Guide to SKOPJE

Czech giant slalom in Macedonia


What could possibly make two young adventurers from the Czech Republic pack their bags and plan a trip round Macedonia in just a few days?  The answer is simple – snow, snow, snow … Ondrej and Kathy are two free ride skiing enthusiasts who spend hours looking at weather forecast on the internet. If they spot new snow on the map of Europe, they hastily organize a new adventure, and just recently, they added Macedonia to the list of countries they have visited.

Ondrej has described their entire trip on his blog, and the adventures are documented in an extensive photo gallery and an exciting video.

Ondrej recounts their adventures for Balkon3.

– We had in plan to visit three ski resorts in Macedonia: Popova Sapka, Pelister and Kozuf. For the 3,500 km journey we chose Kathy’s “VW Golf” instead of the “transporter” that we normally travel with. – says Ondrej us with a sense of remorse.

They didn’t know where Macedonia is on the map of Europe, until they wrote Tetovo in the GPS device.

– We travelled through Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Macedonia, where 90 % of the journey was supposed to be on a motorway, so we thought that everything would be fine. –  he says.

When they entered Macedonia they were pleasantly surprised by what they saw – new cars, beautiful buildings and clean environment. But the picture changed when they got to Tetovo, where, in his words, they noticed a lot of dirt. They left in a hurry and continued to their first ski destination – Popova Sapka.

It was three in the afternoon, the ski lifts weren’t working, so we drove to the nearest house, which turned out to be some sort of an Army training center. One of the instructors could speak English and helped us find our host Dusko who offered us accommodation. – says the Czech adventurer.

They had a pleasant experience with Dusko, a local guide who, besides accommodation, offered to show them his cooking skills. When Ondrej learned that it was Dusko who drove Teton Gravity team (US extreme sports production company) while filming “One for the road” ski film, they had lots to talk about over the next two days.

– Dusko explained that many Norwegians who love free ride skiing visit Popova Sapka. We learned that Sapka is extreme sports haven and that we have come to the right place at the right time. – says Ondrej.

Ондреј и Кети со Душко

In return for the delicious dinner that Dusko prepared, they offered Czech beer. After two nights spent there and a short ski adventure they moved on to Pelister. They slept one night in the “Golf” where Ondrej was sorry to think about his comfortable vehicle they didn’t choose for this trip. There was more hiking than skiing on Pelister and some sort of a free ride experience before they continued to Kozuf, where Ondrej once again could not forgive himself for not taking his vehicle.

РЕК Битола во снежен амбиент

They were overjoyed to hear that there was fresh snow on Kozuf, but as they checked on the internet, they could not drive to the top because of the weather and snowy roads. It was a complete disappointment so they entered Prague into the GPS device and left. They would like to come back again equipped with a better vehicle and much more experience. You can take a look at the Czech giant slalom round Macedonia in Ondrej’s photos and the video they gladly shared with us. (А.М.)

More adventures by Ondrej Pekarek can be found at the following link: