So after a few days of being so tired I'm not really sure where the days went and de-toxing from all the caffiene, alcohol, and cheese I've been eating (I love Europe) I am finally lucid enough to write my first post about our time in Kosovo. Here it is: our long journey to the Balkans:
Our flight itinerary would take us from Denver, CO, to Washington/Dulles airport, then from there to Munich, Germany, and lastly into the capital city Prishtina, Kosovo. Over all about 14 hours in the air.
But you say, 'you don't live in Denver.' No I don't. So we started out trip with a two and a half hour drive to the airport. It took us about 15 minutes longer to properly say goodbye to our daughter and Scott's parents, a precious amount of time in the world of air travel. Our drive was spent in tense silence as we barrelled over the mountains afraid that would cost us dearly.
Our friends lent us some crates so that we could bring backpacks to donate to the camp that we were helping. We parked in long term parking and trekked to the terminal. I was 'turtled' (one backpack on front and one on back) in our carry-ons, and dragging a crate, and Scott was carrying a duffel bag, wearing a backpack and pulling a crate. A true feat of traveller strength. This jaunt left us panting and with oddly sore deltoids. Did you know that United ate Continental? We didn't. More dragging to another check-in desk.
Our first flight was uneventful. I did have time to think about how I love airports and traveling. I always wonder where people are going and why they are going there. I was sitting next to a young man who was reading a 'Lonely Planet' Paris guidebook. I wished him the best, I hope he found what he was looking for in Paris.
When we got to Washington/Dulles I felt so erudite and free, marching about with only a backpack on my back. No stroller, no erupting diaper bag, and no worries about the comfort of my child. In an incredibly easy trip to the bathroom I glanced up and saw that with my horn-rimmed glasses, wavy travel flat curls, and outfit of boot cut pants, button-up shirt, jacket, and sensible shoes I was beginning to bare a resemblance to Liz Lemon.
Upon arrival we discovered that our flight to Munich was delayed 45 minutes, which meant that we would probably miss our connection to Kosovo. I figured that Kosovo was not a highly trafficked tourist destination so that probably meant a night in Munich. We got in the longest line I have ever seen in an airport to find out about our options.
Luckily we were right next to a Potbelly Sandwich Works. I always have this dilemna in sub shops, as a women I am supposed to fear these incrdibly large sandwiches and only order the 'righteous' or 'thin' choices like veggie or turkey. I don't like turkey and often the veggie in sub places is just lettuce and olives, lame. So I got a meatball sub.
Scott continued to wait in the line and in further resemblance to Liz I sat in a corner and shotgunned my sandwich. I was hungry and I forgot to grab napkins, it wasn't pretty. A pale portly man was shooting me looks, I couldn't tell if he was checking me out or was disgusted by my public display of sandwich. I found myself thinking,
'Who cares, my husband is way cuter than you anyway.' I went to grab napkins in the restuarant, none available. I realised without my dipaer bag I was wipe-less, looks like those things are good for something.
We got on our flight to Munich, knowing that most likely we would miss our connection.
As baby's started to cry, I did too. I found myself missing my daughter, and the crying that before would have been an annoyance only reminded me of my sweet daughter that I was leaving behind. In the back of my mind I was thinking, 'Is this going to be worth it?'
Another uneventful flight. Very uneventful, our video screens were broken. I read a book, a whole one.
When we arrived in Munich a airport worker met us at the gate, put us on a bus, took us back through security, and bussed right to our plane. God bless German efficiency. Through the process I thought, 'It's a small plane, if the six of us don't get on it, it won't be worth it.' I wasa right. A little puddle jumper by Adria, Slovenia's airline. Delightful flight, I guess Slovenian's are pretty good with hospitality.
In the Prishtina airport we discovered that we were one crate down. Fortunately it was the one with the backpacks, all of our personal gear arrived just fine. Scott asked me to go out of the airport and find our contact so that we could get a phone number for the baggage lady. Eying the cluster of ominous looking security guards i doubted the success of this mission. Planting a huge smile on my face I waltzed over and asked the nearest one if I could go out and then come back in, I explained my problem and smiled a lot. Soon I was surrounded by guards, one in a clear Irish accent said,
'Sure, this ain't Heathrow you know,' with a twinkle in his eye. Not really sure what that meant I was pretty sure I wasn't in England. I was ushered outside by at least of the guards, I stood for a moment eyeing the crowd. A pretty young woman wearing a bright torquise top looked at me expectantly I stepped forward,
"Lara?" oh, thank you, I felt like hugging her. She wrote down her name and number,
"I better spell it phonetically," she said, and wrote out, 'Gjanel.' I went back in number in hand, and in a few moments we were being ushered out by that same Irish guard, when I asked if we needed to put our backs through the ex-ray he said no. Oh, I get it, not like Heathrow.
After introductions to Jenelle and our taxi driver, we were in our taxi (an older Audi that heaved under the weight of us and our baggage) and on our way to Peje [Peya], smaller city to the east of the capital.