We spent the last couple of days exploring this new, young country: Kosovo. When we were still in Serbia, a lot of people asked us why we were going to Kosovo. We figured this was because of the tense situation between the two countries (in short: Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo as a country, because they think it’s part of Serbia).
But even now that we entered Kosovo, we’ve had to answer this question a lot of times! Locals keep asking us why we are here and what made us decide to come and visit Kosovo. When we tell them it’s a new country for us and that we really like to explore new countries, they don’t always seem satisfied with this answer. So that makes us think about it too: why are we here? Well, first of all it’s on our way down South, obviously. Then, it is a country in the Balkans that we haven’t seen yet. And third, we are curious about this country, which in a lot of places isn’t recognized as a country at all.
We started our visit in the capital, Pristina, which was a great place to learn more about Kosovo. We did a guided tour to learn more about the history and culture. We never knew most people here consider themselves Albanian, that 90 percent of this country is Muslim and that the official language is Albanian (and Serbian, but don’t tell the Albanians that). Pristina itself was really interesting and we explored a lot of cool places! We walked around for 2 and a half hours and had a great time.
Unfortunately, Covid cases have increased here a lot lately, so we do have to wear mouth masks inside and outside.
We enjoyed walking Pristina much more than driving it; the traffic is really crazy. And not just in Pristina! We’ve visited some other cities too and it’s always congested. It feels like you need 3 pair of eyes to see all the cars, pedestrians and dogs coming! Luckily, so far, nothing bad has happened.
We’ve only been in the country for a few days now, but our first impression is really good. Most of the roads are pretty good and even though we know that the country is pretty poor, it doesn’t look like it. Cities and villages all look quite nice, the houses are in good shape and the people are really friendly. We haven’t seen any signs of the last war that went on here in 1999. However, there is a lot of construction everywhere we look.
Kosovo is a really small country, so I guess in our next blog we might have already left the country. But for now, we will explore it a little more and maybe we can figure out the answer to the question that people keep asking us a little more!
Sparta’s diary (4)
This country is really funny: people all seem to be scared of me here! Most of the time they scare me too, because they suddenly jump out of the way or start screaming. Other than that, I like it here a lot.
The day that we arrived, we met a couple of amazing friends at the Bear Sanctuary. The male dog that lived there was a bit too fat and he wanted to eat all my cookies, but I liked him a lot. There was a puppy too; she was scared of me at first, but after a while she wouldn’t leave me alone anymore. Another dog, a black one, only observed us. He was too scared to come closer.
In the morning, my boss and I were going for a walk, and the three dogs followed us the whole way. The puppy and I played a lot and I did my crazy circles through the grass. When we came back, I had to stay in the car when my bosses went to visit the bears. I didn’t mind, because I was pretty tired, but after a while I looked through the window and I saw a lot of bears! My bosses seemed to have a great time though, because they were taking a lot of pictures and talking to the bears like they were pets! When I heard my bosses talk with them, I didn’t like it at all! Luckily, they came back in one piece…