A place that is likely to stir up a variety of emotions given its history, especially recent; a country that at present is only recognized by 111 UN member states (Costa Rica being the very first back in February 2008 and Antigua & Barbuda the most recent as of a couple of weeks ago); and a piece of Europe that is well, well off the beaten tourist path…

Kosovo

Newborn Pristina View © The Blonde Gypsy

As an easy day trip from Macedonia or Albania, Kosovo is certainly no Monaco or Andorra, and in order to say you’ve traveled there, you really need to spend more than a few hours in some of its cities. In fact, you need to spend more than a few days to fully comprehend what it’s all about and appreciate what it has to offer as a travel destination. No one can say they’ve truly seen Prishtina until they’ve felt the energy pulsating from it on a Friday or Saturday night. No one can say they’ve traveled to Prizren until they’ve watched life stroll by from Shadervan in the evenings and woken up to the sounds of morning ezan. While both are definitely not the most beautiful cities you’ve ever seen, give them a little more time and you will realize that what they lack in aesthetics they more than make up for with legendary hospitality and the feeling that there is absolutely nowhere else in the entire world like them.

And yet, there’s more. Peja to the west is set against the incredible beauty of Prokletije, the “Accursed Mountains” aka Albanian Alps also shared with Albania and Montenegro, empty castles and fortresses just chilling… So, with as much as there is to see and as small and manageable of a country as it is to travel around, I had an idea.

BG Kosovo & Albania

I’ve decided to offer a Blonde Gypsy tour through Kosovo and Albania in 2015. It’s a bit of a vague notice, but I figured I might as well make the option available in case people are interested to see the cool side of the least visited (and most contested) country in the Balkans as well as all the highlights of Albania. Get in touch with me if you’d like more info – I’d love to have you join!

[Note: Tour has successfully come and gone. If you’d like to hear what’s on offer in 2016, get in touch through my contact page!]

Leaving you now with a little fauxtography from my last visit to Kosovo for some inspiration and as an introduction to the two largest cities in country – Prishtina and Prizren.

 Driving into Kosova © The Blonde Gypsy

Somewhere, Kosovo. Just after crossing the border from Macedonia.

Pristina Kosovo Bill Clinton © The Blonde Gypsy

The man, the myth, the Kosovo legend…Bill Clinton. Pristina.

Orthodox Church Pristina Kosovo © The Blonde Gypsy

Unfinished business. Serbian Orthodox Church circa early 90s in Pristina.

Pristina Kosovo Library © The Blonde Gypsy

The most beautiful library in the world? National Library of Kosovo in Pristina.

Newborn Pristina Kosovo © The Blonde Gypsy

Born February 2008 (according to 109 states) making it the second newest nation in the world (according to 109 states). Pristina.

Bill Clinton Street Photography Pristina Kosovo © The Blonde Gypsy

Corner of Bill Clinton Boulevard and Robert Doll  – meet me there. Pristina.

Abstract Grand Hotel Pristina Kosovo © The Blonde Gypsy

Trying to grand up the Grand Hotel Pristina

Old School Prizren Kosovo Mosque © The Blonde Gypsy

“Cultural capital” and “prettiest city in Kosovo” – Meet Prizren.

Main Square Prizren Kosovo © The Blonde Gypsy

Patriotism in Prizren for Albania’s 100 year anniversary

Kaljaja Fortress Prizren © The Blonde Gypsy

On top of the world, on top of Kaljaja. Prizren.

Pretty Mosque Prizren Kosovo © The Blonde Gypsy

Outrageously Ottoman Ura e Gurit // Stone Bridge. Prizren.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIMMZQJ1H6E]

Anyone been to Kosovo and have recommendations for other places to check out on my next visit? All photos above shot and edited with an iPhone 4s.