Kosovo Journals

Kosovo: A Recovering War Zone

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A June 2005 trip to Kosovo by HobWahid

View of the City Photo, Pristina, Kosovo More Photos
Quote: Kosovo is recovering from its infamous war, and while its future is still uncertain, it is open for tourism and will provide an unforgettable experience.

Kosovo: A Recovering War Zone

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Overview

Clocktower Photo, Pristina, Kosovo
Quote:
Kosovo itself has not come into its own as a tourist destination. A good decade of war will do that to a country. Thus, the tourism industry is all but completely absent. Guidebooks don't exist and finding out just what there is to see can be next to impossible. I am sure there is plenty out there to see in Kosovo but I had neither the time nor the resources. Plus, my main reason for going was just to see and learn. I had always heard about Kosovo and Prishtina, usually bad things, and I had always been intrigued to see just what it is like. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go, so I took it. For me it was less about seeing sights than just seeing the country itself, talking to people and ...Read More

Grand Hotel Prishtina

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Hotel

Grand Hotel Prishtina Photo, Pristina, Kosovo
Quote:
When I strolled up to the front desk at the Grand Hotel Prishtina, to inquire about a room, I was greeted by a lovely young lady with a nice smile. I asked about available rooms, she looked and me and asked in excellent English "And what name is the reservation under?""I don't have one," I replied. Silence and then that same confused look I was met with at the border. She then asked what group I was with or who I worked for, assuming that I had to be here for some specific reason. When I finally made it clear that I had no reservations, was with no group and didn't work for anybody, she just laughed. "So you are here just for tourism, then?" She asked, and then laughed again.I was worr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2006

Grand Hotel Prishtina
Mother Theresa St.
Pristina
+381 38 220-210

Prishtina: The Capital

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Attraction

Clocktower Photo, Pristina, Kosovo
Quote:
Prishtina is a surprisingly lovely town. Sure it is mostly a sea of concrete and steel, some of it still bombed out, but there is something about it that made me feel quite at home. It could be the sense of optimism that filled the air or maybe it was the summer sun, but the city definitely made an impression on me. It's tourism industry is nascent, with the local government only recently having the funds (and stability) to invest in tourism. Facilities for tourists are basically non-existent, but this doesn't mean that there isn't stuff to see.Perhaps the most prominent site is the Prishtina Museum, a small but lovely museum in one of Prishtina's few remaining old buildings. The Museum feature...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2006

The Cult of Bill Clinton

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Story/Tip

Kebab Van Photo, Pristina, Kosovo
Quote:
When the skyline of Prishtina finally came into view, I immediately started to think that I really should be spending more time in this country than just driving through it. I don't really know what it was, but I suppose it was just that general curiosity that drives all us travelers and that curiosity that drove me to the Balkan Peninsula in the first place. Prishtina is one of those places that I had always heard referenced, but never really imagined I'd be. It would have been a crime to not at least spend the night. The choice should have been obvious, but it still took me forever to decide. My mind flip-flopped, stay/go, stay/go, stay/go. Before I new it I was on the road out of town and toward th...Read More

A Brief Cultural Misphap

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Story/Tip

View of the City Photo, Pristina, Kosovo
Quote:
It only took about an hour to reach Kosovo's capital, Prishtina, from the Macedonian border. By the time I reached the city limits I was fully settling into the idea of being in Kosovo. I was cruising down the two-lane highway, listening to my CDs and passing numerous military convoys. I was enjoying trying to sound out the signs in Albanian and passing by the military bases belonging to various NATO countries—it was so far so good. The Kosovo countryside was lush green, with various restaurants and truck stops dotting the highway. I stopped in one for a brief snack and to try and get some money. In Kosovo the default currency is the Euro, and that is what the ATMs dispense. All I had was a wad of Mac...Read More

An Uncertain Border Crossing

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Story/Tip

Mosque Photo, Pristina, Kosovo
Quote:
Approaching the border of the UN-administered region of Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was probably the most nervous I have ever been crossing a border. Not only was I rolling towards the border in my Avis-rented Ford, but I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The reason for my crossing was that I ultimately wanted reach Montenegro, but it just so happens that the quickest route from Macedonia to Montenegro goes right through the heart of Kosovo.I, like most of the rest of the world, had no real idea of what exactly Kosovo was like. Just the word Kosovo triggered such phrases as ethnic cleansing, mass graves, and refugees. I had no idea ...Read More