March 2023.

Three days in North Macedonia, three in Kosovo. Just as Erling Haaland had more bookings than hat-tricks today, so we ticked more countries than GBG pubs last week.

A 10am departure from Skopje bus station after double espressos and doughy snacks accompanied by the Sounds of 1976.

I admit we were hoping for a rather grander coach on our possible 3 hour trip across the border, and hoped we could get a translation of “loo stop please, driver” up on the phone.

But there was a reason for the mini bus, as we discovered at Elez Han, where Macedonian and then Kosovan border guards required us to leave the vehicle and get our passports rigorously checked for evidence of having visited Doom Bar pubs or something terrible.

Checking 20 passports takes 10 minutes, a big coach takes an hour as there’s a much higher risk of them finding someone who’s left their papers in Skopje.

Do te deshironit nje pulle ?” asks the guard. He didn’t ask Mrs RM that. What have I done wrong NOW.

He’s asking if you want your passport stamped” explains the chap behind me.

Oh, yes please !” I say, suddenly one up on Mrs RM.

Back on the coach, here’s our first view of Kosovo, apparently an Aldi. Appropriately, the first thing you notice is the Albanian eagle.

Half an hour later, via a dual carriageway through the mountains that puts UK roads to shame, we arrive at the quaint Pristina Bus Station. No idea where the railway station is, or which month the train arrives.

The best advice I can give you is to buy your return bus tickets to Skopje (£6) (or Tirana, or Scunthorpe) when you arrive, as one lad had spent the entire trip alternately standing and crouching and it didn’t look fun.

Right, a fair walk from station to apartment,

even longer when you keep stopping to admire Pristina’s street art,

though of course its most famous artwork commemorates the role of the 42nd President in the Balkans conflict.

Just round that corner there’s a women’s boutique called Hillary. Honestly.

It’s always a joy to set foot in a city and have no idea what to expect, and Pristina was a real oddity. Alternating smart coffee shops and a Benetton with half-made roads, including the actual road to our apartment that was being laid as we walked to it.

But what an apartment. £30 a night, top Wi-Fi, hot and cold in all rooms, a dart board, and THAT wall clock.

Oh, and this view to the old city.

Time to hit the craft beer bars, after a quick read of the U.S. history.

Who knew America had history ?


  1. I wonder which history it is. I would bet that it is more accurate than the version taught here in many states.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s