I don't think that any of us new what to expect here. The old part of the city is in a flat valley bottom and the town has expanded up the adjacent hillsides. It is pretty much surroundedby towering mountains which allowed the Serb beseigers to dominate the town with artillery fire. The most obvious sign of the war are the Muslim cemeteries with simple column gravestones that seem to take up part of every hillside.
It now looks to be quite a thriving city where people lead normal lives. The Old City Hostel occupies the first floor of side street tenement. We are in an airy twelve bed dorm with clean showers and loos and a pleasant social area at the end of the corridor. Best of all there are plenty of electrical sockets. The only slight blemish is the dodgy WiFi connection which will only stay connected for a couple of minutes. We get scrubbed up and give the shot glasses an airing to sample some raki.
We head out for someting to eat and find a n open air place where they can fit us in at a couple of pavement tables. The beer is OK, the wine is good and the food even better. We have a Lebanese mezze followed by a huge platter of mixed kebabs with Bulgar wheat. The kebabs are much better than the Skopje ones but about 3 times the price. As we walk back to the hostel the bars and cafes are absolutely buzzing for a Monday night.