Monday, July 21, 2008


Peja - the river, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I am sorry, but I seem not to be able to write too much on the blog about Kosovo. The internet connections are slow, it is hot and there never seems to be enough time.

So, the briefest details now. Well, we had a day in the capital Pristina, after which we caught a bus to Peja, in teh west of the country. Only 86 kms away but a two hour journey through teh countryside, full of wandering cows, haystacks and newly built (half-finished houses) and various towns.

Peja is nestled just in front of the mountains on a river, in the north-west of the country, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, from the 14th century. We found the Royal Arda Hotel, the centre of social life in town and found a room for 40 uros, again we had the feeling we were the only guests in a hotel with over 80 rooms...

After a walk around the empty town - it was lunchtime on a Sunday, we took a taxi off to the Patriarchate and the Rugova Gorge. This ended up with us meeting a chap who was born and raised in a village next door to Fred's, albeit 20 years later - and he was the first tourist we met - wandering around the churches of the patriarchate, being followed around by the tall pale nun, whose job it was to stop people taking photos (I sneaked a few.. ha ha). He joined us we went futher up teh gorge past picnicking families to the rather disappointing Rugova Camp (all huts, cafes and trout farms), where we came across some people we had met earlier at the hotel below, which had us staying slightly longer than expected... which ended up with us being ripped off by the taxi driver who asked for 46 euros instead of the 20 we had agreed before. We had half of Peja involved in the discussion later, which lasted way over half an hour and had the boss of the taxi company (Peja Taxis - do not use) threatening our driver with the sack if we didn't come back with 46 euros. We paid, but it left a nasty taste. I complained to the police which ended me up having a beer wit an old bobby who is over here training the local police and various other ' internationals'.

Peja really came to life after dusk and the streets were full of people... creating a great atmosphere, similar but better to what you still see in Italy. We had our second pizza of the day, still with Martijn from Emmer Compascuum, with a few more beers and so ended our third day in Kosova...


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