Kosovo: Day 2 (Prishtina)
After getting my 2.50€ 14 day 5 GB SIM card that doesn’t work and talking to Avis about renting a car to tour the Balkans as suggested by my new friend Meritone, I took the 30 minute walk down the hill to the city center to start exploring. I started at the Corner Cafe and tried local cuisine called Llokuma (think sopapilla with marmalade and goat cheese rather than honey) and it was delicious.
I remedied the situation with the SIM card at the actual IPKO Mobile store and would recommend that if possible in countries like this one, Serbia and India and the like that you do it this way rather than buying from a vendor so it will be activated properly. Moreover, it is particularly important this time because I need it to work in Albania and Macedonia and I will be alone and in the middle of nowhere and don’t want to get lost or God forbid the car breaks down.
Finally, the sightseeing began. There is not a lot to see in Prishtina except a number of hero statues such as the Skanderberg and yes the Bill Clinton statue, an old mosque and an ethnographic museum, (the folks in this area love Clinton as a result of his assistance brokering peace in this area in the early 90s), but what I found to be the most interesting thing I’ve seen in the Balkans thus far is the NEWBORN sculpture/exhibit in the heart of the city. It was unveiled on February 17, 2008 – the day Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia and has been repainted and an unveiled again every year on the same date. It was originally yellow but has also been painted with the flags of all the UN member countries that recognize Kosovo’s independence and now it is painted the color of the sky with clouds and wrapped in barb wire – a testament, in my opinion, to the Kosovans reaching for the sky, all their hopes and dreams and yet the barb wire is there to represent the prevention of getting them. This was also evidenced by the protest I witnessed in the city center. It was a peaceful protest and included marching and beautiful music. It made me feel blessed to be a part in some small way of a small nation banding together for their freedom. A city, a country, a capital on the mend in their hearts and their spirits as well as in the form of reconstruction, their government and their economy.
That’s all for now. From Prishtina with love.