A bargain if you ask me.