Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 EU Citizenship & the Schengen Visa
  2. 2 Venturing even further
  3. 3 Trip Report Cars in France
  4. 4 The Hague
  5. 5 Munich Trip in February, please help!!!!!!!
  6. 6 Coast to Coast Walk in England
  7. 7 Turkey Evisa Given Name
  8. 8 14 Days in Portugal - Help with Itinerary
  9. 9 Your favorite Paris shopping street.
  10. 10 Anyone ever used Northwest Walks or Sherpa for a C2C England hike?
  11. 11 Cost comparison b/w Paris and Switzerland(wengen)
  12. 12 Roma Pass question on Borghese reservation
  13. 13 help with trip from prague to berlin and more
  14. 14 Traveling in between Paris and Nantes via TVG
  15. 15 How to enjoy Paris on a low/moderate budget?
  16. 16 Where to go
  17. 17 Travel to France & Switzerland with my daughter next summer
  18. 18 Madrid - how to schedule train from airport
  19. 19 Driving to Larrun (La Rhune) Spain
  20. 20 From tourist to local..need help budget dn where to go!
  21. 21 ATM near passport control in CDG terminal 2?
  22. 22 Mont St Michel hotels
  23. 23 Rhodes love it or hate it?
  24. 24 Tapas in Madrid and other stuff to do
  25. 25 Reims Champagne Houses
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report - Kosovo , The Newest Country

Jump to last reply

My husband and I just returned from an incredible two weeks in the Balkans; one week in Kosovo and one in Dubrovnik. This was our second trip to the area.

It was a wonderful time to be in Kosovo; there was still very much an atmosphere of celebration. Banners over the street, huge billboards congratulating their new independence. I haven't seen so many American flags since 9/11. The gratitude that the Kosovars have for the US is heartwarming. I can't think of any country that loves Americans more than Kosovo does! While we were there there was sporadic violence in Mitrovica, about 30 miles north of Prishtina, but none anywhere else we traveled.

Kosovars have a tremendous amount of work ahead of them. They, like Bosnia, were hit hard during the war. They still don't have electricity 24 hours a day. There are almost no street signs. Garbage and trash is everywhere marring the beautiful countryside. It's a cash society; almost no one takes credit cards. Give a taxi driver 5 Euros for a 2 Euro trip and he won't be able to make change (ditto stores, hotels). Many houses are only partially completed. The owner builds as much as he can until his money runs out then when he has cash, he continues to build. Not surprisingly, houses take many years to complete.

But Kosovars know they have a lot of work and they're ready for the challenges. Many changes will require a change of mentality (don't litter). Others will take a change of infrastructure (create landfills; improve roads). Corruption is fairly widespread and will need to be dealt with.

But Kosovars are without a doubt the warmest people we've ever met. We have hosted some Kosovar students in the US this past year and we were welcomed into their homes as family and fed like royalty!

We ended up not driving from Prishtina to Dubrovnik. Instead we flew out of Skopje, Macedonia. We just couldn't figure out a way to get from Point A to B (not uncommon in the Balkans). As the Hertz lady in Prishtina told us, there aren't enough rental cars in Kosovo for one-way rentals, and I wasn't up for mountainous driving anyway, especially with crazy Balkans drivers! We also didn't want to take a chance driving long distances with a Kosovo license plate. The flight on Croatian Air connecting in Zagreb was a good choice.

We look forward to more visits and watching them develop their new country.