Waking quite early as usual to the by now familiar sounds of the market stirring to life we got up and packed ready to set off on part two of our adventure. The guesthouse owner Sefa said he would drive us to the bus station as it was a bit out of the way and awkward to get to. Now that’s what I call service!
Jumping into the car we sped off almost ten yards before we were caught up in the chaos of cars, people and stalls that comprised the local market. After having performed a fifty-point turn and edging forward a few inches at a time we eventually got out and set off through the Prishtina streets to the bus station.
After negotiating our way through some initial traffic jams we were soon heading across a plain dotted with farms and some random modern hotels where the main crop appeared to be corn. Unfortunately the bus windows were filthy so I couldn’t get any photos of the journey or the landscape!
A guy came round to collect the ticket money and ours cost a joint total of €8 ($10.66/£6.82). Not bad for a journey of some ninety minutes and around 75km.
The road soon entered more hilly country and wound its way through the forested slopes before coming out onto another plain with the Sar mountains in the distance and the town of Prizren nestling at their foot.Coming into the city it was immediately obvious that it was a much more picturesque place than Prishtina and after alighting at the bus station and setting off towards the centre and our well signposted hostel this impression was certainly not dispelled.
Checking in at the City Hostel where our room was neat, clean and comfy we set off to explore the town. First up was a walk down one side of the Prizrenska Bistrica (the river which runs through the centre) and then up the other before exploring some of the area around the square and up into the shopping district.
The shopping streets were in an area off to left as you come upriver opposite the Sinan Pasha Mosque and the main street in this area is a chaotic collection of shops selling just about everything imaginable. This area also houses the old Turkish baths from the city’s Ottoman era.
After our foray into the shopping district we recrossed the river and went into some of the backstreets of the older part of town before returning to the hostel.
Getting a free beer from the guy running the hostel was one bonus of our afternoon return there but we also picked up some info on where to eat and after a brief rest set off for the Besimi restaurant. It looked nice enough from the outside and we prepared to sit down at a table there when a waiter told us we’d be better to go through to the courtyard at the back.
We decided order up a couple of local dishes which were washed down by local beer and wine. Both were very tasty and the food was meat dishes served up with pickled white and red cabbage, salad, carrot and sauce as well as a local bread which resembled a naan.
We spent a couple of leisurely hours there lingering over the food and enjoying a few more drinks before paying our almost negligible bill (less than twenty Euros for food and several drinks) and then wandered back to the hostel via the riverside route which was beautiful in the late evening sunshine.
We rounded off a lovely day by chatting with some of our fellow guests and the guy running the place who insisted on plying me with free beer (and wine for Mrs Mjollnir) before retiring to the rooftop terrace to finish the evening.