In 2013 in wintertime I’ve been on a trip with Youngpioneertours to Eastern Europe visiting several countries, one of them is Kosovo.
The question is have I been to Serbia or Albania ?
The majority of the population in Kosovo is etnic Albanian so you might call Kosovo Albania 2.0 cause from what I’ve seen, most of the people are Albanians and on Albanian Independence day the 28th of November, I saw more Albanian flags in Kosovo then I saw a few days later in Tirana Albania’s capital. Also the Kosovo flag in Kosovo’s capital Pristina is outnumbered, albanian flags are everywhere, in the shopping windows, on buildings, squares, etc… Could it be that the Albanians in Kosovo feel more Albanian then the Albanians in Albania ? Who knows but seems to me they do.
So What about “Kosovo being Serbia ! ” Kosovo to some is a province of Serbia and to others it is a country, yet its not recognized by all the countries in the world as a independent state, just to give one example, Russia the biggest country in the world didn’t recognize it.
I have spend 3 days in Kosovo visiting Pristina,Mitrovica and Brod.
Pristina as mentioned above is the capital and there I stayed 3 nights, from there I did a day trip to Mitrovica and Brod.
Brod is a small town in the deep South of Kosovo about 3 hours away from the capital, in the mountains, really off the beaten track. More on that later.
Mitrovica is a City in the North of Kosovo where there is a Serbian minority, the city itself is devided by the Ivar River, when you cross the bridge over the river you got on one side the Albanian part of the city and on the other side the Serbian part. No Albanian or Kosovo flags in the Serbian part, only Serbian flags.
The UN and KFOR troops are stationed on that bridge to secure peace, so both sides won’t clash with eachother like they did in the past.
When I was there I saw only 2 patrol cars and a the leftovers of a blockade made by the Serbs. You can still feel the tension in the air, strange situation.
When crossing the river to the Serbian part you really feel like you are in Serbia. That’s the feeling I had but officially I haven’t been in Serbia, since Kosovo is considered as a country on its own by the EU and also by the US, so I will go with that, but in future I hope to visit Serbia with it’s capital Belgrade.
Up to Brod
Brod is a small town in the Southern Kosovo, populated by the Gorani people, they have their own language a mix of Serbian-Macedonian-Albanian and Turkish.
They live in this mountainous area, its nice for hiking and really you are in the middle of nowhere. one store, one bar, one barbershop and some small houses and that’s it, time stood really still in this place. In the middle of wintertime, comming here from Pristina to these mountainous area on snowy icy roads in a minibus was really a crazy adventure.