To reach the Sharr Mountains from the south, one must first drive the winding roads of rural Albania, in the shadow of the country’s eponymous Alps. It’s a land shrouded by recent conflict, a meandering route leading to the disputed state of Kosovo.
Last March, I found myself rolling north with Markus Keller and filmer Karsten Boysen, heading for a resort named Brezovica in the transborder Sharr Mountains. We approached an old building on the side of the mountain, the road blocked by a simple boom gate surrounded by military trucks and heavily armed men. This marked entry into Kosovo and with it, another world.
Turning down the music, we handed over our paperwork. The immigration officer looked through our passports, checked out the pile of snowboards in the back, issued our stamps, looked at us and asked, “Would you like a coffee?”
Kosovo had welcomed us with open arms…