From Rila I hitched to Skopje in Macedonia*. My last ride was with a guy called Georgi. He had an interesting way of driving: whenever he reached an even imperceptible slope he would turn off his motor and coast until the car almost reached a standstill before starting up again, all the while with one hand holding a phone to his ear, unless he saw a police car in which case he would, in one lightning fast motion drop the hand with the phone and switch on the loudspeaker and simultaneously fasten his seat belt with the other (and steer with his knees). I tried explaining that it would just be easier to have the seatbelt fastened permanently, but he didn't seem to want to understand. I did, finally, reach Skopje, which was under a drizzly lid of cloud. In a strange quirk of time zones I am now found myself in the same time zone I started out in more than 8 months ago, which probably speaks volumes about my inability to travel in a straight line. It also means that it gets dark by 4:30pm, which means I don't have much time to visit places and see what they really look like.
|A typical street in old Skopje (although there aren't many left as most of the town was destroyed by an earthquake in the 60's).|