Day 192: A day in the world’s newest capital

Lake Ohrid

We’re passing through Macedonia en route eastwards to Bulgaria. Made a short stopover at Lake Ohrid, Europe’s oldest and deepest (“and cleanest” joked a local). Nice little old town that carried a faint aura of glamour without matching prices. It’s a party town in summer – our room was right above two clubs blasting hits from the last two decades, enough to keep us awake in bed til 3am. Other than Ohrid, there wasn’t much else we wanted to do so we filled our itinerary with a daytrip to Kosovo today.

Not a great deal to see honestly, but I don’t think anyone visits Kosovo to sightsee anyway. It was more to learn about Kosovo’s story and witness how things are today. A cool feeling to be in the world’s newest capital & youngest country (its sovereignty yet to be fully recognized internationally). Her infancy is evident in the presence of KFOR troops (Kosovo Force) – military personnel bearing badges from various NATO countries here to maintain security and stability. We also found this interesting – a golden statue of Bill Clinton standing gloriously on a road named in the former president’s honour, who backed Kosovo’s move for independence.

Statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina (Kosovo), the world’s newest capital

Kosovo is another one of those names (like Bosnia) I came across numerous times in the media but never really understood. At a cafe back in Skopje (Macedonia’s capital) this evening, we met Artan, a sports journalist from Pristina (Kosovo’s capital), who gave us firsthand insight.

Photos of the Missing

Having been an independent state of ex-Yugoslavia, Kosovo is recognized by several nations as an independent sovereignty. Serbia continues to fight over Kosovo but much less aggressively. More interesting (and consoling) for me was to learn that Serbs & Kosovars today get along well. “It’s just the politics” Artan said, who is still missing four family members since the violent conflict with Serbia broke out. “We shouldn’t forget, but we must also move on”.

Young Kosovars embracing their identity

Artan was really keen to tell and show us more of his country but what a pity our paths only crossed here in Macedonia, after our visit to Pristina.

We also got lucky and met a Kosovar celebrity! Sitting at Artan’s table was a big looming figure who actually initiated convo with us first, keen to boast about his identity and former glories – Aziz “Zizi” Salihu, ex-Yugoslav boxing bronze medalist in the 1984 Olympics!! Hellova funny guy, Zizi told us how the ladies would flock to him when he won matches but when he lost, “no girls…”

Ah well… realities of life!

You might also like:

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Glenn you really had a great trip all over the world!

    It was pleassure to meet you in Skopje! I hope we'll see you soon!

    Have a nice trip and enjoy it!

    Best regards from your kosovar friend,
    Artan Muhaxhiri
    Sports Journalist on RTK

  2. Iván says:

    What a great picture the one in Lake Ohrid!!! I really like it!!

  3. Dilly says:

    Young Kosovars are so sexy!!!!

  4. Lilliane says:

    I love this post! It's informative without being boring. For a moment I was there, haha. Excellent photos too. Why not consider using the full width of your blog to showcase them? =)

  5. 山 him says:

    Lilliane: Thank you so much for your words, they mean a lot (just when I was convinced nobody was reading…)! I have been thinking about revamping the blog layout but need help doing so, not quite my forte!!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>