Like nowhere else we’ve been to on this trip, Prizren will suck you right into the heart of Balkan country and back a few centuries in time. It has it all – mountains, fortress, mosques and plenty of old style architecture, along with lots of people walking to and fro.

Stone Bridge in the heart of Prizren

Stone Bridge in the heart of Prizren

There’s been a lot of tough history here in this area, political, ethnic, religious. I won’t cover it. Try Google for that.

We arrive in the morning by bus from Pristina after a two hour journey. Instead of taking a taxi to our hotel, Suzi thinks nothing of our dragging heavy suitcases a mile over cobblestones, rough sidewalks, no sidewalks and potholes to our destination. She had been here before and knows the lay of the land. We are lucky to be in a very nice hotel not far from the Stone Bridge. We have quite a view of the neighboring mosque from the top floor skylight window. With the window open, we can easily hear the plaintive calls to prayer.

Up the hill to our hotel, on the left

Up the hill to our hotel, on the left

Attractive entry to our hotel

Attractive entry to our hotel

View of our neighboring mosque

View of our neighboring mosque

The room is nicely appointed. The bathroom has a few unusual features.

French style French lavatory

French style French lavatory. We love the heated towel rack.

Toilet with Muslim feature

Toilet with Muslim feature

The feature in ON mode

The feature in ON mode

One uses the left hand for essential cleaning duties, reserving the right hand for eating. We are accustomed to using toilet tissue, which was supplied.

The shower does not come with a curtain so we are careful in aiming the hand-held shower wand so as not to wet down the sink, toilet and toilet paper roll.

We soon join the throngs on the streets for a day of exploration.

These folks seem well exercised and lean.

These folks seem well exercised and lean.

Goodness, how we work up an appetite. Just around the corner from “our” mosque is a tiny cafe, just the place for us to check out.

This place looks fine for lunch.

This place looks fine for lunch.

We start with a healthy salad, everything fresh and tasty.

We start with a healthy salad, everything fresh and tasty.

Excellent fresh, dense bread comes even without our ordering it.

Excellent fresh, dense bread comes even without our ordering it.

Ah, a platter of fried liver. Just my thing.

Ah, a platter of fried liver. Just my thing.

Now it’s time to cross that crystal clear, swiftly flowing Bistrica River, sourced right up there in the mountains. It’s Serbian name means clear water.

Bistrica River flows swiftly by.

Bistrica River flows swiftly by.

Vendors sell their various goods along the sides of the river walkways.

Roasted chestnuts are in season and are hard to resist.

Roasted chestnuts are in season and are hard to resist.

From this man you can buy chestnuts, plastic toys and get weighed.

From this man you can buy chestnuts, plastic toys and get weighed.

Suzi is a lucky gal. She got a new iPhone for Christmas from her parents. Here she’s testing out some of the camera features.

Look what happens when you poke it here!

Look what happens when you poke it here!

Guess who gets the old camera? That’s what moms are for.

How does this thing work, again?

How does this thing work, again?

We pass a butcher shop. Let’s drop in and look around.

Doesn't the window display just beg you to come inside?  It did us.

Doesn’t the window display just beg you to come inside? It did for us.

Real meat, up close and personal

Real meat, up close and personal

The blood will soon be cleaned up.

The blood will soon be cleaned up.

There’s almost no meat in the cases. I suppose they lop off a piece to order.

The meat cases are empty.

The meat cases are empty.

As we walk along we pass first one, then other shops selling nuts. Nuts seem to be a favorite snack food. Beats candy bars.

Nuts nicely displayed

Nuts nicely displayed

More nuts

More nuts

Still more nuts

Still more nuts

By now, you know what happens in the afternoon – our thoughts turn to coffee and cakes. Here’s a popular looking place. Let’s try it out.

With a din of noise and tables full of people all around, this couple actively courts one another.

With a den of noise and tables full of people all around, this couple actively court one another all afternoon.

We find yummy treats and good coffee.

