Hotel Sirius

Country #88 - Kosovo

The Snow Storm

I woke up to a fresh snowfall in Pristina, Kosovo! I had gotten a great night of sleep and then had a much-needed omelette and buffet breakfast. I did not have an early morning for once and definitely took advantage of it. I really appreciated the great view from my room, especially with the snowfall. The snow kept me from seeing the city as it was really coming down and I wouldn’t have enough time to go out and see anything. The cab ride back to the bus was nice, though, as I was able to see a few highlights of the city such as the National Library of Kosovo building which, to me, looked like a bunch of bubbles!

Something that I immediately noticed about Kosovo was how many newer buildings that there were and how much recent development had taken place. Another surprise was how good everyone’s English was. I wasn’t expecting it but it was very nice! The most surprising part about Kosovo, though, is that many people don’t yet consider it a country. In fact, Kosovo is the only country that I am visiting that is technically not considered a country by Guinness.


So technically I am visiting just for fun as I do consider it a country and it isn’t essential to the record-setting part of my travels. But, I am very glad that I made the stop! It was very interesting to see and learn about. Everything about it felt like its own country. For example, it had its own currency and border controls. Here’s to hoping one day it is considered a country!


I made it to the bus station a bit early for my bus out of Kosovo where I was headed to Albania. The bus ride was quite the adventure. Last bus ride, craziest bus ride you might say. Driving through the mountains in Kosovo in a snowstorm was an ordeal to say the least! The bus passed by countless overturned cars yet kept on going. It was a very slow task to make it through what only yesterday had no snow whatsoever. But man was it crazy today! Snow was piled up everywhere and I was truly amazed that the bus made it through without issue.

I talked to a guy from Albania for a bit who was nice and liked talking about different English sayings. It was a nice change of pace during the snowstorm drive. The rest of the bus ride I watched Netflix and eventually, the bus made it out of the mountains. It was only a few more hours once entering Albania to make it to the capital, Tirana.

88 countries down, 108 to go.

To learn more about Hotel Sirius click here.

Country #87 - Montenegro

The Sleeper Train

I slept surprisingly very well on the train! Like, almost nine hours. I was amazed. I, of course, woke up pretty often but it was overall a very pleasant experience in a sleeper car. The Montenegro border guards finally came around 7am, which was when the train was supposed to be arriving in Podgorica. So we were running at least a few hours late from what I could tell. They didn’t stamp my passport for some reason which was annoying but I didn’t realize it until no one ever came back to stamp it. The sun started to rise by this point and so came the best part of the train ride: the truly incredible views!

I had read that this was the best part of the trip and it definitely was. The train was up high in the mountains and the views were incredible. The mountains were stunning and just the entire landscape in Montenegro was so beautiful and breathtaking! It was the second great morning of beautiful views in a row. I just sat and looked out my window for two hours until we finally arrived, almost three hours late, in Podgorica. Thankfully I had built in a five-hour cushion as I took into account that a night train might run late, so this left me with two hours to spare.

The train station was literally not a train station. Like, I walked out of the train and then walked out to the road. It was pretty bizarre! The bus station was thankfully right next door as it had started to rain. I had to use the bathroom really badly (the one downside of the train was the bathroom was too gross to use), and so I had my first experience with a squatting toilet. I have definitely seen them before, especially in Central Asia, but this was the first time it was my only option. So I had to make due!

I then stopped at the bus station and bought my bus ticket to head to Kosovo in two hours. I found witnesses surprisingly easily (with a little help from Google translate) and then ate a very inexpensive meal at the cafe by the station. It wasn’t the best food ever, but it was also about two euro for an entire meal. I had planned on going to walk around the city but the three-hour delay and pouring rain quickly got in the way of that plan.

One of the most shocking things to me about Podgorica, at least what I was able to see of it, was how not aesthetically appealing that it was. I think it was just such a shock to see so many eyesore buildings after having been through such a beautiful country on the train and seeing how pretty the country really is. I don’t quite understand why Podgorica is so displeasing to the eye, but it definitely was. Everything else about my time in Montenegro was really nice though, especially the beautiful train ride and the people were very nice as well.

After an hour more of waiting, I headed to board my bus to Kosovo. It was just me and one other guy on an entire bus. And, for once, there were no stops! We literally went straight from Montenegro to Kosovo and actually arrived ahead of schedule. The drive was nice and after driving winding roads around a pretty lake it was actually pretty straight for once. I had a short stay in Montenegro but I’m very glad I was able to at least experience the beautiful landscapes of the country!

I arrived in Kosovo after dark and went ahead and bought my bus ticket for the next day. I took a taxi to my hotel, Hotel Sirius, which was such a great place to stay! I was greeted warmly by the front desk and given a great room with a view of the city. Thank you so much to Hotel Sirius for sponsoring this night of my trip! After a busy few days of travel, I was very glad to just have a few hours to relax in the hotel room and work on things.

87 countries down, 109 to go.

To learn more about Hotel Sirius click here.