Between 25 April and 1 May, Alb and Brian travelled through Kosovo, located in the heart of the Balkans and surrounded by high mountains. The trip began in the capital, Pristina, and took them across five different locations covering 458 km in total. Among the places to explore were sites of historical and natural significance, such as the Ulpiana archaeological site and a Roman castle in Prizren. The vloggers visited several EU-funded projects and talked to local entrepreneurs about the opportunities created by the EU-Western Balkans partnership.
Meet our Vloggers
Being raised in a bilingual family, Brian has a curiosity for different cultures and a passion for discovering more about the world, as well as a love for travelling. His other great passion, and also a profession, is photography and videomaking. He has attained a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from the University of Bologna and is currently working as a freelancer.
Vloggers arrive in Pristina to join the “Made of us” Media Brunch.
Visiting the Ulpiana archaeological site and a picturesque Badovc Lake.
Visiting the EU co-funded Dokufest film festival, the Filigree shops and the Roman castle.
From the Lumbardhi Cinema in Prizren to Tibetan and the Terzi bridge in Gjakova: three EU-funded projects.
Visiting the EU-funded Balkan Natural Adventure, a hiking spot for mountain lovers.
Visiting Peja and the old bazaar Kulla e Zenel.
Back to Pristina for the last day of the road trip.
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An exciting start in Pristina
We're Alb and Brian, the two vloggers who are going to take you on a journey through Kosovo.
We were warmly welcomed by journalists and officials from EU and Dutch Embassies during the media brunch at Europe House in Pristina. After that we started our road trip by visiting the capital. Our first stop was Germia Park to take some photos with the ‘Made of us’ branded car. After this photo shoot, we went back to the city and visited the National Library of Kosovo, an amazing building with a very unique architecture.
The weather was not on our side today but during a short break from the rain, we made it in time to take some drone shots of the library. Before the evening we proceeded to see the Skanderbeg Square and tasted some delicious local food.
The long-awaited road trip has begun!
Making the most out of bad weather
We started our second day of the road trip in Pristina where unfortunately it wasn’t possible to interview the founder of the EU-funded Labbox project. The weather was not on our side either but we drove to the archaeological site of Ulpiana and when we had a break from the rain, we flew our drones over an ancient Roman town. This area, close to Pristina, used to be one of the largest settlements in the Balkans during the Roman Empire. It was due to its fertile soils and mineral-rich highlands. Now in this location, you can still find the ruins.
Before sunset, we decided to drive our car to Badovc and spend the rest of the day on the lake and, as always, fly our drone to capture unique views from above. In the evening, we drove back to Pristina and tasted some delicious local food. We are now hoping that the coming days of the road trip will be sunny.
A beautiful old city hosting the world-famous Dokufest
On the third day, early, we drove from Pristina to Prizren. We arrived at an open-air cinema where we interviewed Veton Nurkollari, one of the founders of Dokufest, a project co-funded by the EU. Not only it’s the most important documentary and short film festival in the Western Balkans but it’s also well-known worldwide.
It started 22 years ago with a budget of just €1,000 and a tiny selection of films. Through the years, Dokufest gained a lot of attention and now, over 60,000 people come to this one-week summer event.
After the interview, we had a walk around the city stopping at a local handmade jewellery shop. We spoke with the owners and they told us that even though they were all retired, they wanted to keep the traditions alive.
To end the day, we decided to enjoy the sunset and the stunning city view from the castle of Prizren. It was the first day of good weather and we loved every single moment of this sunset. From up there we flew our drones and spent the whole evening capturing these stunning landscapes.
The road trip is getting better and better every day!
Visiting Alb's hometown
The fourth day of the ‘Made of us’ road trip brought us to Gjakova, Alb’s hometown.
We started the day in Prizren, where we stayed from the day before. There we met Ares Shporta, co-founder of the Lumbardhi Foundation. Thanks to the investments of the EU, this year they will be able to go through a full renovation of the cinema which dates back to the '50s.
From Prizren we drove to Gjakova stopping by to see a historical Terzi Bridge built by the owners of Bazaars. We also went to see the Tibetan Bridge nearby. Both of those interesting places are EU-funded projects. In Gjakova we were able to climb to the top of the clocktower, the main building of the city. While we drove around, we also bumped into our billboard. We loved to see it and had to stop and take some photos with it!
To end the day, Alb brought me to Radoniqi Lake, where, thanks to our drones, we enjoyed the landscapes from above.
Hike in the Rugova Mountains
On the fifth day of our road trip, we woke up very early to drive from Gjakova to Peja. There we were welcomed by Balkan Natural Adventures, the EU-funded project. Kosovo is an important competitor when talking about mountain tourism. We interviewed Virtyt Gacaferri who not only explained to us their activities but also underlined the important role of the EU funding for this project. The EU not only helped them to grow and make sure the mountains of Kosovo keep getting visited every day, but they also provided them with a van to bring the hikers from the visitors centre to the mountains.
After the interview, our guide Albi brought us with the van to the starting point of the Liqenati Lake hike. From there we started an hour hike in the snow all the way to the lake. Even though the lake was not visible since it was covered by ice and snow, we really enjoyed the hike and the landscapes. In the evening we slept in a very cosy wooden cabin in the mountains and worked on our laptops.
A day packed with adventures
This is the 6th and last day of our road trip and we can say that we took the word Adventure to the Next Level (and also our drones). We started the day in a ranch in Peja where we did a three-hour horse trip. Not only we climbed to the top of a hill overlooking Peja but we also took some very unique photos.
After lunch at a beautiful traditional restaurant Kulla e Zenel Beut where we enjoyed some delicious regional food, we went back to the visitors centre of Peja from where Balkan Natural Adventures took us to the Rugova Canyon. From there, after a short walk, we started to climb on the walls of the canyon following the via ferrata. On our way, there were several caves from which we flew our drone and captured our climbing also from above.
When we were done climbing, we went out for dinner in Peja and then drove back to Pristina where we spent the last night sharing with each other all the footage we captured from this road trip.
This was the best way to end an incredible road trip through Kosovo.
The end of the road trip but the start of a great friendship
This morning we didn't have much time because Brian had to go to the airport. We had one last breakfast together, packed everything and then we went to the airport. On our way, we talked a lot, like we did every day, and we underlined again how our pairing couldn't be more perfect than this.
At the airport, we both went to the check-in area and then we had to say goodbye to each other before Brian went through the security check of the airport.
Now this amazing road trip was really over but we both made a friendship that will last forever. We are both looking forward to seeing each other again in the future.
Thank you WeBalkans for the incredible experience of ‘Made of us’.