The Great Outdoors of Peja

Travel rarely goes as planned which is not always a bad thing. And the chances of things changing increases when you’re with a group and have more people to coordinate. Today we were initially going to split into two groups to go see the Radavc Caves and waterfall – one group leaving earlier in the morning and the other group (including me) would sleep in a bit and stay for a shorter period of time. But one thing led to another and we ended up all going together, with the exception of Calvin who stayed back to do his own thing.

I think that ended up being a really good thing, because it gave us more time to bond and laugh, and have a great day together. We walked about 20 minutes to the bus station in Peja and got on a tiny bus with a short ceiling. About half the group had to stand, but it was only about a 30 minute ride and half way in some kids squeezed in to make room for folks to sit.

When we got to our stop, one before the final stop in the town of Radavc, we got off on the side of a small highway with no sidewalks and made the 1 kilometre walk to the cave entrance. It costs €2 per person and you get a guide to show you around. The portion of the caves open to visitors are small, but beautiful.

The caves only opened in 2016 so it’s a fairly new attraction and I was really glad we got to do this since I missed my last chance to explore some caves on this trip.

Afterwards we walked back down the trail to the nearby waterfall. Given almost every river we’ve seen so far has been massively depleted (gotta love droughts and global warming) I was pleasantly surprised to see a decent amount of water coming down. Some of us just did some rock climbing, while others went swimming in the freezing cold water.

Towards the end some soldiers from Hungary even stopped by for a visit…

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Feeling satisfied with our day thus far, we started walking back towards the main road and passed back by a restaurant with an adjacent trout farm and playground, and of course had to indulge the children in us all.

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We decided to grab lunch at the restaurant because the prices and view could not be beat.

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Full and satisfied, it was time to head back to Peja to get on a bus to head to Prishtina. Unlike coming to Radavc where we had a bus station with people to tell us the timetable, heading back the stop was on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, and we had no idea when the next bus was coming. So Mihaela and I made the executive decision to just hitchhike when there was no sign of a bus coming after about 15 minutes. I got the first car, and went with Andy, Ted, and Sara. We didn’t catch the driver’s name, but he was an incredibly nice person who grew up in Peja but has been living in Amsterdam for the past 30 years and was back visiting family. He asked us about our trip so far, plans for afterwards, and how we have liked Kosovo so far. He told us how he hopes we take back our positive stories to America and get others to come visit his country. We talked about how everyone – regardless of what they do or who they are – is human at the end of the day, and how all he wants is to raise his kids to be happy and respect others. One thing I really love about travel is meeting people from around the world – both locals and fellow travellers – who remind you of the good in humanity.

The four of us arrived back to the hostel and were soon joined by the other five who managed to get a car just a few minutes after us and had just as good of an experience as we did. We all gathered our things and called taxis to take us to the bus station for €1.50 per car. Immediately upon getting out and walking towards the building, a man asked us if we were going to Prishtina. And for €4 per person, we walked right onto the bus a mere 10 feet from the taxis.

When we arrived in Prishtina, we decided to walk to the hostel and do some sightseeing along the way including the Bill Clinton statue….

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The Mother Theresa Church which was under renovation…

The National Library…

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And a random abandoned church…

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We checked into the hostel and watched the sunset from our balcony. Now it is time for dinner and clubbing in Prishtina.

Sunset in Prishtina