Blogs from Kosovo, Europe

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Europe » Kosovo October 5th 2018

Velika Rudoka @ 2658 meters ASL (8720') definitely lived up to its name. I summited the recently designated high point in Kosovo, and my last Balkan high point on the tick list, yesterday at 15:38 local time. When I looked at the map and read the trip reports (not many as most peak baggers seem to go from Macedonia), I thought summiting would be fairly straightforward. The mountain is just a few kms from the end of the road at Hotel Arxhena. However, the vertical gain is ~1100 meters (3600') so I knew I was going to have to motor especially considering that I was doing this as a day trip from Prishtinë in a rental car that I could pick up no earlier than 9:00. Departed the capital just after 9:30 and after innumerable white ... read more
Looking Back Down the Valley to Hotel Arxhena
Summit Finally in Sight
Other Side of Summit Marker in Macedonia

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina September 12th 2018

Today we’re off to Pristina, capital of Kosovo. Most of my knowledge of Kosovo comes from watching the news delivered by Kate Adie in a bulletproof vest, so I’m looking forward to seeing modern day Kosovo for myself. First, breakfast which consists of more sausage and aubergine topped with cheese. I didn’t think I liked aubergine but apparently the secret to making it palatable is to outnumber it 3:1 with cheese. We set off for bus station. Our suitcase was damaged on the flight; the bottom has caved in so the wheels no longer touch the floor, thus making it difficult to manoeuvre. I suggest buying a new one, but the old man opts to make do and moan. A lot of moaning. Kosovo isn’t the easiest place to reach. The Serbs don’t recognise it so ... read more
Newborn monument
Monument to Heroins
Statue

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina June 25th 2018

When we hear the word Kosovo, we think of war reports. But we find Prizren to be a small, quiet town set on a small river. It has a village feel. After our early morning coach journey from Albania, we find a small coffee shop and sit outside in the sun with very good cappuccinos. We climb up to the ruined fortress that overlooks the town. The view is stunning and we count the slim minarets. There are 40 mosques in Prizren and at noon those minarets burst into life, calling the faithful to prayer. In Albania we were seldom aware that it was a predominantly Muslim country. Kosovo is 95% Muslim and it is much more apparent. We had expected Kosovo to be Albania in miniature but it is not. If Albania feels close to ... read more
Bill Clinton
Pristina
Prizren

Europe » Kosovo » South » Prizren May 28th 2017

Rano ma vyhana z postele bolest brucha, neskor uz len vylihovanie a relax v posteli. V lobby dopisujem dennik, medzi tym staff chysta ranajky. No ranajky ked sa to tak da nazvat, dzus, kava, jeden toast, vajicko natvrdo,maslo,syr, 3 kolieska uharku, 3 kolieska salamu a jedno koliesko rajciny. Zlate turecko, tam boli kralovske ranajky, ze sa potom clovek ani pohnut nevedel. Inak vcera sa mi pokazil zips na nohaviciach, t.j. uz z nich nemozem spravit dlhe ale ostavaju iba kratke. Po jedle smer bus stanica cca 25.min pesibusom. Cestou nic specialne aj ked som siel bocnou ulickou, proste nic co by ma oslovilo, mozno akurat zas cigany v smetakoch. No a este na hlavnej triede bol vybity vyklad, vonku hliadkovali policajti a ja si v pohode na mieste cinu zavazujem snorky. Este su tu zaujimave nemocnice, ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina May 27th 2017

Rano sa budim a izraelcana este furt neni. Potichu opustam izbu a smer bus stanica vzdialena od ubytka asi 20.min pesi. Bus mi ide o 7/00. Vcera mi chceli objednavat taxi, bo fakt 2,5km je straaaaasne velka dialka. V pekarnicke kupujem prvy burek na mojom malom balkanskom putovani. Predavacka sonduje odkial som, slovensko, tak v tom pripade du sprichst deutsch? No veru ani moc uz ne. Ulice sa pomalicky uz plnia a to je len 6/15. Na namesti je dokonca 24hod pizzerka. Cas na prehliadku mesta resp pevnosti nemam. Pred hradbami je kopa obchodikov, trh s ovozelom, pekarnicky a strasne masy ludi. Nebol by som to ja keby som si zas nesplietol vchod na bus stanicu. Pekne som si to namierili k mhd nastupistiam, normalna bus stanica je hned vedla avsak oplotena tak zas to cele ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina January 31st 2017

