Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

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.

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Paris: for a family with children, Saint Germain or Le Marais?
  2. 2 Help with a French -> English translation, please
  3. 3 Help with France itinerary
  4. 4 RENFE train drivers strike: 12 and 15 September 2014
  5. 5 10 days to Explore Europe
  6. 6 Venice: budget hotel for high school group?
  7. 7 How much luggage?????
  8. 8 Scandinavia and RCL 8 Night Norwegian Fjords Cruise 2015
  9. 9 Northern Italy for Nature Lovers/Crowd Haters
  10. 10 Appropriate attire for Provence
  11. 11 German Rail Twin Pass
  12. 12 London restaurants
  13. 13 White Villages base?
  14. 14 plug adapters ITALY
  15. 15 Swiss Air seat assignments
  16. 16 Trip Report Italy and Switzerland--September/October 2013
  17. 17 biking in France
  18. 18 Any last things i might need to know for our trip??
  19. 19 Spain Rental Car Logistics - Barcelona Train Station
  20. 20 Paris: where does a large family can eat and sleep in February?
  21. 21 Madrid: Historic Homes & Gardens
  22. 22 Marche Bastille - Oct Hours and Meet up Location?
  23. 23 Advice for a trip to Venice
  24. 24 Itinerary Suggestions for South of Spain and Portugal
  25. 25 ITALO trains need help
View next 25 » Back to the top