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Published: April 3rd 2007
St. Sava in Belgrade
The second biggest orthodox church in the world
Get it in the air!
This should work...
After having spent so much time in hectical capitals I chose a quiet place to sit down and get you a new update of what I am doing and of what's going on on my way to China.
Currently I am sitting in a lovely small house in a mountain village (Peristera, with a remarkable church built in the 8th century) overlooking the bay of Thessaloniki
Belgrade kept me busy for another two days including a legendary haircut in a left over communist barber chain, where a fat female barber with bleached hair swang her ass to Roxette's "She's got the look!"....very weird, I can tell you.
When I was leaving Belgrade I had a hard time finding a ride to the highway leading South to Skopje in Macedonia, but finally got to a main petrol station (about 70 km away from Belgrade) where many people make a stopover on their way to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece or Turkey. My experience told me to go for the first prize and wait for a car which is taking me all the remaining kilometers until Skopje. And as I hoped, I was lucky and met these two guys with
Jovan me and Zoran in Skopje
That was my first Skopsko after they they took me to Skopje, thanks guys :-)
P.S.: I flew with the left one
a Macedonian number plate after a while and they were willing to take me there. Zoran and Jovan, some mid-thirties from Veles, who were just coming back from the car fair in Belgrade. We had a great chat and I found out about their families (Zoran's wife was born in Marktheidenfeld, which is about 40 km from Miltenberg) and hobbies (Jovan is one of the pioneers of paragliding in Macedonia) and they invited me to their town Veles after my stay in Skopje
where we had a final beer together before they went on.
My friend's husband Aleks gave me a warm welcome and made me enjoying my days in Skopje, giving me the first taste of the Orient on the basar and taking me to a wonderful hot spa in the countryside, showing me an Albanian theatre performance and not to forget he made me taste all the great food specialties of Macedonia over a bottle of wine or Rakia
The 31st of March I proceeded to Veles
to accept the invitation of Zoran and Jovan and there I had the pleasure of the first paragliding flight in my life in Gruschewo in the Macedonian mountains
(see the video,
Scene on the old basar in Skopje
Its an amazing mixture of Orient and Occident...
it's right of the Profile image, I am the one with the red helmet who's pulling the other in the air , mark his shouting: RUNrunrunrunrun!) It was great! We finished the nice day over a traditional dinner with their families and I have to say thank you again for this wonderful day!!!
On the following sunny Sunday I hitched down to the Greek border and was taken by two tanned guys with sunglasses in a lorry. We were discussing about their quite particular "part time job" being officers of a special unit of the UCK (just in case, here a little more info: UCK
)...very interesting to get their point of view of the whole conflict.
As I am often asked why I don't take the bus or why the hell I do this at all, these were just a few incidents that should convince everybody that hitchhiking is certainly not only about saving money but more a lifestyle and a way of meeting new people and getting in contact with the local culture and having discussions with people you normally wouldn't meet!
At the border I quickly found a ride and entered Macedonia in Greece, which is
Vasili the cycler
Great guy who cycled the world in 14 months...also a member of hospitalityclub
the region around Thessaloniki and therefor, the Greek government doesn't recognize the state of Macedonia which they call "FYROM": the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Macedonians even get another bumber sticker on their car when they dare to enter Greece without the right one which says "FYROM"...also they only get a piece of paper as visa, as Greece doesn't recognize their passport either....what a world...and after having heard opinions from both sides I still can't get it!
I arrived safely in Thessaloniki and am now sitting in Vasili's beautiful mountain house, where I stay a few nights before proceeding to Kavala and Istanbul. He also got his story and it's certainly not a boring one...check this out: Vasili"s world cycling tour
So that's all the news for the moment, next time I will post in Asia
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; mem: 1.6mb