Time is running, therefore I can do only one stop in Kosovo. My curiosity draws me to Pristina – the capital city that has been in the news for so long time. As the conflict with Serbia is still not solved, there are a few hurdles to take when entering or exiting Kosovo:
- Entering through Serbia and exiting through Kosovo could lead to issues as officially you never left Serbia
- Entering through Kosovo and exiting through Serbia could lead to issues as officially you never entered Serbia
- Therefore you have to enter and exit Kosovo and then enter and exit Serbia. This is not ideal for the travel route, but I can see a lot of the country from the car (there are other options if you travel without passport but only with personal ID)
- At the Kosovo Border you have to buy a car insurance for 15 Euro as the green European insurance card is not valid here
- In case you want to visit Kosovo, be aware: Google Navigation does not work in and around Kosovo
After 6 hours of traveling I arrive in Pristina. Although there is no reason I am a bit nervous when walking to the “old town”. It’s interesting, that I have some unconscious negative associations – too often I heard bad news about the city during the war of independence. The first minutes I struggle with myself not to turn around and go back to the hotel. But I push back my prejudices and have a close look on whats going on around me. Quickly I realize: there is absolutely no reason to be nervous.
A lot of young people are crowded in the bars and restaurants close to the “Newborn”-Monument. Some guys start talking to me – in German. Many Kosovars fled to Austria or Germany during the war and they are happy to have a chat. The Boulevard is completely packed and the mood is exuberant. I pass a few soldiers and police officers – my attentive look on them is answered with a big smile. Everything seems happy and relaxed.
In the evening I fall into my bed completely exhausted. All the excitement takes its toll – the next morning I wake up with fever – therefore I skip another trip to the old town (I planned to visit the Kosovo flag and some museum – but I have to cancel this).
I continue my travel to Serbia – due to the border situation described above I travel through Macedonia (my time constraints don’t allow me to stop in Skopje). I head towards Nis, but this stay vanishes in grey fog as I have an horrible tonsillitis and I am just in bed. Due to time constraints I cannot wait to recover and then experience the city – the car must be back in Austria (car inspection). Therefore I end the balkan tour and head towards Austria.
Bye Bye, Balkan!