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Just Back From: Kosovo

Posted by Marta Gielata 23rd May 2016
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Operations Assistant Marta is just back from Kosovo, which can be visited on our Into the Balkans tour. Find out what she got up to there, including a hundred metre vertical climb!

Best view?

Without question, the most stunning view I was lucky to admire was during our hike to the Scarpa peak (2422m) in the Sharri Mountains, just south-east of Kosovo. Having fantastic weather and visibility, we could enjoy this breathtaking panorama stretching across the border and into the Albanian side, with an impressive wall of snowy peaks all the way along the horizon. This landscape was my biggest surprise of Kosovo!

Favourite dish?

Too many to choose from. Everything I ate in Kosovo was so tasty that it makes it hard to pick a favourite. But you definitely can’t leave the country without trying their most traditional dish, flija. This unique pastry is made from layers of batter, which requires a lot of hard work and time to prepare, taking up to four hours. Each layer is baked individually using the special metal dome heated on an open fire.

Best activity?

I had so much fun hiking and climbing Via Ferrata Ari situated in the Rugova Mountains, just outside of Peja city. It is considered the most adventurous outdoor activity in Kosovo with 100 meters of vertical climb across the 4km trail. These two hours of hiking left me with an unforgettable experience, and gave me a great sense of accomplishment. We were rewarded with spectacular views overlooking the Rugova Valley.

Any regrets?

I wish I could be born Albanian as they seem to be a multilingual nation! I found out on my first day in Kosovo that speaking three or four foreign languages isn’t something extraordinary for locals and I felt rather average being only bilingual.

Tips for travellers?

Kosovians are very hospitable people, which is mostly reflected in their generosity with food! Big portions of main dishes are very typical, so it’s worth keeping this in mind while ordering food in restaurants. Be mindful that the third dish is still an appetiser, and don’t forget that there is still desert to come after the mixed grill!

Favourite moment?

During my short stay in the charming Macedonian city of Ohrid I had a chance to spend a great day in the Galicia National Park, hiking, cycling and off-road 4wheel driving. I was taken by the outstanding natural beauty of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding mountains. I won’t forget the moment when we reached the Lakoj Signoj peak (2000m) and sat there in a sun, sipping local tea and staring at the vastness of the lake.

View Marta Gielata's latest blog posts
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