christmas on the road

My Christmas in a nutshell…

*

Usually people associatie Christmas with a family dinner, presents under the tree, carols and
a merry bustle. Most of my Christmases had always been like that too but taking the adventage of living on the Balkans, I decided to travel around and spend the end of the year on the road. It was a very joyful and adventurous time for me and I wouldn’t change this
experience for anything else!

During ten days of my trip I visited four countries and three capitals, I met a bunch of friendly and helpful people, I got a chance to see a huge transport port from a window of a truck, I was taken for a native Macedonian, I was asked
a dozen of questions by a Serbian custom officer because of one particular stamp in my passport,
I rode a bike in the freezing cold, I tasted the best burek in my life and finally – one of my dreams come true – I spent white Christmas
in the mountains!

I started my travel by hitchhiking from Kavadarci, where I currently do my EVS project, to the Alexander the Great airport. The challenge was quite big as the night before it had been snowing heavily. I put the raincover over my backpack, rolled up trouser legs and headed on the road.
I reached the airport quite fast and easily but it turned out my flight was delayed fifty minutes. Then sixty-five. And eventually ninety.

Nearly three hours later I put my feet on the Italian soil. As an EU-citizen, unlike most of other passengers, I wasn’t asked any questions – just
a short glance at my passport, ciao and I was ready to go. I stayed overnight in lovely Treviso, enjoying a glass of fizzy proseco in a crowded café in the historic centre of the city. The following day I hitchhiked towards Slovenia.

My best ride turned out to be a young Bosnian trucker, Hari. He stopped to pick me up in Perdenone and drove me to Ljubljana where
I was headed. Thanks to him I saw a transport port in Koper and witnessed the process of filling in a truck with a special hoist with tons of grains. In Ljubljana I joined my friend Blaž with whom I spent the Christmas weekend in the Slovenian Alps. The weather was perfect for hiking and the views were simply breathtaking!

The next stop was Zagreb. Hitchhiking took more time than expected but again I was given a lift by
a nice Bosnian trucker. Although the weather wasn’t very good, I couldn’t resist cycling around the city with Brane. We warmed ourselves up with a mug of hot cocoa in the Retro Bar, a kafić away from the centre with a nice, vintage interior.

I arrived in Belgrade at midnight two days later. Drinking wine with fellow travelers and being interviewed by a Serbian custom officer on the train was a whole lof of an adventure. If tourist guides say that the best burek is in the Serbia’s capital, there must be something in it.
I was entranced.

Seeing sunrise on 1st January above Macedonian mountains from a train was simply amazing…
as if all forces of nature were saying:
Zdravo! Welcome Home…

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