Arriving in Skopje
On my birthday, the 8th of December 2016, me and friend were flying to Skopje, Macedonia. However, we had already decided to take a bus to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, the same day.
At the passport control on Skopje Airport we were taking out for a random luggage control. After a good chat with the security guards we were quickly on our way again.
Crossing the border
We took the airport shuttle to the bus station, where we bought tickets for the bus to Pristina. These cost us about 5 euros each. A van that fit 20-something people would take us to Pristina. Within half an hour we reached the border and we were again taken out for another random luggage control. The guards were very interested in some of the Dutch cheese we had with us and my GoPro. After the guards congratulated me on my birthday and apologized for the delay we were on our way again.
It had gotten dark by the time the journey continued. Fairly quickly we figured out that our driver did not take the traffic rules all that serious. We were driving on winding mountain roads and he would still overtake in almost every corner. Despite the drive being perilous, we enjoyed it very much. At one point the van broke down, but within 15 minutes we were on the road again.
Arriving in Pristina
After our arrival into town we had to walk approximately 2km to the hostel. During this walk we found out that the country is very much focused on America. We would see things such as ‘The American School of Kosovo’ and ‘American Corner’ in the library. Next to this, the used currency is Euros. This lead us to believe that Kosovo is a member of the European Union, but this is not the case.
After checking in to the hostel we took a stroll to the city centre. Like in most European cities during December a Christmas market had been organised. To us this demonstrated really well that Kosovo is not like many people describe it. It is a very normal place, where people are trying to live their life in peace and leave a better place for their children.
The next morning we had some time to explore the city. We went to some of the sights that Google advises you to visit. The library is indeed a very interesting building and so is the abandoned cathedral (Christ the Saviour Cathedral) close to the library. However, the most unexpected sight to see is a statue of Bill Clinton. At first this seems like a strange sight, but after some research you will find out that America, and especially Bill Clinton, has greatly supported Kosovo’s struggle for independence.
Late in the afternoon we caught a bus back to Skopje. This trip to Kosovo was rather short, but I believe it was enough to see the major sights in Pristina. If you are going to stay longer I would advise you to get a local’s perspective. Next to this, I have heard good stories about the city of Prizren.