Republic of Macedonia (Република Македонија)

After 10 hours and a definitely a not magical experience I finally arrived Skopje, Macedonia. My knees were totally frozen, I couldn’t sleep well, but when I got off the bus my adrenaline and expectations for seeing this country erased everything I had lived in the bus, and a smile in my face showed up, now was time to find out how to get to my hostel.

The station was quite small and not beautiful at all, only a few tourists and small buses agencies at my sight. The train station was close to the bus station and was a little older.

I took the cheapest taxi ever from the bus station to my hostel, I paid only two Euros. The taxi driver was a friendly one, he was so pleased to know the fist Mexican person in his life, and he only wanted to speak about football (in those months the World Cup South Africa 2010 was being played)…-Man! Mexico plays very well, I love to see Mexico playing, you have a fantastic forward called “Hernandez” (now playing for Manchester united) and an extravagant goalkeeper called “Conejo”, Mexico is my favorite team for this world cup… And showed me a Macedonian sport news paper with Hernandez on the cover, at that time Mexico had a draw against South Africa in the World Cup inaugural match and a victory against the always prestigious but that year a weaken France. I knew he had over flattered my team, but I felt good of knowing that someone far away my country was optimistic about my team, I felt bad for not being as fond to my team as he was. A couple of days later I realized again the reason why I wasn’t that fond to my team when Mexico lost against Argentina for second time in a raw, this in the round before quarters of a World Cup, as typical.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” -Martin Buber.

My hostel expectations weren’t the higher considering it would be a cheapest one. I didn’t book because was mid May and was not considered as high season yet.  At first glance the hostel had huge limitations; more than a normal hostel looked like an abandoned hostel, but the taxi driver was secured the address was the correct. The hostel was half empty when I arrived, a couple of days after when I left, seemed to be totally empty.

Before that day I had visited any kind hostels, the fanciest, cheapest, funniest, and famous ones. Honestly a couple of minutes inside this hostel I could not avoid to fell in love with the place. Seemed not to be perfect, but was full of life, the walls almost could explain you each travel adventure lived for every new brave traveler visiting this place. The hostel installations were built inside an old one-floor house; the furniture was the original from the old house.

There was a dining room, a collective kitchen; almost everything a regular hostel count with, also the hostel had all the time background music with either Bob Marley songs or chill out music. The funniest and awesome part is that there was an oldie, dusty and trashy desk computer, the reason for the computer conditions was because everybody ignored it, the organic and harmonious feeling in that place was in common in everyone who also tended to forget unnecessary electric devices we all have introduced into our lives.

Another brilliant thing to remember from that hotel was the free services; you could help yourself eating free breakfast and dinner every day. The only thing valued from you in gratitude for those services was your friendship.

We were told this hostel has only 4 great high-season months because of the cruel and frozen weather they have the most of the year.

For a reason unknown everywhere I stayed was full of people from the United Kingdom or Australia and this time was not the exception I met a brilliant old men from Australia, he had been traveling throughout Asia, South America and now Europe, this kind of back packers used to save money for one or two years and then go traveling for other one or two years, it’s amazing I would like to do that as well, unfortunately I don’t have neither the time nor the money. To know this kind of people is valuable, they always have an advice for you besides of many stories to share.

Chapter 3, soon…