Arriving in the centre of Skopje, I couldn't help but notice a large equestrian statue on top of an enormous plinth. Even though the official name of this statue is “Warrior on a Horse”, when it was raised the Greeks were upset because they believed the Macedonians were making an unfair claim on Macedonia being the birthplace of Alexander the Great. A strongly worded note from Athens to Skopje outlined the reasons for the Greek displeasure.

Underneath rider and horse, a co-ordinated display of leaping water caught my attention. The word fountain doesn’t come close to describing the choreography of the jets as they played in tune with the classical music emanating from loudspeakers attached to nearby lamp standards. The music was Johann Strauss waltzes and extracts from Wagnerian operas such as “Ride of the Valkyries”.

Published by Julian Worker