Just over the Kosovo border is the country’s second biggest city; Prizren. I arrived into the city around 7pm and dumped my bag, headed straight out to search the city as with only 24 hours here I wanted to get the most out of it.
Within less than 20 minutes of walking through the city, the sun had completely set and even with the street lights illuminating the place, it still felt somewhat uncomfortable to be outside. I grabbed some food and waded my way through a tirade of side glances, people staring, and pointing. My guess is they don’t get too many incredibly white northerners round these parts, it seems like it’s more a local place for local people. I got back to my hostel and worked out a plan for the following day, bookmarked the sights I’d like to see then went to bed.
Saturday morning in Kosovo is not a place I ever imagined I’d be. I woke up pretty early and got my accommodation in Pristina sorted (that’s my next destination) and then set off to explore the city, in daylight this time.
As soon as I walked out I headed straight into the centre of the old town, which is where I was last night, and it’s so much better in the light, I also felt a lot safer. I strolled around the centre, before directing myself off the beaten track, into the woods. There were two ways to the Kalaja fortress so I thought it’d be nicer to venture through nature. It took about an hour to reach the top and when I finally made it, I sat down to absorb the view and have a snack. Having wandered around the fortress I decided to sit down for a bit and read a little. This didn’t last long as the tranquillity seemed to pass as more people (read: annoying kids) entered the walls annoying and started shouting, screaming, and using the ruins as their own personal playground.
As I was descending, I realised I left at the right time as a swarm of kids seemed to head towards me like a tidal wave. I dodged out of their way and ventured down a side street. This led me towards the food street so I stopped in for some lunch before going back back to my hostel to pick up my luggage.
I arrived at the bus station as once again found myself faced with a mob of children so I decided to wait until the next bus, luckily before my bus left, four buses came along and the children were here to those buses. I got on my bus and headed towards Pristina.
Editor’s Note: As a child, I remember watching news clips about the War of Independence in Kosovo and I never imagined it to be as scenic as it actually is. Seeing the fight on TV still resonates with me today so to be in this country and surrounded with untouched scenery is quite a surreal feeling.