Saturday, March 19, 2005

Trip to Brezovica

Actually, it was last weekend that I took a trip to Brezovica but I didn't get a chance to write about the interesting trip :)  I've always heard about how beautiful it is up at the ski resort at Brezovica.  A misconception is that the mountain is called Brezovica but it is actually the name of the village located at the base.  The mountain is really called Sara but if you tell someone you're going to Sara they probably wouldn't know where you were going :)
A friend invited me to go up to Brezovica with him last weekend to visit a breeder of the famous Sharr Mountain dogs.  The dogs are mammoth in size with a coat of shaggy fur, a head the size of a lion, and a bark with the bass of James Earl Jones.  On the way, we passed the KFOR checkpoint and were stopped about five minutes later by a group of young Serbian men between 15-21 years-old.  They were dressed in normal clothing but with some sort of fur shawls and many had masks (traditional or ski masks).  They demanded that we pay money to continue on the road.  A KPS vehicle was leaving the group when we pulled up...and now I wonder if they paid the fee to pass as the group effectively stopped all traffic on both sides of the road by sheer number on the road.  My friend refused to pay and ended up being called a SOB by some drunk kid but we eventually passed after a verbal challenge to get out of the car and fight the drunk youngster...and then probably all of his drunken friends after that :-P

Then we reached Brezovica and discovered that someone came up with the idea to charge a fee to enter what they now classify as a "National Park".  The fee was five euros but when informed that we were in a KFOR vehicle, the price went down to a "just pay two or three and you can go".  My friend didn't want to pay so the attendant started complaining that the international organizations weren't paying but we passed after a moment.  Passing through Brezovica, I noticed many destroyed houses.  I was informed that they were Albanian homes that were burnt down in last March's violence...which was interesting because you didn't hear much about the Albanians losing property last March

When we got the resort, the sheer number of people and vehicles astounded me.  If all those private vehicles paid five euros, the attendant made a couple hundred euros that day!  Naturally, I got some pictures at the resort :)  If you happen to visit the resort, I recommend stopping by Pizzaria Tina for a fantastic pizza :)