Tour de Culture is a non-competitive and recreational bike tour in Kosovo, promoting cultural and natural heritage, non-motorized transport and environment protection.
This years’ 5th edition of Tour de Culture was the most successful so far, with the new records in number of participants, number of sponsors and number of reserved bikes for the event. With more than 700 tired yet happy participants, 26 km passed on bikes, and more than 100 reservations for bike rent, encourages us that this activity is being embedded in Kosovo society, each year more and more. What is more important, people have started to change their minds about biking…
Under the sunny summer-like weather, Sunday morning of 30th September couldn’t start any better. Public transport organized for all participants from 7 cities in Kosovo, drove them to starting point of the event.
For the bikers’ safety, during the whole tour, they were escorted with police car and 2 ambulances, along with bicycle service, available to everyone in need. All the food, fruits, vegetables and refreshments were on bikers’ disposition for free
At Stublla e Epërme, Municipality of Vitia, participants, after renting bikes, full with enthusiasm gathered at Church of St. George and The museum of the first Albanian school in Kosovo (cent. XVI-XIX) where Deputy Mayor of Vitia, Mr. Abdyl Bajrami, welcomed them and accepted Acknowledgement from the organizers for being one of the hosts of this year’s edition. Beside Mr. Bajrami, the priest gave to participants a brief guiding tour through the church and the museum.
Participants had an opportunity to also visit 2 mobile exhibitions on cultural preservation projects, organized by CHwB and IRD/IKS and funded by the United States.
The long, but joyful, ride had started.
The first stop, after around 6 km, was cherished, because the food and refreshment waited to give the bikers energy before they continued their unique cultural biking tour.
The next stop, after nearly 13 km, was at Church of St. Parascheva (cent. XX) in Donja Budriga, Parteš Municipality, where to the Deputy Mayor of the Parteš Municipality, Mr. Dejan Jocić, was handed the Acknowledgement from organizers. He greeted participants, while emphasizing the importance of protecting and promoting cultural heritage of Kosovo, participatory urban planning approach and, above all, participation of communities on promotion of these two important issues.
Bikers got refreshed and had some fruits before taking the last, but the most difficult, section of the road. The uphill road.
The last, approx. 9 km, were the hardest, as beside the difficult uphill road, at the end they faced the dense urban zone. Full with passion and enthusiasm, all bikers successfully reached the finish of the tour, the city of Gjilan.
All participants gathered at Mustafa Pasha Palace (cent. XIX), which nowadays serves as a Music School and is protected under the Cultural Heritage Law, where Mr. Qemajl Mustafa, The Mayor of Gjilan, had publicly presented issues regarding protection and promotion of cultural heritage, mobility and environmental protection. The Acknowledgement for being one of the hosts was handed to Mayor by organizers of Tour de Culture.
Tour de Culture, apart from being recreational and enjoyable, served to raise people’s awareness about our common cultural and natural heritage, discovering potentials for the development of sustainable cultural tourism. Furthermore, it served to raise awareness about importance of safer roads and healthier lifestyle. Being part of global movement to a safer climate future, participants strengthened by women, youth and elderly, cycled once again to promoting human values above all.
Moreover, this years’ Tour de Culture was part of World Habitat day and I’m a City Changer, a worldwide campaign with the aim of sensitizing and creating awareness among citizens on urban issues to achieve better cities.
For gallery of pictures and much more visit our project on Facebook page Tour de Culture Kosovo and you are more then welcome to like, tag and share.