Day 40 – Day Tripper

Today, Greengo and I are doing a day trip to Prizren, Kosovo, by bus. The bus ride started out ok, it took about two hours to get to the Kosovo border. The wait at the border was a bit too long but, oh well. A few minutes later I got worried when the bus “missed” the turn to Prizren, but it eventually stopped at a plaza a few dozen meters further away. Many people got out and so did I – a typical pit stop, I thought. I saw one of the passengers, going to Prizren as well, ask somethings to the driver then got his bag out and moved to a minivan parked nearby. So I, in turn, asked the driver if the bus was going to Prizren. He waved his hand in the direction of the city, and I interpreted this as if the Prizren stop was further. He, of course, didn’t speak English, like most other Albanians I’ve interacted with so far. Luckily, there was a guy who kinda-sorta spoke rudimentary English nearby and explained that the big bus continues to Pristina and the minivan goes to Prizren. So I moved my bike just in time for the minivan departure.

The minivan stopped somewhere in the city and one of the passengers – not the driver – said “Prizren”. When I asked the driver about the pickup point for the return bus, he just mumbled something to the same “English speaking” guy, who stepped outside the bus to explain to me where the pickup will be. Meanwhile, the van just took off, leaving the Good Samaritan behind.

I unfolded my bike, found the bus pickup point, had a breakfast and headed all the way up to Kalaja Castle. No surprise, I was pushing my bike and sweating profusely. Though without my bags, it was much lighter. On the top, I met four military chaplains from the international peacekeeping force, who ended up taking a picture with Greengo. Looking down I saw many minarets, way more than in Tirana it seems. Many of them looked new; I presume courtesy to various Islamic states. There was a call to prayer, probably as a reverance towards those states; otherwise everything and everybody looked very secular.

I came back down, had a few beers in one of the numerous cafes on the riverbank, killing time before the bus returns to Tirana.

And that concludes my day trip to Kosovo, the last region of the former Yugoslavia I haven’t been to and wanted to see.

Today in numbers:
3 km – distance covered
43m – riding time
4-3 – countries checked off my target list vs ones still on it, all downhill now
4 – beers consumed while waiting for the bus