Crossing the border, a youthful city in a young country, and an explosion of natural beauty
Prizren Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
First of all, I think Travbuddy, after a whole year of recognized independance, should also recognize Kosovo / Kosova as a country.
February 21, 2009
We pulled to the station at the border of Macedonia and Kosova. The border guard entered the bus and start picking up passports briefly looking at them as he collected them. He stops with mine and asked questions. Are you KFOR? (The military and civilian presence there helping them) and he also asked if I was traveling on to Serbia. Serbia will not allow enrtrance into their country from Kosova if you entered Kosova from any other country. So, he was being kind in asking the questions. There were no problems and were allowed to resume the journey after 30 minutes of passport checks.
The last of our daylight was spent viewing some of the most beautiful snow covered mountain scenery I have seen.
The southern part of the country's mountain town have much new development. It has a feeling to it that is not that different than newer development in American cities. If you didn't know you were in Kosova......you might think you were in the US.
We pulled in to Prizren station...a parking lot, close to 7pm. The taxi drivers attacked!!! I said no, thinking that I could walk. I walk everywhere. So, I attempted to call the hotel.....many many times. Either my calling technique was faulty or the cell service was to blame. It really doesn't matter, now.
I settled in and set out for dinner. There were so many people out socializing for the evening in the old town. They were almost exclusively young....quite young. ...mid 20's or younger. There were so many, in fact, I started to wonder what they had done with the "adults". Anyway, I strolled abit, myself, becoming apart of the ritual......through the square, passed the Orthodox Church, along the river, circle by the mosque, repeat. It feels like a place people enjoy being. It's not overly quaint or touristy.
I had my dinner, a little cafe called Holiday. They have a bit of everything......it was good and very inexpensive.
I went back to Oltas Pension to call it a night. I met the grand daughter of the owner (Anita), who is studying medicine.
February 22, 2009
I awakened to a bit of snow falling. Now being able to see the city by daylight, I was anxious to get started. I took a walk, retracing my steps from last night. WOW! The setting of architecture and nature is stunning. I walked along the river. The clouds start to give way to majestic mountains in the distance........just beautiful. I decide to walk up the mountain above the city, where the bombed out Serbian Orthodox church and fortress are. I am in awe as I assend and see the lanscape unfolding.
I am stopped briefly buy a man who speaks to me (in Albanian). I say hello. Now he speaks to me in good English. He asks where I am from. I tell him and then he asks where I work. He assumes that I am apart of KFOR. I tell him that I am a tourist and he shows amazement. He asks what I think of the city and also says that things are getting better everyday. He seems quite proud of his city. He tells me to enjoy the view and the day.
I continue to walk up the steep hill. I approach the bombed out Serbian Orthodox Church (Being used by KFOR military forces). There is fencing and razor wire everywhere along here. I get too close and my coat and jeans become casualties of the security measures.
I reach the summit and the remains of the fortress. WOW! The view.......all of Prizren......all of the valley, and so many mountains. I walk along the mountain, where it follows the river revealing a canyon that stretches ......well, to Albania The highest one in the distance covered with snow....actually, Albania.
Along the path, I pass a heard of sheep being loud and playful in the warmth of the sunny day. I've now walked for about an hour.....towards nowhere....I start back, taking in the grandeur of the scenery all around.
I return to the Serbian Orthodox Church on the hill at sunset. I love watching as the colors stream across the sky, against the snow and the mountains. It makes me feel connected.......to the world. I watch as the city lights start coming on and the youth of the city start the ritual, agian. It's comforting.