By: Artan Behrami and Milot Hasimja
A few kilometers away from Prishtina, there is a natural reservation called Blinaja. For those that are not attracted to the seaside, this could be a very good spot to visit. People, who don’t like the sea and the sun, can get into groups and head for the national park of Blinaja. Those who are crazy about the wild animals and group walks through natural reservations will find Blinaja to be an ideal place. There are so many communist stories of hunting parties that stemmed from this place.
Walking through this natural reservation, Blinaja of Lipjan, will make you feel like you are in the middle of a documentary on rare wild animals that you’ve never seen before. They cannot stand the noise and Blinaja is an oasis to them. The natural reservation, apart from the tall trees and many lakes, has a variety of wild animals. This place, during the communist era, was a vacation spot. Although it was enjoyed only by those who had the special red permission.
These quick visits of the communist ‘big shots’ are still mentioned by the villagers, even though they hardly witnessed anything with their eyes. They could only hear the sound of hunting rifles. ‘Only the biggest of the ‘big shots’ and the most powerful ones used to come to this place. The likes of Mahmut Bakalli and others’, says Xhevat Mishori, a Blinaja resident, while pointing in the direction of the reservation. In his opinion, this is the most beautiful place in the world.
The aroma of linden after the rain is the thing he adores the most. There are three thousand fenced hectares of land and three hectares outside the fence which are considered part of the natural reservation. Since the end of war, Blinaja, thanks to the Agency of the Forests of the Protection Corps of Kosova, is the most protected reservation in Kosova. Wild hogs and 30 artificial lakes of Blinaja make an oasis in the middle of Kosova. The reservation still remains out of the sight of the invaders.
If you are in a bigger group, you will have to make a request to the Agency of the Forests beforehand. The agency is part of the Ministry of Agriculture. As soon as you entered the camp of Blinaja you will see a huge edifice. Formerly owned by the Executive Council of Kosova, it was transformed into the PCK base. Blinaja consists of 30 small lakes, all of which are manmade.
There is a dam between two hills which accumulates water during the winter. Within the fenced area of the park, three different types of deer coexist, the German deer (150), lepotar deer (140) and the red deer (40). This rare wild animal world also consists of the wild hog, the wild cat, the fox and the wolf. Also there are many different types of birds.
Down the hill you can encounter a tortoise, always followed by butterflies. You will be surrounded by forest fruits. You will hear noises but you will not know what is making the noise. There you can see an artificial lake surrounded by bushes, while on the far end of it, there is a cabin. Next to the cabin stands one of the 10 guards holding a rifle on his shoulder. Even though they get paid very little, he covers over 20 kilometers on foot during one day.
It’s been 20 years since Hazir Drenica has been guarding this beautiful place from the harm. ‘This place has always been beautiful. The Italians, the Germans know about it. They have always visited, especially the VIPs’, Drenica tells. He sets off for a nine-kilometer walk to his house. One thing lingers with everyone who visits this forest. What you see in three hours in Blinaje sticks to your memory forever. Even after 20 years, one cannot help telling about its beauty. / MFA