Before diving into my first ‘K’ country, you should know that I tend to go above and beyond on things I am passionate about – a recently discovered hallmark of my personality. Such brings me to this post that fondly features number 101 AND 102 – because merely achieving a goal is apparently not enough for me…aim high I guess, right? In case my tone is unclear, I’m totally making fun of myself.
Before you think of me as even more ridiculous as you probably already do, you should note that these two were not difficult to get to – we didn’t go out of our way to “show up” my original intention of a clean 100.
Pristina, Kosovo took us only a short time on the bus from Skopje. While I am totally glad to have taken the time from our trip to see another city, I can’t say overall that I enjoyed the visit. That is for sure a MAJOR con of trying to fit so much into so little time. I wouldn’t advise it – unless you’re racing the clock as I was. Even then it was super rough and the only reason we didn’t spread it out more was due to the time restraints of my new job. Just one month after I started I was out for three and a half weeks…thanks coworkers!!
Anyway back to Kosovo – The majority of the recommended tourist activities were buildings or statues so our short time in town were spent walking around, having a look in some of the shops, peeking into the nearby Mother Theresa Cathedral, hanging with Bill Clinton’s bronze counterpart on Bill Clinton Ave, and shaking our head at the amount of trash built up on the streets. By the end of our trip, we were ready to head back to Macedonia, to escape the boredom and sad stray pups. To be clear – it was not Kosovo that bored us, but rather not planning a decent enough amount of time in order to experience something more.
Our final night of our incredible journey before heading back to England landed us in Sofia, Bulgaria. I really enjoyed our tiny taste of this city. And the food wasn’t bad either! Sadly all the traveling had started to catch up with me in the form of exhaustion, a stuffy nose, and cracked lips (I actually could no longer smile at this point). I suspect part of the lingering head cold symptoms were due to the insane amount of second-hand smoke we inhaled throughout Europe. They like their ciggies there! And my breathing was suffering as a result. I told you all that in order to justify the nap I enjoyed on our circle bed at the purple flat. See video to understand just HOW purple this experience was.
Literally when I wasn’t sleeping, we were eating. So grateful we found a delicious menu at the local Loving Hut (not so much a fan of the Seattle menu unfortunately), and a wicked amazing vegan restaurant called Soul Kitchen. Since we were only there for the one night that was how we spent our visit. Folks- spend way more time in Sofia than we did. It seems really cool!
But an even better tip – make sure that if you change countries you check to see if a time zone change is also necessary… Yeeeeaaaah, nearly missed our flight due to that fk-up. There we were, sat at the Loving Hut for the second time in 2 days, about to enjoy our final bean meal of the journey, when the kind lady at the counter somehow brought up the time, whipping us into a frenzied rush to grab a cab and get to the airport in time to catch our plan an hour later than we had hoped. Her kindness didn’t stop at the cafe either, she happily called and explained our situation to a cabbie (there was also a bit of a disagreement over something that wasn’t translated and explained to us).
Please check your time zones. I suppose that’s one of the faults of crossing borders by bus rather than plane when they announce the local time as soon as the wheels touchdown.
Despite that stressed out blur of the last hour at our last Balkan stop, I’m glad to report that we made it safely back to northern England. A couple days were spent there with family then a sharp turnaround to head down to London to finally, officially, celebrate my 30th birthday.