This is how the kangaroo-stop began...
One day at the end of 1999 I made a decision that no one could understand. But it was one of the best I have ever made for sure ... I quit a well paid job, packed my bags and vanished on my own for three months to New Zealand to the other side of the world to think about my future.
When I travelled back home I was sure of giving up my present job ... to open a hostel was obviously the best option ? but how could I realize it?
Back home again I started working part-time in my previous job and checked the opportunities for a hostel in Dresden. The first sobering fact was when I found out that several hostels already existed in Dresden ... downhearted, it took a while before I decided to take a look at them. The fact that they worked apparently well, encouraged me to carry on and so in Autumn 2002 I said goodbye to my colleagues that I had been working with for ten years. I began to realize my dream.
I visited the present property for the first time in June 2003 and approached several banks in Autumn. All my inquiries were finally rejected because I couldn´t fulfill the three most important conditions in order to be granted a loan: commercial education, lack of expertise in the new field and last but not least, 25 % capital resources. Since I was committed to my concept I did'nt give up and had a year full of tenacious negotiations with banks and vendors. It turned out to be a long hard fight but it was worth it. Finally, the impossible came true ? in October 2004 I got the last written confirmation of the three investors involved, so the financing was assured. After 4 months of proceedings concerning the contract of sale and preparations for civil works I received the building license and the property ? the starting signal!
I still remember ... we were in March 2005 and I was standing alone with the key in my hand outside the snowy premises ... 5 years had passed since I came back from New Zealand with my idea. Five long years ... a short reflection ... I´ve really reached the goal! When I first made my decision to quit my job and told them about my idea, a lot of people shook their heads in dismay. I ask myself who really believed in it and in fact still remember how often I was in doubt. There were often moments without hope but just in time I saw a ray of sunlight from far away that motivated me to go on and to stay the course. And I think it was worth it!
Now it was all in the ?sack?! At last we were able to start ... therewith came an incredible offer of help from my friends which was to last throughout the following months leading up to the ?kangaroo-stop? opening. They sacrificed their spare time weekend after weekend and fought by my side in order to work the next wonder. Three months for the whole construction period was an extremely short time. Nobody believed it could be done in the time but they were still here every Saturday and Sunday and asking for work ? unbelievable but true!
To say just ?thank you? is not enough for what they did volantarily for me and this project ... this indescribable present was the greatest award one can get after such a long fight.
March on the 5th we cleared out the two houses. The offices were still completely full of furniture and office-stuff. Some desks there are still standing coffee cups and the pencil was lying there like yesterday.
On March 7th we began the renovation and the first contractor set foot on the premises.
Apart from the unbelieveable dedication from my friends a few of the contractors ? people who I had never met in my life - took me under their wings and helped way beyond their call of duty. They were obviously impressed by what had happened here ... to leave the building construction industry to open a hostel; my indestructible optimism to take such a step in the bad economic climate; my successful fight to finance the project without my own capital; and especially what happened here at weekends with my ?amateur builder friends? ... infected with the virus ?I want to help too? they also jumped in.
Had someone told me this story before it would have been inconceivable. So many times I had stood before closed doors during the hard and long fight. Now it seems like the eighth wonder of the world and I can´t thank all parties enough.
Finally there was the building inspection on May 30th. Even if not everything was perfect yet, we had made it. We had completely renewd these two houses with approx. 1100 m² area of use and approx. 2500 m² outer plant within 3 months reconstruction time. I had decided that May 25th must be a good day for the building inspection. Nobody has really believed in this appointment. I admit honestly, that there were moments where I myself was in doubt about this. But my answer to doubting questions was always the same: "On May 25th the first guest comes - we must be ready there, whether we want or not ". We have made it and made this "dream date" true -- if also with a 5 days delay.
In June 2005 the "kangaroo stop" welcomed its first guests. Since then every day many people come from Germany and from all over the world and enjoy themselves here. Even if we probably cannot always please all guests, because "every" wish can not be performed, we try to do everything to possible to make your vacation dreams come true.
I have moved much within the last few years and had drastic experiences on this way. I have proved the german saying ? Where there ist a will, there is also a way.? Surprising knowledge and new experiences have thrown a part of my previous oppinions aside. They changed my life and enriched it in various ways. I aleady knew that friends can not be bought with any money in the world. To know this ist good, but to experience this ist indescribably more beautiful!
Except for the material values, which they have voluntarily created in their spare time, with their unusual ethusiasm and with the traces they have left, my friends gave a quite special story to the kagaroo-stop, which noone can ever buy.
Whatever the future keeps for me and our kangaroo-stop, quitting my job for the journey to New Zealand, was one of the best descisions of my previous life. Everything after has shown me, that I am on the right track.
I thank all guests in the name of all employees and particulary also of all people, who have helped that our kangaroo-stop actually exists, for visiting us in Dresden, because they alone take care, that in future this house still can welcome numerous guests with its special history.
Why the name "kangaroo stop"? ...simply drop in and find out...