2 Days in Pristina
Kosovo is a newer country, formed in the mist of war in the 1990’s. This small country is still discovering it’s path, but it’s quite a nice place with friendly people and beautiful landscapes. Our first full day in Pristina was the 4th of July, and we were surprised to find American flags lining the streets. Bill Clinton helped negotiate a peace treaty that made Kosovo a country (recognized by some), and due to that recent history, the people of Kosovo are very welcoming to Americans.
Brunch at SOMA Restaurant
SOMA book station is a beautifully curated restaurant with antiques. It has an old European garden meets bookstore appeal. One side is a bar and dining, and the other side is a library assortment of books where you can stop in to work on your computer.
National Library of Kosovo
Some dub the Pristina Library as one of the ugliest buildings. I thought it was pretty amazing until I saw it close up, then I agree, it’s a total Monet (Clueless, anyone?). The facade looks really amazing from far away, but up close it’s a mess of stucco and iron tangled into a dilapidated mess. I still think it’s pretty damn interesting and unique with it wrought iron twisting around the windows and white geometric domes.
This beautiful mess of a church stands next to the library. It stands strong, but surprisingly deserted and overgrown with plants. It’s a Serbian Orthodox Church that was left unfinished due to religious devision in this city.
We arrived to Kosovo late the night go July 3rd. Our first day in Pristina was the 4th of July, and much to our surprise it was celebrated to the rooftops. There were American flags lining every major street. People were wearing tees that said, “USA, Forever Grateful,” and even once of the streets is named Bill Klinton Blvd (yes with a “K”). There is also a large Clinton statue on this Blvd. Why you ask? Well in 1999, Clinton had a role in ordering the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, which led to the end of the war 20 years ago. If it wasn’t for this Kosovo would probably not exist today. Although this is still a debate because a lot of countries don’t recognize Kosovo and still consider it part of Serbia.
Bells Lounge Bar
This rooftop restaurant bar is very trendy and beautiful. We stopped in for a quick glass of wine and ended up staying far too long because the staff were so friendly and welcoming. They even brought us a free app to try. This place has a great setting, very current and open air.
Chop Sandwich Club
Chop was one of those little gems we strolled by and decided to stop in for a bite. This is a quick stop sandwich shop with fresh ingredients and a small outdoor patio. I had the vegetarian sandwich and it was packed with flavor. It had just opened and the owner came out to say hello. He was a lovely well traveled Kosovan.
Veggie Sandwich: Homemade Pesto, eggplant, mozzarella cheese, olives, arugula and grape tomatoes with manager sauce on top.
The Newborn Monument is an illustrative sculpture. It’s right by Pristina’s soccer stadium and was created to commemorate Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008.
Dit' e Nat'
This cute little coffee shop feels like a bookstore (I feel like this was a theme in Kosovo). It had all the feels of being a great place to come to read or write, with both indoor and outdoor spaces that were peaceful and charming.
I wish we had more time to explore Pristina, but overall we had a great experience in Kosovo. As the U.S. embassy folk said… Kosovo. Not that bad.