Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vinotueka Temov or Winery Temov - Skopje, Macedonia

After a long drive from Belgrade, Serbia, with a brief stop in Nis, Serbia (to visit the villa of Constantine the Great), we arrived in Skopje, Macedonia and immediately headed for the center of town. As Judy described it, the city center is a hybrid of Athens and Las Vegas. Gigantic statues assault your eyes, some of them surrounded by water fountains with spray rotations that rival the Bellagio Hotel. The town center is the massive Alexander the Great statue. Alexander sits on his horse, Bucephalus, arm raising a sword, on a steroidal pedestal, the base of which is surrounded by Macedonian warriors in armor, and lions.
Alexendar the Great on Bucephalus
Alexander at night
Macedonian soldiers 
Alexander said, "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion." I suppose he was one of the best lions ever to lead an army.
Then your line of sight shifts down to another massive statue, that of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father. To get to Philip you pass a myriad of other statues, cross a stone bridge over the River Vardar, pass more statues and find Phil standing, sword sheathed, but his arm raised in the air towards Alex. At the bottom of this pedestal is the holy family: Phil, his wife, Olympias, and young Alex, and of course, more lions. I listened to a Teaching Company course on Alexander the Great and the instructor commented that Philip also deserved the term "Great," but was overshadowed by his son, Alexander. 
From the statue of Alex, looking toward the statue of Phil.
Stone bridge over the Vardar and Phil barely visible beyond the end.
Philip gives the fist toward Alexander.
Olympias, Alex and Phil hold hands in the mist.
Now they hold hands in a drizzle
Phil has a lion protecting his back. 
Walk a few more feet and you enter the Charshi, or Turkish bazaar. After all this driving and walking, and viewing of all things Great, we were hungry and ready to eat. Continuing to walk straight, up toward the top of the bazaar, relatively close to the Mustapha Pasha Mosque, we stopped at Vinotueka Temov, or Winery Temov, for dinner. Everywhere we looked people were nursing drinks and playing games at outdoor tables, but nobody was eating. However, the signboard at Vinotueka Temov showed food, so we had the audacity to order some. It eventually came, and turned out to be pretty good. 

Our appetizer reflected the Turkish influence: dried Turkish apricots, prunes, a bland white cheese, some wonderful blue cheese and green olives. 

I ordered a shopska salad (red peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and white cheese (perhaps a goat feta). It was good. 
Judy got a couple of kabobs with lamb, onions, tomatoes and peppers with french fries. The lamb was a little dry, but it was decent. 
For a main dish I got a plate with a pig foreleg, some sliced boiled potato and what I believe was tavce gravce, a national dish of Macedonia, large wheat beans in a reddish sauce. I've never had a pig leg like this before. I'm sure it was pre-cooked and just warmed, but it was still actually pretty good. Quite meaty and a little fatty. I love to pick up the bone and gnaw the meat off. The beans were good, not spectacular, but good. 
For dessert we shared a crepe with good chocolate sauce and whipped cream. 
While we ate, we were approached by a couple of different kids begging, encountered a stray cat wandering through and looking for something to eat, and watched tables of men up and down the alley/street playing card and board games and sipping drinks. 


  1. Love that lit up fountain shot.

  2. I like your descriptions of "Alex" and "Phil" and "the Holy Family." That about sums it up. Ostentatious beyond belief.

  3. I can't say I'm impressed by those statues, but that crepe looks good!