Saturday, May 3, 2014

Strange Sightseeing

And so I was walking the streets of Pristina in Kosovo, drinking in the sights. It was a strange briefing I had with the hostel staff on the sights in Pristina. Aside from some of the usual monuments, mosques and churches etc, there were a few unusual mentions.

"Here, you can see the National Library. It was voted to be one of the top 10 (or whatever number) ugliest buildings in the world!" quipped Samantha.

Ok, I wasn't expecting that on a visit to Kosovo.

The National Library in Pristina
Typical flags scene in Kosovo

"You may have noticed this on your way here. At this junction, you can find the world's only statue of Bill Clinton." She continued.

I shook my head. No, I didn't notice that. I did noticed the name of the road on my bus though. It was Bill Clinton Boulevard. So naturally, the statue stood at one of the junctions of the long boulevard.

My first introduction to Kosovo was pretty Prizren. One of the first things I noticed was that for a country declaring itself independent, the number of its own flags being flown around in their cities is woefully low - as compared to the American, UN (United Nations) and Albanian flags! Yes, while more than 90% of the people in Kosovo are Albanians, I find it strange that there are as many (if not more) Albanian flags in the cities than Kosovo flags. Granted, these entities provided enormous support towards Kosovo's independence but still, I hadn't expected this scale.

And the Albanians in Kosovo were so grateful to American president Bill Clinton for his help that they erected this 10-foot statue. After some photos, I started to head back and did a double take. On the junction of the statue, the road intersecting Bill Clinton Boulevard is named George Bush road.

Still on the subject of unexpected sights, I had my final double take even as I started walking back and passed a shop. It was a strange sightseeing day...

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