Hash House Harriers?


     It is a cold and snowy day here in Pristina. I had hoped winter was over as it was so nice outside last week-end and most of this week. Last Sunday was a sunny and fairly warm day, I met with a group of people known as the Hash House Harriers or HHH or H3. Apparently this is an international group started by some British expatriates back in the 1920’s.  Chapters of this group now exist all over the world.  I won’t go into their history you can find it on Wikipedia if you care. 

     Here in Pristina they get together every Sunday at 1300 in front of the Grand Hotel and then go somewhere and either hike or run. They then come back and at least have a drink and may have drinks and dinner. My Albanian friend that I met in Iraq, Valentina, told me about the group and I met her at the appointed time and place and we went to a place near the Pristina airport and hiked up a mountain.

     It was a nice hike and a pretty day. The mountain was full of wild flowers, mostly what I

Wild flower, Pristina Kosovo

 would call buttercups and crocuses, but we did see a couple of flowers I wasn’t familiar with. I am not sure why but I am always surprised at the similarity between the flora and fauna so many thousands of miles apart. If it wasn’t for the things man has created here you could easily wake-up in the morning and think you were in the US.

But I digress, the local HHH is a small group of about 10 people, apparently it was larger but the group reflects the international presence here which is diminishing somewhat. I did get to meet everyone and they seemed like an interesting group, there were a couple of citizens of the UK, the rest were Americans.

Wild Flower, Pristina Kosovo

 Two of the people I met were here working with the American Bar Association and one of them is involved in Strategic Planning with the Prosecutors here, so we made plans to meet during the week and see if we could find a way to work together. Another American is a media specialist and writer and we had a nice visit. During the hike we went up the mountain to some windmills of the modern type that generate electricity, it was the first time I had been that close to those types of windmills. They are huge.

We hiked along the ridge of the mountain until we came to the ruins of an old fortress, someone appeared to be excavating the ruins and restoring them. I have no idea how old they were though I heard fourth century. After checking out the ruins we went down the mountain back to the car and headed to town where we had a drink at “91” which is a coffee house/bar/restaurant frequented by expatriates. In Iraq those are the places that blow-up most frequently, here they seem as safe as any other place. I meant to write this a week ago but things seemed to keep coming up.

I have a more to write on my trip yesterday but in the interest of brevity will save it for another post.  For those who might wonder, I took the photos of the flowers with my Android phone since I forgot my good camera.  I am surprised who well they turned out.

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