Creepiest Train Station Ever

Skopje Travel Blog

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Skopje, Macedonia... just bussing in and seeing the quality of roads, finished buildings and other fine modern establishments proved to us continually how behind albania was. It felt like we had crossed into a rich, well off and balanced country. We had the same feeling when we visited Montenegro, and it was re-enforced again, Albania had a long way to go. So seeing all of that, pulling into the dreary bus/train station we were suprised to see the state of it. It was like a ghost town, sure we got there at 5 am, but you still got this creeped out feeling, that feeling of just before dusk, when your all alone and you see no one around you and you wonder where had all the people gone.

Our eyes scanned every window, door and anything that would resemble a place for us to buy a ticket.

Morning fully come...
We saw nothing, the place was dark, it was gloomy and only a light early dawn blue haze mixed with a few fading yellow lights from above gave us any light to guide us through this ghost town. Still no one, no sign of life, the streets outside were quiet- it was creepy, i loved it. It was exactly what i picture a eastern european train station to be. We climbed some stairs, empty hallways on both sides of us... still no one. Had we stepped through one of those twighlight portals, with a moral theme behind the chaos and eccentricy of the situation.

Relief, the world had not ended asa homeless man, stirred in a corner next to us, covered in newspaper and the stale scent of Vodka. We walked up another flight of stairs to the top of the station where the trains obviously pulled into and not seeing a booth, or place to purchase tickets we returned down to the bottom floor again to search some more.

It took only a few more minutes and we saw a pale light switch on to our left, it looked like something resembling a ticket booth had opened up. Sure enough a woman scary enough to have given birth Stalin himself greeted us with a glare through bullet proof thick glass. One word sentences is all we could do, since she wouldn´t speak Albanian and didn´t seem to speak English.

¨Belgradë,¨i said firmly. I refused to let this woman intimidate me.

She glared then grunted.

¨Passport.¨

My bladder gave way- god she was scary. I handed it to her. If she had asked for my ipod i would have given it to her. She shuffled around and began to make something that resembled a ticket as she scribbled stuff down. We had euros on us so she said someting Macédonian, i signaled for her to write it down.

keeping it as light as possible as we make our way back.
She glared back with the first trace of emotion, disgust.

She wrote down 17 euros.

¨Damn that´s cheap,¨i said under my breath as i dished out the money.

Transaction down, Nikkel got his ticket as well. He dídn´t even try to break the pillar of ice with a smile, just one word statements. That done, we spun around a few times and looked at our travel time, 9 am... what were we going to do till then. I suggest we just walk around and find a place to chill. We found a little bakery around the corner, i got some beat and bread something that was delicious and then we headed to a seedy little russian looking restraunt. It was hazy with smoke and the stench of alchohol and late nighters who had finished out there night there. The men were loud, most still drunk, berrating each other over stories.

yeah, you really had to bundle up in there' it was cold as day old piss in the train.
Our waiter got our order, we´d have to make this place home for the next few hours. One thing i noticed with great relief was a break from the Albanian system of being gawked at everywhere we went. No one even noticed we were there. We just blended back into the background. It was beautiful. Also we realized people here actually did stuff at night because they were finishing up their nights there on that early morning. In Albania it was rare to see someone after midnight.

Yeah, our steady imigration out of that beautifully backwards country had begun. Thank God we didnt´just fly directly into the states from there. That would have been a straight kick in the balls, trying to readjust that quickly.  No this would steady, smooth and i figured quite glorious. If this was train travel bring it, because it can only get better after this.

thebballkid says:
As a Macedonia native, I strongly advise every traveler out there to visit Albania first, and then Macedonia. That might be a good way to love our country. As you put it so nicely - it can only get better after Albania. :)

Btw, our trainstation has only gotten more sketchy lately
Posted on: Jan 01, 2008
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only one hour left to go!
only one hour left to go!
Morning fully come...
Morning fully come...
keeping it as light as possible as…
keeping it as light as possible a…
yeah, you really had to bundle up …
yeah, you really had to bundle up…
473 km (294 miles) traveled
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photo by: dieforu