Brod

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Brod is a village in Kosovo.

Understand[edit]

One of the 'streets' in Brod

Brod is populated by the Gorani people. The Gorani have a total population of roughly 50,000 people. They are primarily sheep and cattle herders, but also have a cartel network of dessert/sweet shops. They live in a very geographically small mountainous area of the most southern part of Kosovo, in and near the city of Dragash just south of Prizren.

The Gorani have their own language and are historically Muslim, their language, which is a Torlakian Slavic language, is related to Serbian and Macedonian, with Albanian and Turkish loanwords.

Note: Brod is Gorani/Serb village. Do not speak Albanian. English and french were not a languages we could communicate with. If you can speak Russian, then you can probably communicate with Serb-speakers.

The village of Brod has a population of perhaps 8,000 people. It lies in a high mountain valley/ravine. It has a rough elevation of 1,200 meters, but the mountains above it reach 2,200 meters. As the people have been living and herding cattle there for hundreds and hundreds of years, the surrounding mountains are completely over grazed and deforrested (in a beautiful way). Due to this, in order for the people to have some means of heating in the winter, they pack the manure from their cattle and goats on the sides of their houses so that it will dry. Fortunately, most of the manure is dry, so the village doesn't smell.

The building materials for the houses are all taken from the immediate area, so everything is made out of mountain rocks. Several mountain springs run throught the village on their way down to the flat plains of Kosovo. There is quite a lot of rubbish in the streams, as you'll see in much of kosovo.

Brod is spectacular!

Get in[edit]

From Prizren, take a combi to Dragaš. From Dragaš, you will either have to take a taxi (for probably a lot of money) or start walking. The hike to Brod is about 8 km up a small road. Ask a local which way to go. If you hitch hike, the first or second car will probably pick you up, although cars only pass once every 30 minutes.

Get around[edit]

By horse of course

See[edit][add listing]

It is worth your while to just walk around the town and see what it is like. It is completely unique. The graveyard on the small hill overlooking the village is worth a look.

Talk[edit]

Gorani is the Slavic language spoken in this region, although a few people speak English with varying degrees of fluency. For the May Day national holiday many emigrants come back home from abroad to see their families, and you will have a better chance of finding English speakers. Speakers of a Slavic language should have no problem. That said, if you speak no Slavic language whatsoever, the locals will get a real kick if you make an attempt to speak a few phrases from your phrase book - which you should help expand with the assistance of locals!

Do[edit][add listing]

Riding on a mule up the canyon to the Gorani pasture. Brod lies down below at the mouth of this canyon
  • Take a horse ride up into the mountains

Ask the locals if they will take you for either a one day or overnight horse trip up to their pastures in the mountains. They should charge you only 10 EUR per person plus food for the adventure. You'll end up on a mule going through some of the most beautiful nature you'll ever have the opportunity to see in your life.

  • Hike to Shutman lakes

You can hike up during 3-4h (6h round trip from Brod) to reach the Shutman lakes (Sutmansko jezero). The hike passes by Arxhena Ski Resort hotel and then continues on the left. Follow the beautiful course of the river on the left and then cross it to the right until you get to the first lake. The 2nd lake is just a 10 min away higher up on the right hill from the path. The lakes are normally half dry in the summer, but are larger in other seasons. If you want to make your hike longer, you can continue towards the Macedonian border. Ask in Hotel Arxhena for a map.

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are a number of general store type shops where you can buy basic food and basic household items

Eat[edit][add listing]

Have the guy at the one pub in Brod serve you up something. There is also a restaurant, although upon asking for some traditional food I received a (nonetheless delicious) hamburger.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are many - 5 or so - pubs and cafes, some of which appear to serve alcohol and are open late into the evening (in the summer at least). One of these could at a stretch even be described as a nightclub, or at least has very loud music in the evening.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Ask the locals for a place to stay. Somebody will put you up for the night (at a cost, probably 10 EUR). There is a man called Bilygaip (pronounced bill gip with the i as in eye) who has a 9-bed, self-catering guesthouse and charged me 10 EUR/night for a bed. It wasn't the best thing ever, but it worked and that was what mattered. Ask in one of the cafes, and they will dispatch a young lad to fetch him. There is wifi in his house; ask him for the password. (The password is not the string 750X75X5 written on the hatch leading to the attic, as after some time trying different combinations of it I realised that it was in fact the dimensions of the planks of wood!)

There is a hotel up the valley, 3km after Brod, called Hotel Arxhena. It claims to be 4 star, but the current feedback on TripAdvisor (as of Oct. '16) isn't too positive. It has a website. I got a coffee there and it seemed good.

Get out[edit]

Hitchhiking as far as Dragash works quite well, although sometimes the cars are completely full of people and so can't take you. From Dragash you can take a 1 euro bus to Prizren, or hitch there quite easily.

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