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Published: August 28th 2011
The next day me and my new chum Michelle headed off from Berat to Prizren in Kosovo, to do this we first had to catch a furgon to Tirana, during the trip we were joined by an Italian Albanian who entertained us all for the journey, he didn't stop talking and had a typically Italian view on women much to the amusement of my travelling companion:-)
Once we arrived in Tirana we had a walk round the building site and then caught the bus to Prizren, as with all the other buses it wasn't AC but this wasn't a problem when we were travelling through the mountains. The route took us on the brand new highway between these two cities, that had been built to the cost of an estimated 600 million euros. As it had to snake through the mountains the scenery was outstanding and there were numerous tunnels including one of the longest road tunnels in Europe at 6km, the longest in the world being in Norway - 24.5km (for all you pub quizzers).
I really enjoyed my stay in Albania and was sad to leave it behind.
We nearly missed out stop as we were
the only people getting off in Prizren and then had to proceed like Mark and Joseph to find an inn and somewhere to sleep:-) Prizren isn't geared at all for tourists which makes a welcome change, there are no hostels, only hotels and the going rate for a room was around 40 euro a night. This was quite a shock for me as I was used to styaing in hostels. Michelle didn't mind sharing a room with me so that helped with the costs - unfortunately for her though they only had double beds!
Peizren has been called an open air museum and is one of the most beautiful towns in Kosovo, it is found on the slopes of the Sharr mountains with the river Bistrica running through its centre. The Ottomans occupied Prizren in 1455 and this is when the town's urban development began. As a result there are numerous mosques and hammams and winding, narrow streets. I would prizren was the highlight of my trip in so many ways - the people were extremely friendly, the only foreigners seemed to be the UN KFOR troops who were stationed there. As a result we were welcomed with curiosity
and genuine friendliness. We were asked several times why we were there as if we needed a reason - I like visiting places like this.
After settling in we sampled the nightlife, even though it was during the week the bars were packed and we had a huge meal (as we didn't know what we were ordering) at the best restaurant in Prizren - Besini, which can be found in the main square by the river. Kosovo is well cheap and the beer and food is great so we had a great night.
The next day we walked up to the fortress, which was being restored, on the way we passed derelict houses that had been surrounded with razor wire. These used to belong to the serbs who had to relocate during the war. We also noticed that all the historical churches had been boarded up and some were even under guard by KFOR troops. This was required as the local musims had took to burning them down!
Unfortunately Michelle had to head back to Tirana so I spent the second night in prizren on my own but whilst I was eating in Besini I was joined
by the Turkish Ambassador. Well not exactly, he was eating there as well but not at the same table. The Ambassador had a security details of 10 cars, it was all very exciting!
Bus tickets in Tirana can be purchased from the agents who reside near the tourist information office just of Sanderburg Square. Bus Tirana to Prizren departs 15:30 - took 4 hours and it terminated in Pristina. The company was Metropole and cost 10 euro - 15 return
Bus from Prizren to Skopje 3 hours - company Vector, get tickets on board cost 9 euro depart 9am bus
There are several nice hotels situated around the old Catholic cathedral just up from the main square on Shodervan street
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