Thirty degrees again today and we are bussed to Tirana. The journey crossed a huge fertile plain with a lot of activity with grass and crop cutting. Several small balers were in use and a big Class Combine was seen. It was not until we approached Tirana that we saw vehicle and tractor dealers selling new equipment of all brands. The rest of Albania only appears to sell used products. In Tirana a visit to the Bunkart (Bunker) was made, which depicted the history of the law enforcement by the gendarmerie and policia from 1913 to the fall of Communism in 1991. The museum is a huge concrete bunker with many small cells showing different aspects of the journey. Most harrowing is the way the secret police were set up and operated by the communist regime from 1945 to 1991 where you did not know who the informers were. During this period over 6,000 people were executed without trial and their remains never found and ten times more were illegally imprisoned for just opposing the regime. All foreign visitors were forced to look like locals and had to have hair cuts and get clothing as worn
by locals and were spied on the whole time they were in residence. I am glad I was not here at that time. Lunch was at a small Greek Restaurant where me-mo language did not even seem to work. We originally asked for a rice dish we saw on an adjoining table only for it not to arrive. We then asked for Slovaki only to be eventually served chicken and chips with flat bread. Then we were billed for one more beer than supplied. However, it was good and was cheap by our standards so all ended well. The roads were busy on our return so I just thrust my crutch into the road and the traffic suddenly stopped. Also I got into Bunkar for free. Cripples no charge. I told you I was born LUCKY.
I am a retired engineer, born in 1945, who loves cycle touring. I have ridden Lands End John O Groats, C2C, the Three Towers (Blackpool - London -Paris Blackpool), European section of North Sea Cycle Route (Rotterdam to Bergen, 3,500 km), several sportives and trips to Spain and the Alps, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia, Turkey, Japan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu (India), Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Australia, including Tasmania and New Zealand. Kyushu Japan, USA, Republic of Ireland and Cicily. I ride several sportives each year and ride one day every week with some retired riders and usually lead a gr... full info