We saw more of Kosovo during our second weekend there. Ashley and I walked around Pristina Saturday looking for the Newborn Monument and library but returned home without seeing either. We did see a tragically ugly park with high grass and weeds, crumbling walkways and decomposing benches. Just a block ahead across the street was a large garden of beautiful roses in various shades of pink, red, yellow and white… on a parking lot.
We said goodbye for a while to Pristina on Sunday. Joe, our friend who works at the UN, drove us to Gracanica, a town populated by Serbs. We had a large brunch at Hotel Gracanica and then visited the Serbian orthodox monastery the town is known for. The monastery has a fascinating history. Built upon the ruins of a 13th century church of the Holy Virgin which was build on the ruins of a 6th century church, the monastery is protected by Kosovo as a monument of culture of exceptional importance.
Joe also took us to the city of Ulpiana to visit a Roman excavation site. Green fields embellished with red poppies surrounded the site of an ancient Roman city. I was so amazed by the history, the columns that had become stumps over time, the tombs of some important people, and the mosaic tile art that had weathered a millennium that I almost didn't want to leave. But alas we returned to Pristina that afternoon.