At the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

What a great welcome for a couple of tourists!

It was after 10:30am when we set off through the city of Peja and up into the hills behind the city.

There are sooo many hiking trails to choose from. We're going to have an active week here! But we haven't done a decent hike in quite a few weeks, so we figured we'd start off with a fairly short one. It didn't turn out that way though!

It was a bit of a hike just getting out of the city. Peja is bigger than it originally looks. I think if you include the surrounding area it must be about 100,000 people.

The Lumbardh River flows through Peja.

Heading uphill.

Hiking map of the Accursed Mountains.

Starting to get a view looking back at Peja.

Scenery along the way.

The hiking trails are all well marked.

Made it to the first viewpoint.

Some of the leaves are starting to change color.

Another route marker.

Trail through the forest.

Now we're starting to get up there.

We made it to the top of this particular hill at 12:30pm, so just under two hours from the time we left. Altitude gain of about 575 meters (2,000').

I took a short video for you as we approached the top...

What a view!

We sat and had our lunch up here.

I was looking at the map again and found a more circular route. It would only add a couple more kms, but it looked like a better route... and it was such a nice day.

View of Peja.

Zoomed in on the big Peja brewery.

Look at the size of this mushroom!

The Rugova Canyon starts just outside Peja.

Coming back down.

We were back in town at about 2:30pm. We had done 10 kms (6.2 miles) which was a little longer than we planned for the first day back hiking, but it was a good hike.

We needed to find an ATM to get some more euros because we didn't have quite enough to pay our host at the apartment. I checked google maps to find a Credins Bank which is the Albanian bank that doesn't charge an ATM fee, but didn't see one listed. I had read that the Kosovo banks all charge a standard €5 fee, so was prepared to pay that. We found an ATM, and sure enough there was that €5 fee. It spit out €300 for me... all in €100 notes! Very frustrating not to get some smaller bills. (Edit: It turns out there is a Credins bank in Peja. It's new, and doesn't show up on google maps. No idea if this one charges that €5 fee or not.)

We stopped into the tourist office and said hello to Blerta. She was helpful in giving us some maps and ideas about hiking in the mountains. She also told us that the post office next door would likely change one of those €100 notes for us, which they did.

She also pointed us towards the nearest well equipped grocery store, so we went in and did some shopping. 

The Hotel Dukagjini is a nice looking building in central Peja.

There are lots of street dogs in Peja. 
Most of them look healthy enough, and there is surprisingly little dog crap lying around.

This is an interesting apartment building.

We also stopped at a little fruit a veggie store.

This was funny.

So there's a couple of young guys working in there (early 20's?) and of course we stand out like tourists. We said "hello" and how are you" in Albanian. Most people in Kosovo speak Albanian, with some regional dialects. Anyhow, their broken English wasn't very good, but they were impressed with our couple of words of Albanian. They asked where we were from though, and we told them. Then they pointed at the Peja beer they were drinking, and insisted on giving us two of them as a welcome to Peja. 

Our veggies came to €1.30... and we got two free Peja beer with that!

Of course Peja beer is fairly cheap here in the city where it is produced. One 500 ml can costs €0.69 ($0.93 CAD, $0.68 USD). Makes sense since they don't have very far to ship it!

Unfortunately, the Peja brewery doesn't give tours. Apparently the tourist office is working to try to get them to do that, even if it's only once a week, but no progress yet. Too bad. We would have gone.

We're just staying in town today, doing a self guided walking tour of the highlights.

Nice price drop on this 168 Piece Home Tool Set.

And in Canada...

Bedsure Dog Beds. All sizes on sale.


  1. What kind of greens are those? They look good! And free beer is always welcome! I was going to ask how many people speak English there, since I noticed that the sign where you hiked was in English.

    1. It is what they call spinach over here, I am not sure if it is a different plant all together and they just call it that or if it is spinach but a different variety of it. I cooks up well but I think it might be strong flavor wise and a little tough if it was eaten raw, not like our tender spinach at home. Kevin loves free beer, he doesn't come across that very often!

      If they work in the tourist industry then yes, English is spoken but in the little shops and even the bank and post office we didn't come across anyone that spoke English. Again, it is more often the younger people can speak English or at least some English. I think the signs were in two or three languages, one of them being English because they get quite a few English/foreign hikers that come for the hiking here in the mountains.


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