In the land of political science students

Pristina Travel Blog

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The airport in Pristina

I get off all right in Copenhagen with a pretty smooth flight to Vienna. The flight was pretty uneventful but when my next plane were about to leave Vienna we all boarded the plan alright but after that it went a bit wrong - because a passenger had sort of decided he did not want to follow his luggage to Pristina hence the plane were delayed while the staff located his luggage and took it off the plane.

 

After a bit of a delay we went away going towards Pristina. It was a tiny plane but for some reason all Lauda Airs plane has been equipped with TV-screens. Hence you could follow the route of the plane as we went along. You would sort of expect a route from Vienna via Hungary and then down over Serbian airspace or as an alternative you could fly across Croatia, Bosnia and Serbian enroute to Pristian but we went a completely different route going over Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia before we finally made it into Kosovo airspace.

One of the mosques in town
Of course there could be a perfectly logical explanation for this route - like congestion of Serbian airspace - but considering the recent history of this area I kind of expect the reason for the long route around Serbian airspace was in fact due to lack of permition to fly across Serbian airspace if you are going to Kosovo. After hearing other telling about going in a similar circle to avoid Serbia I am more or less convinced the Serbian authorities ban flight across Serbia to Kosovo.

 

After the long route around half of Balkan I get to the airport in Kosovo. It is a tiny airport and there is only a few planes standing around the one airstrip on the ground. And when we exit the plane we just walk along the taxi area to the main (only) terminal in the airport. Considering the size of the airport it takes them surprisingly long to transport the baggage to the one conveyor belt in the airport.

 

I finally get out of the airport and get a taxi to take me to town. We drive along a road - that is if it qualifies as a road. There is a construction of a new road going on - but for the moment that means chaos on the road. Along the road is a large number of motels and I can’t help but wonder why there is so many motels along a road this close to the capital of the country.  You never know if they are in fact part of some sort of Eastern European money laundering scheme. There is also a lot of houses being built along the road - they are being built in Eastern European style - which means you never know if there is actually something going on with the construction - or if the owner is just awaiting better times and a bigger paycheck before he will proceed with the construction.

 

As I drive along the road I see evidence of this place has a troubled history. There are a couple of KFOR busses and jeeps going along the road. KFOR is short for Kosovo Force. The NATO force which were establish in the wake of a Serbian attempt of ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of the Albanian population. This ended bad for Serbian when NATO made its first ever intervention without a UN mandate. There is also a large present of UN and EU cars driving on the roads of Kosovo.

 

After a bit of a drive I get to my guesthouse which is run by an elder man he is really talkative and tells all about the country history and how he is expanding his business with an extra guesthouse next door. I stay in the old main guesthouse which is in fact his own private house. The house is in the rich part of town and the former president lived just in the next street.

 

The people staying in the guesthouse seem to be somewhat strange for your usual tourist - or they are actually not tourist at all. It seems nobody actually go to Kosovo to go on holiday - but on the other hand the place attracts a bunch of hopeful PhD students specializing in political science who wants to study how nation building works in practice. Hence the first people I see are a Belgian and a French student who are staying in Kosovo for a long time to do research and meet representatives from the different international organizations and local civil servants.

 

I decide to go for a quick tour of the town - just to familiarize myself a bit to my surroundings. It is a nice enough city. And I notice that despite the people of Kosovo is probably 95 percent Muslim there is not really a lot of signs of this in the daily life of people here. Only a few women is wearing headscarf’s and alcohol is available everywhere and there don’t seem to be any sort of problems if you want to have a drink. It is getting dark quickly hence I abort my walk around town for now.

sylviandavid says:
Wonderful blog... as usual... fast paced and informative... Thanks. sylvia
Posted on: Apr 11, 2009
Lilliana77 says:
Congratz on being featured!! ^_^
Posted on: Apr 10, 2009
Lord_Mike says:
Super read....and congrats on your feature today!!!
Posted on: Apr 10, 2009
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The airport in Pristina
The airport in Pristina
Old clock tower in Pristina
Old clock tower in Pristina
One of the mosques in town
One of the mosques in town
Pristina Hostels review
Velania Guest House
The guest house is located a little bit out of town in an area where the wealthy people of Pristina lives. It is right next to the house of the former… read entire review
Pristina
photo by: tj1777