A Horse Ride Through Prizren
In the heart of the Balkan Peninsula lays a small country called Kosovo. Within the South is a hidden gem that can steal your heart. The city of Prizren is the second largest city in Kosovo and is sure to take your breath away.
Prizren is known for its fortress, culture, clean roads, ancient buildings, and mountains. What characterizes the city the most is the cobalt and narrow roads. Today, Prizren citizens live in modern ways but keep in touch with the old soul of the city.
On a beautiful winter and almost-spring Sunday, our workshop challenged us to write an untold story that illustrates the society in our city. We went out and found, among the various beauties of the city, a man and his horse.
Everyday, this man takes his horse out into the city from 9am until 5pm His carriage takes tourists on a scenic trip through the city. This vintage way of travel offers a different perspective of seeing Prizren.
Kadri Palla, 82, and his horse Rubin are proudly keeping up with a 100 year old family tradition. Palla has been taking out Rubin since he was 23-years-old. He also cares for the horse by himself; he washes Rubin and decorates him with beautiful ornaments.The locals love to see him driving the horse drawn carriage, they say it gives the city an elegance worth seeing. Mr. Palla agrees; he explains that his horse drawn carriage is a flashback to a time where there were no cars. There are no others in the city with a horse drawn carriage, so Mr. Palla feels secure with his job right now.
His eyes are filled with nostalgia for how things used to be in Prizren. He misses the old times but accepts that things are better now. He loves the youth and values their ideas and their spirit. When asked about his job he was proud and excited to tell us more. He longs for youth to ask more about the cultural aspects that he is afraid the younger generations are starting to forget.
Throughout our trip with Mr. Palla and his horse Rubin, we were left speechless at how smart Rubin is. He knew the roads and understood when to stop and walk again. Rubin knows every step of the central area’s cobalt and walks with pride. He is like a feather; beautiful, soft and walks on air. Mr. Palla says that Rubin doesn’t take too much to take care after, only about 60 euros per month. Mr. Palla trained Rubin himself and he remembers that the horse was the love of his life ever since he was very young.
Mr. Palla proudly reveals his greatest moment, when Prince Charles of England visited and took a trip in his carriage. He even keeps a photo on the sides of the carriage and shares it with everyone. After Prince Charles’s trip, the Ambassador of UK in Kosovo, Ruairi O’Connell, came and visited him and gave him gratitude.
That wasn’t the only famous trip for Mr. Palla and Rubin. The owner of MakerSpace, Arbër Kryeziu, told us that his mother was taken into her wedding in Mr. Palla’s horse drawn carriage.
Mr. Palla’s story deserves to be told and heard because he gives the city so much beauty and culture. People like Mr. Palla are the reason this city will never fade away.
By: Besjan Xhemajli, Merjem Kude, Besa Shehu, Rilinda Arifi and Fatjeta Xhuraj
Rilinda Arifi, one of the authors, was born in Piranë-Prizren and graduated in economics. She enjoys reading, walking, working hard, and sports.
Besjan Xhemajli, co-author of this story, was born in Gjakova, and studies English language and literature in Prizren. His passions includes writing poetry, painting and astronomy. His poetry can be found at www.besjanxhemajli.wordpress.com.