Kosovo

June 9

Since today was my only day in Pristina, I got up early to make sure I got it all in. I grabbed some breakfast at the hostel and then headed out. First stop was the Bill Clinton statue. Clinton was president when NATO stepped in and supported Kosovo in their war with Serbia. There are also Bill Clinton and George Bush Boulevards in the city. As a result of the US’s support of Kosovo, Kosovans love Americans.20160609_084205709_iOS

After the Clinton statue, I went to see the Catholic Church and go up the bell tower. I was expecting to have to walk up stairs, but there was an elevator! That was an exciting surprise!

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Then I walked around the university park where the national library and an abandoned Orthodox Church are. The national library is a very interesting looking building and the girl at the hostel labeled it simply “ugly building” on my map.

20160609_090337825_iOSThe NEWBORN statue to commemorate Kosovo’s independence day (Feb 17, 2008)

Then I went to a street that is filled with cafes and picked one for lunch. After lunch I went to the ethnographic museum where I got a tour of two houses from the 1800s.

After the museum I walked around the bazaar for a bit and stopped at a café for an ice cream. Then I went back to the hostel to check on my laundry and to start packing. Pretty much as soon as I got back, it started pouring and thunder and lightening. I had planned to go to a city park on a hill that has a good view of the city (and a Yugoslav monument) but it rained for a few hours so I didn’t make it. Eventually the rain stopped and I headed to dinner. I went to a restaurant called Home and had Greek style chicken and a glass of wine. Then it was back to the hostel to shower and pack.

June 10

The hostel has a deal with a taxi driver who’ll drive you to the airport for €10. He was coming to pick me up at 8:30 so I woke up early and ate breakfast. During the ride to the airport, the taxi driver, who didn’t speak much English, just kept repeating, “America! America! America!” excitedly after he learned I was American. It was very cute.

I made it to the airport so early that I couldn’t even check in for my flight for another 15 minutes. After I got checked in (my bag didn’t weight more than 20kg! Yay!) I went to security where there was only 1 other person going through at the same time. So the whole process of checking in and getting through security took less than 10 minutes. With plenty of time to spare I grabbed breakfast (an omelet and tea) then walked around. The airport is small, but really nice.

The flight was uneventful and only took 2 hours so I landed in Munich around 1pm. It took a while to get through customs (there were 2 “EU citizens” stalls open and only 1 “all other citizens” stall) but I got through and got my bag. Then I made my way to the metro/underground/subway/whatever Germany calls it. The hostel provided instructions on how to get there so that was nice. I caught the train and it took about 50 minutes to get to my stop (the hostel is about 25 minutes outside of downtown Munich). The instructions in the email said to either call the hostel or have a restaurant at the train station call them so they could come pick me up (or walk the almost 2 miles). I didn’t have any credit left on my Austrian SIM card so I went to the restaurant to ask them to call. I’m not sure if they just didn’t understand me, but they wouldn’t call. So I tried an ice cream parlor and the guy working was very nice and tried calling but said that the number wasn’t working. So I decided I would just grab a taxi.

Once I got to the hostel I told them the number they gave me didn’t work and the guy had no idea why that number was in the email cuz it wasn’t the right one. So I don’t know what was up with that. But I made it and the place is cool. There’s a biergarten outside. At this point it was about 4:30 and the last planned shuttle from the train station to the hostel was 8pm so it didn’t seem worth it to go into you city just for an hour or two. So I just hung around the hostel.

Euro2016 started today as well so everyone watched the match on the hostel’s large TV which was fun. Then it was bed time so I could get up and get the shuttle so I could go into the city.

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