Spring Travel

Kosovo paths wind through the streets towards East, emphasizing the ancient paths of merchants, pilgrims, consuls and saints, kings and travelers. The streets follow those places where History and Myth are engraved on the walls of the medieval monasteries. They  re-emerge in the sacred melodies of the monks, in their unchanged rituals that for centuries, mark the sacred  time that here seems eternal and immovable.

Time, Vreme, is also the pace of klepalo, the beat on the sacred wood that invites the traveler to salvation, to prayer, Molitva.

The past is evident in the vibrant notes of the religious men, already at dusk before the sun penetrates through the narrow and tall windows of the apse and before it draws lines of light on the ancient stone floors. The apse is in the east, Istok. The light, Svetlost is here the matter, presence, and you can almost hold it in your hand. The weapons of the knights who gave their lives for this country, are now in an endlessly tight hug to form the chandelier horos, spinning on above the head of the pilgrim thus illuminating the mysteries of sacred icons on the wall. The living icons of the monasteries the monks.

The story is the sound of the languages which, in these parts, are at least seven. Seven ethnic groups that have always been present here, are the people, narod, of this region. In Kosovo, the time is calculated according to three calendars: the Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar and the calendar according to the Hegira of the Prophet Muhamed.

In Kosovo, it is possible to write can write in three different alphabets: Cyrillic, Latin and Arabic.

At the market, at Čarsija, you can meet the East in sounds, scents, menageries and a thousand shades of colors. You may notice it through the narrow streets, in the eyes of the zanatlija, the artisan, the ancient wisdom of the Levantine mercantile.

The minarets, munara as sentinels of stone, next to the mosque, džamija, remind us of the glories of the ancient empires. Witness is the ancient language of mujezin that invites the traveler to turn to the East.

The bridge, most, in the eastern lands of the Adriatic, is the symbol of unity and, at the same time, the symbol of division and separation. The bridge is no man's land, but this is also the land of all. The Bridge is the symbol of the tremors of history and the ancient disputes never dormant. Sarajevo, Mostar, Mitrovica. The bridge could be also the Hope, Nada.

Kosovo is a state born five years ago. Its people, however, live here for centuries. In Kosovo, the Past, one might say, is more present than ever. Anyway, the future, here  is already past.

Spring travel- program

 

April 27, Saturday
19.00 Meeting at the port of Bari and departure for Durres.

April 28, Sunday
Arrival at the port of Durres and departure of Kosovo.
Stop in the town of Kruja (Albania). Visit to the fortress of Skanderbeg, the temple Bektashi and to the Ottoman period čaršija. Entry in Kosovo, visiting the city of Prizren, the ancient capital of the region; visit to the Monastery of SS. Archangels; the seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius; the Ottoman Čaršija; the džamija Paša of Sinan; the Cathedral of Bogorodica Ljeviška, the ruins of the Monastery of Sveti Spas and visit to the Serbian district. Dinner and overnight in Prizren.

April 29, Monday
Departure for the enclave of Velika Hoča. Visit to the famous cellars of winemakers masters. Lunch. Excursion to enclave of Orahovac, the Monastery of Zočiste and the "Turkish" city of Mamusa. Dinner and overnight in Velika Hoca.

April 30, Tuesday
Morning in the enclave, meeting with the local community. Visit to the monastery and the enclave of Gračanica. Transfer to Priština. Dinner and overnight in Priština.

May 1, Wednesday
Visit to the city of Priština. Visit to the Gazimestan, the plain where occurred the famous medieval battle of Kosovo Polje. Stopover to the tomb of Murad I. Visit to the Monastery of Banjska. Dinner and overnight in the rural village of Banov.

May 2, Thursday
Visit to the town Kosovska Mitrovica, with "excursion" in the south, to the Albanian majority and the Serb-majority north. Visit the monastery of Sokolica. Dinner and overnight in Banov Do.

May 3, Friday
In accordance with the rites of the Orthodox Easter, a visit to the Patriarchate of Peć and the Čaršija from the Ottoman period. Visit to the Monastery of Visoki Dečani. Opportunity to attend the ritual of Good Friday Orthodox Easter. Dinner and overnight in Goraždevac.

May 4, Saturday
Visit to enclave of Goraždevac. Excursion to the cave hermitages in the monastery of Dečani. Possibility to attend the Rite of Resurrection Easter pending. After the celebrations, the  Passover dinner  is planned to be shared with the monastic community of Dečani. Overnight in Goraždevac.

May 5, Sunday
Holy Orthodox Easter. Visit the monastery of Dečani. Stop at the Ottoman bridge "Terzijski most" on the road between Prizren and Djakovica. Departure to Durres. Boarding and departure to Bari.

May 6, Monday
Visit to the church of St. Nicola of Bari Return to the premises of origin.


Specifications of the trip

 

The trip is organized for the sole humanitarian and cultural purposes. The organization of this trip is  no profit and is reserved exclusively for members which with their shares participate in tha Association Friends of the Monastery of Dečani.

The trip in boat is provided solely in a deck (chair). You can upgrade it at the specific request for the cab (extra cost).

Transfers in Kosovo and Metohija are guaranteed by private minibus with driver.

There will always be a guide who speaks Italian.

The accommodation is always provided in a double room.

The registration fee does not include beverages, meals on the board ship and domestic transfers.

The cost of the participation fee is € 620 per person. The fee must be paid as follows: 50% (€ 310) at the time of booking (no later than March 15, 2013), the remaining 50% (€ 310) by April 10, 2013.

Payments must be made in the bank account of the Friends of Dečani, Iban No. IT62M050344425000000000043 holder Andrea Lightning - Fundraiser Friends of Dečani, the reason must be specified as: participation fee Spring travel (the first installment or full payment).

Any communication regarding the trip must be forwarded to the responsible for national solidarity trips, dr. Mario Salzano - email: mario@amicididecani.it Mobile: +39.329.97.55.189

The group must consist of at least 8 people.

The fees paid by way of participation cannot be refunded in the event of non-attendance for any reason independent of the organization.

The documents necessary to enter in Kosovo, for european citizens, is the passport.

Sometimes a trip to Kosovo and Metohija can be uncomfortable. Often after 7 p.m. electricity is supplied by generators, it can be difficult to take a shower, the standard of the hotel facilities is low compared to European standards. On the other hand, the hospitality of the families in the enclaves, is frequently, despite the difficulties, the most exciting part of the whole experience.

In May, the climate of Kosovo and Metohija is changeable, sunny days are often sprinkled with brief but intense rain. We recommend using a clothing suitable for the season. Also it is advisable to have a spare waterproof shoes or hiking boots.

During the religious rites it is polite to ask permission to take pictures and be properly dressed. For women is relished the scarf on the head. Smoking is prohibited within the walls of monasteries.

Request the application for to mario@amicididecani.it or anna@amicididecani.it

In accordance with Legislative Decree no. September 6, 2005, n. 206, in relation to contracts for the supply of goods and services, please note that the above proposal is purely indicative and Friends of Dečani reserves the right to modify itineraries and destinations also during the trip.