We find yummy treats and good coffee.

We’ve now worn out this day as the sun’s rays fade away.

View from our skylight

View from our skylight

The morning breaks cold and clear. We head for breakfast, three flights down on the ground floor, in a really nice room heated by a free-standing wood stove. There are three menu choices. We order one of each. Since local food is something we usually look forward to when we travel and helps describe the cultural scene, I do take lots of photos of what we are served.

The American with a hot dog

The American with a hot dog

The French with an omelette

The French with an omelette

The German with bread, meats, cheeses and butter, albeit packaged

The German with bread, meats, cheeses and butter, albeit prepackaged

Today our objective is to find a way to the fortress. Our map app shows two options. Up we go.

Slipping and sliding on the ice right from our hotel door

Slipping and sliding on the ice right from our hotel door

We're making progress.

We’re making progress.

We reach a chapel ruin.

We reach a chapel ruin but can go little further.

We meet defeat. The route becomes too steep and icy. This is no time to risk broken bones. A couple of young fellows happen by. They quite eagerly offer to help us continue. I could see that going up was one thing, but coming back down would be excessively hazardous. We decline their offer. We return to the flatland and explore another part of town.

We're off the tourist route, I suppose.

We’re off the tourist route, I suppose.

Time for some sprucing up

Time for some sprucing up

The way everything used to look

The way everything used to look

Really, it doesn't take much to fix this up.

Really, it doesn’t take much to fix this up.

Did this bookstore borrow it's name from someplace well known?

Did this bookstore borrow it’s name from someplace well known?

We come by a really classy looking church. Unfortunately the door is locked, like most Christian churches in these parts. There’ve been too many troubles over the years to risk more.

New church, not yet 150 years old

New church, not yet 150 years old

Attractive doors, locked

Attractive doors, locked

Suzi has a trick when she can't get inside. Take a photo through the crack.

Suzi has a trick when she can’t get inside. Take a photo through the crack.

A sneaky peek under the doorsill

A sneaky peek under the doorsill with my iPad

Right in front of the church was a small parking area with a much needed toilet.

This was some church related building with air conditioners.

This was some church related building with air conditioners.

Does the wiring really meet code? Is there a code?

Does the wiring really meet code? Is there a code?

Directly in front is the much needed facility.

Beggars can't be choosers.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

Enter here.

Enter here.

The urinal seems to be out of order.

The urinal seems to be out of order.

This is the best we can do. Bring your own tissue.

This is the best we can do. Bring your own tissue.

At least we can wash up afterwards.

At least we can wash up afterwards.

We mosey on back toward the town center.

Interesting drain arrangement

Interesting drain arrangement

I think he needs driving lessons.

I think he needs driving lessons.

Tree trimming should be left to professionals.

Tree trimming should be left to professionals.

Blast. It’s time for lunch again. We saw a place yesterday on the side of the hill under the fortress. Let’s go there.

Restaurant with a view

Restaurant with a view

We follow the way to the front door.

We follow the way to the front door.

We did, indeed, get a window table with a view over the river and most of the town.

We did, indeed, get a window table with a view over the river and most of the town.

Beer is always good with Balkan food.

Beer is always good with Balkan food.

To my liking

To my liking

First course

First course

A tasty specialty

A tasty specialty

Back down on the street again, we do more exploring.

A barbar shop beckons.

A barbar shop beckons.

Turkish baths

Turkish baths

Chairs with red tips

Chairs with red tips

A clothing store

A clothing store

One of many fast food places

One of many fast food places

Fast food again

Fast food again

It's about style - Smart car, Apple products. Both exemplary.

It’s about style – Smart car, Apple products. Both exemplary.

It’s getting late and we need a good bottle of local wine to end the day. We drop down to an underground grocery store to fulfill our needs.

Large underground grocery

Large underground grocery

Here’s our last impression of Prizren, a really fine place to spend a holiday.

Goodnight world.

Goodnight world.

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