Sunday, May 18, 2008

Good Hiking in Kosovo

This weekend I headed up to Prevalla, which is the same place where I took my high school kids skiing, to do a bit of hiking. Getting to Prevalla would be easy if I had a car. It's not far from Prizren, 20 miles tops. I walked down to a bus area early Saturday morning to catch a minibus, but there were no minibuses to be had. I guess they don't run on Saturday, so I took a taxi instead. The cab fare was 15 Euros ($23.40) each way, but it was worth it.

I had to make this picture small to upload it and it's a bit difficult to see now. Heh. But if you look carefully at the turquoise arrow, it points to how far up the mountain I went. I couldn't get much further because of the snow.

The hike itself was about 7 hours. Behind the ski hill there's a road that leads to a camping area that's littered with trailers, fire rings, and trash. Near the end of this little area, there is a trail that loops left (not along the road) and takes you up the mountain. A lot of the hike ended up being cross country because there was snow covering the trail. However, it was beautiful and a lot of little flowers were blooming.

I didn't think Kosovo would be like this. I didn't expect there to be places to hike and unscarred nature. I've asked quite a few people, and supposedly land mines were laid only along the border with Albania and not along the border with Macedonia. In the below photo, the border with Macedonia runs along the ridge line.

When I was standing at the top of the hike looking down, I felt like I could have been anywhere: the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan...I'm glad I've been able to tap into a side of Kosovo I can truly appreciate.

While I was waiting for the cab driver to return to Prevalla to take me back to Prizren (in his private car so he could make a little extra cash) I sat at the bottom of the ski hill (which was covered in cars full of day trippers picknicking) and watched a momma sheep and her baby lamb.

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