Blogs from Tirana, West, Albania, Europe

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Europe » Albania » West » Tirana January 4th 2024

Dear All Greetings from Tirana! I'm actually really quite excited to be here! After five days in the peaceful and traditional Albanian hinterlands, it was really quite exciting arriving in the country's Big Smoke. The city is buzzing and alive, full of energy - not just from the zippy traffic all around, but also from the vibrant people filling its streets. I believe few places will have seen such a rapid transformation in the last 30 years, from the capital of a completely isolated communist country akin to the likes of North Korea today, to this energetic and happening hub of activity. I felt excited to be there, and excited to explore. On the morning of my arrival, I took a four-and-a-half hour bus from Sarandë in the country's deep south, not far from the border ... read more
Lamb Casserole and Tirana Beer
Bunk'Art 1
Dajti Express Cable Car

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana July 4th 2023

4th July Spent the day in various forms of transport to get back to Tirana. First a minivan we had booked when we arrived to Shkroder, a quick coffee then a big bus to the city bus terminal and finally a taxi to the hotel. Took most of the day. Had a good meal at Oda restaurant round the corner from the hotel  very popular, traditional Turkish. Staying at Lot hotel in the city centre. 5th July Visited the National Historic Museum. Some interesting parts, filled a couple of hours. The early parts have English information but after the middle ages it's sporradic. Looked up afterwards about Alexander the Great, didn't realise there were two and both Albanian! They claim the birthplace of the original one and their national hero from the 1500s, who fought off ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana June 27th 2023

Exciting to be on the road again and traveling in a new country in Europe. Arrived around 1am this morning from Naples where we had a few days visiting Pompei (bucket list, check!) Today was planned as rest day as our next section to the north starts at 5am. Staying in the lovely E'bel hotel, very close to our pick up point in the morning and an easy, if long, walk into the centre. Wandered around to get our vearings. Getting used to the busy crossings, somehow people, bicycles, e scooters and cars weave around each other. If you are unfortunate enough to have a UnionPay ATM card we found no ATM that would accept it! Packed that card away for our stay here. As we will be returning here for a few days we didn't ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana June 10th 2023

Friday can only be described as a crap day but it turned around in the evening. By the time Charlie got to mine to help with my bags I was a mess, shaking, over anxious and crying but several hugs and a calming chat later we were on our way to Salt House Tapas where Tara, Steph, Jen and Dan were waiting. They had bought me a card and a balloon which was so sweet. I was able to talk out all the crap stuff from the week and listen to everyone else’s work drama which was strangely soothing. We ate dinner which was amazing but I massively over ordered. I had one margarita as I was scared in my mental state any more would be too much. It was probably a wise choice. After dinner ... read more
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Europe » Albania » West » Tirana January 7th 2022

YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT - RECOMMENDED - THEN GO BACK TO THE BLOG OR GO THROUGH THE 72 PHOTOS IN THAT ENLARGED FORMAT.- CLICK ON NEXT OR PREVIOUS OR ON A NUMBER BENEATH THE PHOTOS. I PUT LOTS OF INFORMATION IN THE PHOTO CAPTIONS SO YOU CAN SKIP THE NARRATIVE, JUST LOOK AT THE ENLARGED PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS AND YOU'LL STILL GET MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU EVER WANTED. TO RETURN TO THE BLOG ENTRY, CLICK YOUR BACK BUTTON OR ON THE NAME OF THE BLOG - BELOW THE NUMBERS ON THE LEFT. As you have probably figured out, these travel blogs are a way for Bernard and me to keep track of our adventures. I can't tell you how many times we've referred to one of our over 80 travel blogs ... read more
Itinerary Map
Bunkart Museum, Tirana
Tirana Cable Car View

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana July 28th 2021

Bonjour à tous, Mes aprioris étaient faux, tous les bateaux ne sont pas équipés de wifi. Avant le départ, pendant que j'avais encore du signal exploitable sur mon téléphone, à Bari, J'ai tout tenté, en jonglant, entre le pc, la tablette, le téléphone, et j'ai perdu. Sur 471 blogs, je crois que c'est la deuxième fois que je ne suis pas au rdv. La première à Tok, une ville de 15 habitants, en Alaska, et il y à déjà 8 ans. avec 12 heures de retard sur l'autoroute ce matin entre Durrès et Tirana, en prenant un café, j'ai pu cliquer "send" et c'est parti. Je vous ai laissé hier au soir, avec la foire d'empoigne, pour se rendre au bateau. L'ajustement, et c'est le mot qui convient, pour garer les voitures se fait au centimètre. ... read more
mosquée Ethem Bey
place Skanderbeg
Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana December 14th 2018

We headed to our normal table for breakfast. We were the only guests, apart from another guy who bizarrely sat and ate with his backpack on. He was either very wary of being parted from his possessions or it was surgically attached to his back. The coffee man did his duty and we asked him to translate an article on our intended football match for the day. It transpired that the fading light of the game yesterday had prompted an earlier kick off in the absence of floodlights at KF Kamza. Despite the rather confusing internet article in an online sports newspaper entitled the "match with the forgotten organisation", we also ascertained that the game was to be played at the stadium in Kamza. We set off to see the sights of central Tirana. A few ... read more
Hotel Rogner, Tirana
Dajti Ekspres, Tirana
Pyramid, Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana December 8th 2018

"Travelling is living", wrote Hans Christian Andersen according to the WIzzair magazine. It all sounds so glamorous. I can assure you the M1 at 3:30 in the morning didn't feel glamorous. The rain lashed down, as we sped south. The overhead warning signs flashed. M1 Closed. Junction 15 to 14. A quick check on the web showed long red line between the 2 junctions, indicating a serious queue of traffic. In the absence of additional information, we assumed an accident in the roadworks. We cut off on a diversion to avoid missing our flight. The alternative route worked well, so we arrived our 2nd home - also known as the Mid Term Parking at Luton Airport - shortly after 4:30. I suspect others would not be so lucky, as the morning traffic rush built up. Airport ... read more
Skanderbeg
Tirana
Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 15th 2018

We get up and have breakfast. The food’s not great but at least the chef has gone to the effort of writing the hotel’s name in HP sauce on my plate. The old man is usually the master of the all-you-can-eat buffet, but today he meets his match. An elderly lady at our table manages 6 plates to his 3. He says this an unfair comparison as she poured the entire first plateful into her handbag. I am keen to stay and see if she can manage a 7th but beat a hasty retreat when she starts stirring Nutella into her tea. We depart for a day sightseeing in Tirana. Most points of interest are on Blvd Deshmoret e Kombit; a wide, tree lined boulevard which runs between two squares, Mother Teresa and Skanderbeg. Our first ... read more
Dinasty eggs
Pyramid of Tirana
Mosque

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 14th 2018

I have been looking forward to today; we are going to Albania. Most of what I know about Albania comes from a project I did at university in 1986, so I’m not really sure what to expect. First, the slightly surreal experience of breakfast in a wine cellar. The lack of natural light causes me to mistake jam for chutney and smother it all over my cheese and sausage. It tastes surprisingly good. A last wander along Lake Ohrid then it’s time to check out, which entails this cringeworthy conversation between the old man and the receptionist: Her: How was your stay? Him: Very nice except the shower leaked. Her: I’m sorry, I’ll get a lady to take a look at it. Him: It’s beyond that, it needs a man. And with that, we depart Ohrid ... read more
Ohrid port
Car Samoil’s Fortress
View from Car Samoil’s Fortress




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