Sunday, December 22, 2013

Triumphal Arch, Macedonia

Gloomy Sunday greetings from Macedonia...ok, let me correct that...greetings from Macedonia's capital all covered in smog! Same problem every winter...though I have a feeling that each winter it gets worse and more polluted and just...terrible!

Here is a picture of Skopje this morning, courtesy of my friend Goran Andonov...where here, in front of you, you should be seeing the Triumphal Arch...a really huge and grand object that can't be missed even from afar...but with such thick smog, you really need to be right in front of it to be aware of its existence...can you believe it that this image is taken during the day? when there should be sunshine and all????
They are comparing us to Mexico City, when it used to be known as the most polluted city on Earth...though from what I've seen there are places in China that are real competition.
Anyways, no signs of any winds or rain or snow in the near future...so we'll just continue breathing in whatever crap this air contains....



and well, this is what you actually should be seeing on the picture above...I know that for a moment you may get the feeling you are in Paris, but no, this is our own Triumphal Arch...part of that notorious Skopje 2014 project...does look cool on the postcard I must admit..but as I've said times before, I am really against the entire money-waste regarding this project.



And it is actually cool to be posting a written and stamped Macedonian card, or more particularly, from my own town!  I do not get such very often :) and this card was actually sent as a surprise by the same Goran Andonov whose picture I used above! Nice coincidence and actually I like it how the jigsaws fall into their place sometimes and give me such a complete post =D
To see more of his great work, you can visit and follow his facebook page here => Goran Andonov's Photography



the stamp Goran used is a bit overpriced for sending a card within the country, but I guess some postal workers here either do not care enough or want to rip you off or whatever...quite unfair..but then again, I don't think I'll ever receive this stamp on a letter or a card, unless I move to live abroad and people send mail to me :) The stamp was issued in 2004, as part of those "Macedonia in the EU" series...even though Macedonia is not a part of it, but we never seem to give up...I won't go into my opinions of why I do not want to be a part of EU, despite it does have some advantages...

And well, below you will find a few more Triumphal Arch cards from my collection (bought to myself)...all surrounded with clear blue skies...*sigh*..



And it is funny how most of them  try to capture Alexander's monument right through the gate...


In case you feel like having some more info on the Arch though...
It is dedicated to commemorate the 20 years of Macedonian independence and its outer surface is covered in 193 m2 of reliefs carved in marble, depicting scenes from the Macedonian history. It also contains interior rooms, one of which has a function of state-owned souvenir shop, as well as elevators and stairs providing public access to the roof, allegedly intended as space for weddings. I still haven't been on top of it but I'm sure it offers a nice view..when there is no pollution :)



Did you know that it is said that the money spent on this Arch are estimated to €4,4 million? And that the whole Skopje 2014 project is estimated to €500 million? Isn't that just way too much? Especially for a country like Macedonia, with such terrible standards, high unemployment rate and where many employees work for the minimum wage? And what frustrates me to the utmost is how the Government never reveals the actual data but keeps convincing people how all these monuments and stuff are necessary, the money are reasonably spent. the rate of unemployment has decreased...yeah, sure...


At least some nice postcards have resulted from all this =)

1 comment:

Bryon D said...

Wow, the pollution looks so oppressive, just looking at it makes my eyes water. I remember days like that growing up in California. Thankfully much of our pollution has been addressed and good progress and awareness has been made. Our air, lakes, and rivers are much improved today though we have a ways to go.