Trekking in Albania and Kosovo? Probably not the first destination that slips into the passionate wanderers mind. Then again, why not? (Travel)Reports on German TV does not reveal much about those countries, until it comes to pickpockets or gipsy gangs.
And yet, both countries have to offer so much more than only the verification of stereotypes from the BILD-newspaper, provided one’s mind is open for it.
On the second day of our hiking tour we took the ferry boat (attention: it might be packed) from Koman to Fierze. From there we continued by minibus to Prizren, the second largest city of the Kosovo showing an Ottoman heritage in its old buildings.
You can enjoy a magnificent view from the top of the Prizren fortress over the city. Prizren, built in the Ottoman style, looks as if the Ottoman Empire is still alive. The Turkish flags everywhere are eye-catchers. A symbol that the Turkish State still tries to expand its sphere of control by financing construction projects, such as mosques.
Next day we traveled into the Sharr mountains. After the hike we traveled via the city of Peja to our next accommodation within the Boga-Valley. From there we climbed mountain Kosjotani at the border to Montenegro, crossing forests, meadows and cows (!) to finally reach the peak enjoying a wonderful view on Montenegro. Unfortunately my camera has had it that day, therefore I could not take any pictures neither of our hiking tour to the glacial lake nor to the cloister Visoki Dečani. I do not have any pictures of the Gjakova either, our last overnight stay in Kosovo and the city, where it took me two hours to find picture postcards.
The search for picture postcards is by the way a really nice story to display how helpful and friendly the people over there are towards strangers. In a department store where they were supposed to have such cards everybody was very anxious to help me and they finally gave me the clue to ask for it at the post office. Even though the post office employee could not offer any cards, he knew that the stationary around the corner should have some. And well, it was true. I finally got my postcards and was happy, not just only because of my “pickings” but because of those nice encounters I had.
I can only recommend a trip to Kosovo, wonderful people open-minded, friendly, helpful and curious (in a positive way) towards visitors. And: at nights there is really something going on in the streets of the old town – some medium-sized Germany city could really learn a lesson from it.