Today was an extraordinary day for me. I did something I have been afraid to do in my travels and remember what I always say “It’s not bravery if you’re not scared”. So I put on my big girl panties and rented a car in Prishtina to drive alone through Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia i.e. the Balkans and rented a stick shift no less but as I told the Kosovan who rented me the car for my next adventure “I’m from Texas! Of course I know how to drive a stick! Do you know how to drive a four door super cab pick up truck with a stick pulling a four horse trailer?” To which he looked at me blankly.
I had no idea what I had in store for me between potentially getting lost, a break down, parking problems, traffic, stranger danger, not knowing the rules of the road or reading Albanian or whatever language the signs were in, to what kind of gas to put in and most especially what would happen at the border. But for 30€ a day plus gas and after a long prayer I thought “it’s just another adventure” and off I went.
I kept it easy at first and headed to my first destination – Prizren Kosovo as suggested by my friend Meritone Bobaj as such is his hometown and he intimated that I would love it. And it was easy! It was that fine line between exhilaration and terror – you know the one – but within minutes I felt like a female rebel but with a cause. On the road, solo, nothing but me and the highway and with a full tank of gas, a charged up phone, my tunes, maps.me open on the phone and having downloaded the map of Kosovo, it was…well…a drive in the park and I mean that literally and metaphorically.
Prizren is without a doubt the place to visit in Kosovo. It’s enchanting and idyllic and very different from Prishtina. It is a historic city of about 178,000 people and the center of this little gem is at the foot of the hill below the enormous Kalaja fortress which is worth the 20 minute climb uphill. It has a darling little river flowing right through the center next to the lovely old Sinan Pasha Mosque built in 1615 and this is where all the action is – if you can call lovely little vendors on the street selling dates, Albanian musicians serenading you, horse drawn carriages, phenomenal Albanian cevapi at Cafe Verona AND a drink for 2.50€ served by the nicest gentlemen you can imagine and a leisurely stroll through this charming place “action”. I call it utter bliss and would recommend it far and wide as a must see and must be for any Balkan Tour. To top it off, I ran into about 15 gorgeous men and one truly astonishing beauty of a woman with the US army awaiting deployment. I was surprised to see them meandering around this little town as to which one good looking member of our armed forces responds “Why? We are everywhere!” and that threw me the most dashing and proud smile and blew a kiss. I thanked them for protecting our country far and wide and also thanked them for helping to protect the rest of the world.
That’s all for now. From Prizren Kosovo with love and kisses 😉