There is a small wooden deco cafe here with Mickitos written above it. Seating outside on the sidewalk and a few tables inside. Nice little spot w good lighting. A list of cocktails written on the wall outside. This is looking promising. Some signs indicate that the hostel is upstairs and to check in at this cafe. Alright, let’s give it a go.
We walk up to the register and our backpacks give us away. A Macedonian guy at the counter looks up, “You must be Jonathan?”, “My reputation proceeds me”, “Haha yes, exactly. One moment, I will take you upstairs.” He talks with the other girl working here and directs us to follow him back outside.
We take the doorway beside the cafe and follow Hostel Guy to an elevator. He’s amiable and chatting the whole time, “…ohh Canada, very nice. I always want to go to Montreal”, “Oh for sure. Highly highly recommend that. Probably our favorite city in Canada actually”, “Really? Ok, it is settled. Montreal. You got here at a good time. It is not so hot or crowded now”, “Great”, “Yes. It got to 49 this year. Broke a record. Global warming and all that”, “49, wow. No thanks”, “No no, it was unbearable.”
This guy is great, excellent English. His name is Alear. He owns the place with his brother who’s nickname is Mickitos. “His name is really hard to pronounce, even for locals. It is <wtf?>”, “Mignkngh?”, “Yes see. Very hard. So Mickitos, or just Micki, for short. We had the bar for a couple years then just started this hostel for 3 months now. It’s been so popular we’ve had to renovate the living room already and make another dorm room from it”, “Oh nice. Things are going well, good for you guys”, “Yes, thank-you. Just through here.”
Like our place in Niš, it looks like they’ve just taken a multi bedroom apartment and separated it out into hostel rooms. A couple of dorm-style and a couple privates. There’s a common lounge area (that looks to be halved to make another dorm room as Alear was saying) and a kitchen. There’s also a wrap around balcony outside that overlooks the walk where the cafe is and out towards the fortress. Nice.
We get squared away with Alear and he tells us to just come to the bar if there’s anything we need. Ok, awesome.
There’s a chalk board in the common area.
We take turns getting cleaned up since there’s only the one bathroom. Didn’t shower this morning after fortress goonfest and then tacked on an extra sticky bus ride, so this feels fantastic. We bounce back down to street level and start to explore around Skopje looking for a late dinner place.
As promised, Mickitos is basically right in the heart of Old Town. And it does seem old. There is an area called the Old Bazaar right beside it that links a number of interconnecting serpentine pedestrian side streets filled with (now closed) shops, vendor stalls, restaurants and bars. The architecture and feeling has changed from Serbia. The colors are slightly more faded and muted. There is a Grecian vibe to it. Very cool, nice to be in another new place.
A short walk into this maze we find some places with outside patios that still seem to be serving. A handful of folks chilling with drinks. Ya, this’ll do.
We pull up to a spot and there is a chef in a window nook by an open fire overlooking the patio. Interesting set up. We ask if they’re still serving since it doesn’t look like any food is being cooked. They don’t speak English but wave us toward the tables outside so we nod and take a seat.
The menus indicate the place is called Kai Roue. Looks like they have things such as kebabs and meat balls. Sure, that seems appropriate. The chef comes out and gestures for us to order. We point at some pictures for food and pantomime up some beers. He comes right back with the beers and a smile.
“Alright, this is great dude”, “Ya seems cool. Not really sure what to expect”, “Feels a little like Greece”, “For sure.”
The meal comes out and we get some large bread buns, meat balls, and a lamb kebab. It all comes with fries and a side salad with Mediterranean olive oil tasting dressing. Nicely balanced meal, the meatballs are deadly.
Kitties are begging under the table and it takes all of MacKay’s willpower not to pet them. “No dude. Nooooooooo. Don’t do it”, “I know, but look at em.”
We finish up and pay. Thankfully they take card cuz we forgot to get Doniabucks (aka Denar). Backtrack through the Bazaar to Mickitos and up the elevator to the hostel. It’s getting late-ish but I think I’ve got time to get some laundry in before bed. I sit out on the balcony and blog while it’s going.
The wash takes an hour and thirty five minutes? Fuck sakes. I move the blog station to the common area and ride it out on a bean bag.
OMG that fucking Tones and I song Dance Monkey is playing from the cafe outside. What is with that song? Just following us everywhere. I wonder if it’s popular state side or just over here.
Ahhg, it looks like laundry won’t be done until at least 1am. Would’ve liked to go to bed an hour ago. Pretty faded after the fortress shitshow last night but I’m locked into laundry time now.
Aaaaand now to dry but it’s the same type of dryer as the one in Tallinn. After 40 minutes my shit is still wet. Wetter than before, getting steamed up. Damnit. I dump all of the water out of the reservoir and start it again. Great. Now I’ll be up even later. If there’s one thing I hate doing it’s an hour’s worth of laundry for three hours. Guess I can spend this time actually looking up things to do in this city.
A quick search shows there are a number of fortresses, and a bunch of museums, parks, escapes rooms, an illusion museum and a killer looking canyon not far away called Matka Canyon. You can take boats up the river to some caves. Rad. Should be easy to walk to all of the sights in town from here and maybe take a cab to the canyon. Sweet. Should be good times in Skopje.
The laundry situation is annoying but I keep my spirits up thanks to the self-help signs strewn around.
And around 3am it’s all done. Clean clothes for the rest of the trip hopefully. I get things sorted in the common area so I don’t bother MacKay who’s gotten a four hour head start on sleep at this point. I sneak into our smallish room and tip toe around our shit to the bed. Super tired, shouldn’t be hard to crash out even though I’m excited to see what Skopje has in store for tomorrow… today.