The Balkans experience continues with my first visit to Kosovo, a country that is 90% ethnic Albanian and after my recent experience a destination I was sure to enjoy visiting. The Ottoman Empire ruled the Balkans for 500 years, with the influence of the Ottomans evidenced by the religious affiliation of the Kosovars, including the beautiful mosques throughout the country. However, the locals are not strictly religious; it's rare to see a lady covered when strolling in the capital city Pristina or other cities in the country. As soon as I arrived, there was a relaxed welcome that's been reinforced through the duration of my visit to this lovely country. The hospitality in the Balkans is special, and something I’ll treasure long after this visit has drawn to a close. The journal left off in Skopje, ... read more
Pristina building
Stone Bridge in Prizren
Beautiful monastery

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina October 15th 2016

It has just dawned on me that I have reached a personal Travelblog milestone with this entry - 250 blogs in 10 years, 10,000+ photographs and before I started writing this one, 284,000 words exactly. Skopje Bus Station was calm and orderly. We arrived early for our 0800 hours departure. The breakfast at the hotel didn’t kick off until 0800 hours, so we’d had to sacrifice free nourishment in favour of making the bus departure. We settled in the first café inside for a sausage burek and a Nescafe. The Nescafe turned out to be some form of cold coffee with chocolate trimmings. Nice, but arguably not what was required or expected. The Pristina Express was a minibus. We waited patiently at Peron 1 and watched a sock salesmen shift 4 pairs for a crisp 10 ... read more
Bill Clinton Statue
Mother Theresa Boulevard
Mother Theresa Boulevard

Europe » Kosovo September 14th 2016

We are currently on a bus from Skopje, Macedonia to Lake Ohrid. Let’s recap our 4 days in Kosovo. We took a mini bus from Vila Dini to Peja, Kosovo. Our first stop was Visoki Dečani monastery. A Serbian Orthodox monastery since 1327, as with other Serbian monasteries and communities in the country, it is heavily under guard by the KFOR (NATO-led Kosovo Force) another legacy of decades of tension and violence between the Serbs and ethnic Albanian community of Kosovo. This white-washed monastery is set amidst a large lush green lawn, and Orthodox frescoes decorated the walls of the church which was surprisingly in good condition after all these years. 25 monks live here in isolation and produce wine, cheese and honey. Some of us bought some for our trip! After the Monastery it was ... read more
Patriarchate of Peć monestary
Rugova valley, Peja
Rugova valley, Intrepid style!

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina August 28th 2016

Although I had already been there, I had to go back to Skopje from Ohrid on order to catch a connecting bus to Pristina, Kosovo. On the bus to Skopje, an local man seemed to be annoying everyone by talking to them. From the looks on the faces of the people he was talking to, it seems he was talking sh*t or ranting - one dude in particular looked on the verge of punching the guy in the face. Stuck in traffic, I prayed that the dude wouldn't come over and start ranting at me - the bus ride seemed to last forever. And I still had another bus to catch - and it left early! Good thing I generally get to the platform about fifteen minutes early these days. In the bus station, I managed ... read more
Newborn Monument
Jashar Pasha Mosque
Sheshi Zahir Pajaziti

Europe » Kosovo » South » Prizren August 13th 2016

After a good night rest we woke up and took a nice Greek breakfast. Or next destination for today is Prizren. A picturesque city in the south of Kosovo. According Google Maps it would take us only 3 hour from Thessaloniki. Reality showed the difference… We left Thessaloniki behind us and drove towards the north. Passing Macedonia (Former Yugoslavian Republic Of Macedonia) and entered the border with Kosovo. However there was not a long queue it took some time until it was our turn. Passport check was fine. Green card…. Kosovo is not covered by our car insurance. At the border we could insure our vehicle for 15 Euros for a period of 15 days. Now our car was insured we continued our journey. Off course we know that we don’t have to trust Google Maps ... read more
Prizren
Prizren
Prizren




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