So there’s no water in the hostel?
Yes, there’s no water in the pipes, showers, toilets, so you have to collect it from just outside of the hostel using canisters. That’s the easy way, there is a hard way which is optional.
How do I take a shower if there’s no water?
To take a shower, you have to collect the water from just outside the hostel using canisters, then take it with you to the shower. A cold shower is the easiest, but you can have a hot shower as well, but first you have to heat up a small amount of water by making a fire in the makeshift war stove and once it’s heated you mix the hot and cold and then you have hot water for your shower. The “shampoo” which we use here is war time soap. It’s more like rinsing yourself while standing in a shower.
It sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.
What about the toilets?
There’s no toilet paper, instead you have newspaper and the flush does not work, so you have to pour water in the toilet for it to “flush”.
What about the electricity?
There is none in the sockets, there are car batteries which provide light during the night and old flashlights are available for you to use as well.
And internet and wifi?
There is none. Look at it this way, you probably use it all the time and it can be quite distracting, so here’s your chance to take a break from that and focus on yourself and your experience here.
Is there any air condition, because I can’t stand rooms which are too hot?
Obviously there’s no air condition, but the rooms are nice and cool most of the time. The only time it gets hot, is if someone is using the stove, but that’s part of the experience.
So I sleep on the floor?
Yes, some of the beds are literally just war time blankets used as padding, pillow and cover while some of the beds have a sponge mattress, what you get depends on your luck. All of the beds are on the floor, because that’s how most people were sleeping, to take cover from the bullets and shrapnel which could come flying through the windows.
Is there any food or breakfast?
No there’s nothing included, however if you want to try some war food, you can cook it on the makeshift war stove, by making a fire and picking between plain pasta or rice. Once you cook it you just add a pinch of salt and there you have it, war food. That’s what we were eating most of the time and it was coming from the humanitarian food aid, which was provided by the UN every 15 to 30 days. However if you want to go to eat in the city, you can always do that and I will give you the best advice where to go and I actually recommend that you go and eat outside as well so you have something to compare.
Do I have to stay 2 nights?
You can leave whenever you want, but it’s only possible to book 2 nights. It’s recommended to stay 2 nights because besides your money, you should invest time in this experience and as it turns out 2 nights is the perfect amount of time to explore and experience everything we have to offer.
What does a typical stay in the War hostel look like?
You arrive, explore all rooms, have a look at all images, newspapers, artifacts, talk to me and ask me any questions about the war, post war or anything you are interested in. I guide you through everything. Everything is optional, so you can collect water the easy or the hard way, same with firewood, you can cook yourself some war food, you can take a war shower, wash your clothes by hand, explore our museum, take a trip to the frontline or city to see the damage from the war and so on and so forth. But one of the most interesting experiences is for you to just be in the war hostel and take it all in.
Are you really war survivors?
Yes, we are. We lived in the same home before the war, during and after, now just one part is turned into the war hostel and that’s what’s unique about this place. It’s not a group of people with some idea, it’s actual war survivors who run it in their actual home where they survived the war, so just by coming here you are supporting us and our project.
Who goes to stay in the war hostel?
Whoever wants to learn from us, listen to our stories and have a small insight into what it was like everyday for us to survive 4 years of war, but in the case of the war hostel, everything is optional and there is no danger or fear involved, while we on the other hand never had a choice. People who come here want something memorable for their travel and are not afraid to put themselves out of their comfort zone.
Is the war hostel child friendly, is there an age restriction?
The war hostel is for people who are 18+.
How do I book my stay in the war hostel?
Just send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll book you in.