Europe

Celebrating the first year of 2013 over the skies of Skopje

February 10, 2013
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How do you start a year?

I’ve always seen the importance of making the beginning of the year a special one.

My parents told me that the actions you do at the start of the year will be a sign on how your life will be for the year ahead.

In the beginning of 2012, I was travelling in the streets of Paris with my mom. And 2012 continued to be a year filled with amazing travel memories.

This year I was travelling again in Macedonia, visiting a friend in the capital city Skopje. It was this moment at Mount Vodno that made it for me.

Skopje - Mount Vodno

Mount Vodno

On the first day of January, even after a long night celebrating New Year’s Eve, we all agreed to have an early start and visit Mount Vodno, one of Skopje’s highest and most famous peaks.

It’s a 40-minute drive up from the downtown Skopje to the base point of Vodno.

From the base, there are several ways to go up to the peak. You can hike for two hours or drive up for another 30 minutes, but we took the most scenic way which is through a cable car.

Going up to Mount Vodno

The cable car ride costs 100 Macedonian Dinar (roughly 2€) for a 5-minute ride up. The cable car system opened a couple of years ago and was one of Skopje’s cultural and tourism development projects.

As we ascend towards the peak, the clouds slowly started to blanket the view. The once brown mountainside turned to white, the trees gone.  The feeling was surreal.

Skopje - Millennium Cross

The first thing you see once you reach the peak is the towering Millennium Cross and is said to be biggest cross in Europe. It was  built in 2002 to celebrate the 2000th year since Jesus Christ’s birth.

There was also a large Macedonian flag towers the sky and the ground.

But it was mostly the view that got us. Standing at over 1000 meters, we were greeted with a blanket of clouds that covered the city view of Skopje and the surrounding towns. It’s a nice feeling, to be on top of the world and get that experience of as if you are in a storybook.

We spent most of the time taking photos, playing tourists with gangnam style jumping shots.

Skopje - Mount Vodno

I had time as well to reflect and just enjoy the scenery in front of me.

We came back down to the base just as the sun was about to set.

I’m lucky to have celebrated and traveled on New Year’s in several places across the world. I’m hoping that this year will be an even better year than the last and that travel will continue to play a strong part of the year. And I’m looking for more moments, literally and figuratively, of being high above the clouds.

*Special thanks to Yuma for the photos. 🙂

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