One day trip to the newest European capital.
I planed to go from Skopje, Macedonia to Pristina in Kosovo, to see how is it looking the capital of the newest European Republic.
After a good espresso in the central mall of Skopje, I walk to the bus station. It wasn’t far so in 15 minutes I arrived there. I bought the ticket when I arrived in Skopje, so I had to go direct to the platform. The ticket cost 350 denar this should be about 5.60€. It was a minibus with 22 seats. We arrived fast to the border. We have to give the passports for the Macedonian control. After 10 minutes a police women came to the bus to return our passports and because I was near the door, I get all the passport and I had to give them back to the people who belonged it. So I have seen that in a small bus there were 3 Americans, 2 French, some Albanian, Macedonian, Kosovar and Turks and me with Italian passport.
After the Macedonian border the bus drove us to the Kosovo border where we wait about 10 minutes. It was quite fast compering how much time I spent at the border between Albania and Macedonia.
Pristina is a very chaotic city. It seems they don’t have a historic center neither a main square. It is a city constructed on more hills with buildings who don’t respect any rules of urbanism. What it should be the central area is made probably under the communism era so the big blocks are made following some urbanism rules. The other areas near the center are build in a big disorder.
I had a small apartment in a very central area, but it was complicated to find it. When I enter inside, the cleaning lady was still there cleaning. The apartament was cozy and it wasn’t expensive. I had a nice view over the city and in front of my balcony it was a mosque. Sometimes I could hear the muezzin calling the believers to pray.
What can you see in Pristina!
I have seen some nice mosque, one of them is build under the ottoman era and it is called the Imperial mosque. It was built in 1461 by Sultan Mehmet II Fatih.
At the time I was there, it was the praying time so I couldn’t go inside.
Mother Theresa Cathedral.
In a country where there are just 60.000 catholic people, of 2 millions population they build a huge catholic cathedral. It is called the Mother Theresa Cathedral. The building is very big, constructed in Italian basilica style, with a central nave and 2 lateral naves divided by very beautiful columns. It is built in a Romanesque Revival style and it is one of the nicest building of the city.
I liked the cathedral a lot and it is maybe now the best place to take pictures in a city without to many monuments.
The walking area is like a kind of bazaar where the people are trying to sell fruits, corn and small souvenirs. They have the Oriental habits and you have to ask the price and to negotiate for a good deal. It is exhausting to buy something on the market. The stores has fix prices and this is better. I have seen a national museum in a building trying to look as a French Château, the statue of the Albanian middle age hero Skanderbeg, and maybe the only kind of historic building remembering of an embassy is the Benetton store. I called it the “Italian embassy”.
The Cathedral church of Christ the Saviour
In the area of the university or the campus you can find an unfinished Serbian Orthodox Christian church whose construction began in 1995. The Serbian church remain unfinished because of the war.
The National Library of Kosovo
There is a quite nice Brutalist architecture building, the national library. The most significant part of the current library is its building.
There are contradictory opinions about its style, which have resulted in different versions regarding the building. The current building of the National Library of Kosovo was inaugurated on 25 November 1982. It was designed by the Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjaković. It is made with zenith windows, with a total 99 domes of different sizes and is entirely covered in a metal fishing net, which have their own particular architectural symbolism.
In the evening, I had a good dinner with a local beer, Peja beer. I paid for dinner and the drink 2,50€. The local people are very friendly and very helpful. A lot of them are speaking very good English.
Skanderbeg statue was built in 2001 on a structure that resembles a traditional Albanian hat, paying homage to a 15th-century hero who fought off the Ottoman empire for decades.
I cut my hair for 3€. I was happy with my new hair cut. The hairdresser was also speaking good English.
The evening ends with a big rain, so I prefered to stay in my apartment. The rain made the dirt to become wet and from the street you could feel an unpleasant smell.
Next day I woke up at 8.00
I slept on the couch in the living room because the sleeping room wasn’t what I wanted. I had the feeling it is too small and I didn’t want to sleep under the roof.
After the breakfast ( burek and ayran ) I took a shower and after, I went to the bus station.
I wanted to buy a fridge magnet. A day before they told me in a small store, it costs 99 cents, but they will sell me with 90 cents. I wasn’t sure I will buy there and when I turned back next day, they asked 2€ for the same magnet. I say I’ll not buy. I don’t like when they are changing the prices every day. In the end I bought a magnet with 1 euro just to have a souvenir from Kosovo.
I arrived to the bus station after 25 minutes walk. I pay 10.50€ for a ticket to Durrës in Albania. They told me it will take 4 hours to arrive there. I had a coffee with 50 cents? I bought a kind of cheese pie with 50 cents and a half liter bottle of water with 50 cents also.
The bus left at 11.00, very punctually. The bus smell very bad and it was a very old bus. After exactly 5 hours I arrived in Durrës.