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Skopia, Macedonia 11 August 2004 (2004)

Three months today and 6700 km ago we started our tour from North Cape,
Norway to Athens, Greece.

The road from Pristina to Skopia was occupied mostly by KFOR, UN and various
military and police vehicles. The road appeared newly constructed, flat
(even though it is through a mountainous region) and mostly downhill. With a
strong tail wind we were able to make good speed (35 - 40 km per hour) so
the 100 km did not seem so difficult. An afternoon thunderstorm caught some
of the riders, others waited out the storm in a roadside shop.

Skopia has brought us back to Europe after the sojourn through Serbia and
Kosova. Much cleaner, more economically developed, with the hospitality of
southern Europe. Skopia is divided into Muslim and Christian the contrast is
stark in the methods of shopping, eating and dress, not to mention praying.
We hear the call to prayer from the surrounding mosques and the ringing of
bells from the churches.

The temperatures are higher but not uncomfortable. The landscape is looking
similar to North Cape in that the trees are shorter and the hills are often
only grass.

John Dennis Clark 111