My trip to see Baba Mundi and the Bektashi was one of the most amazing things that I have ever experienced. The wisdom of Baba Mundi and the poetry of his mind and conversation were truly inspiring. Today was much less poetic and much more Indiana Jones. At lunch, between classes, the group from the American Corners took me up to the Kale where we saw many of the 180 workers who are working in the seven sectors of the Kale and the Pasha’s mountain house, connected by a tunnel to the Pasha’s house next door to the painted mosque and right by the river that runs through Tetova (also Tetovo).
We met several archeologists, and they were kind enough to share their knowledge with us about their intensive efforts to restore the kale, which had been damaged terrifically in the 2001 war as it is very, very close to Kosovo. Several of the guide books suggested that it was in complete ruin, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw the Pasha’s house, the guard house of the fortress itself and many archeologists working in the different sectors.
The ride up was beautiful as we passed wildflowers, mountain springs, and hikers, but climbing around the ruins was even more amazing. You can see all sides of the mountain and Tetova as well, so you can imagine the strategic importance of the fortress now as well as when this was first Macedonia and then Dardania.