Blogs from Tirana, West, Albania, Europe - page 4


Europe » Albania » West » Tirana March 8th 2012

Our travel through the Balkans began in early January, however it is only Tirana that has forced me to start a blog. Perhaps it's the crazy turn of events that continue to fall upon us daily, or the impulse to share information from such an ill-informed country with others that has now convinced me to start a blog. And so here we are. Albania. We arrived in Tirana today with little fuss (yes, unusual for us). It's our fifth day in Albania and fourth destination on the map. We are over the initial culture shock, the realization that bus stations and tourist informations don't exit and we have mastered the Albanian thank you, 'faleminderit' with fluency. Here's to the beginning of an Albanian adventure!... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 18th 2011

IT’S A-DAY!!! On the road again, this time it’s really into the unknown as we head for Albania – Its A- DAY (the name adopted by the bus for the day we really head into the unknown. We had an early breakfast at the resort so we could make an early start and hopefully get to the border at a time when there’s not too much traffic. We were advised to take our own lunch as options were very limited on the way. MONTENEGRO We left Croatia and entered Montenegro, previously part of Serbia it had broken away about seven years ago. The whole population of the country is only 700,000 so it seems a bit odd. Apparently it has become the playground for the super rich Russians. It is on the beautiful Adriatic coast and ... read more
St Stephens Island
Bunkers Galore
Colourful building

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 1st 2011

we were back on the coach today headed toTirana, Albania, it was an interesting drive as the roads were not to well maintained and interesting sights on the way. There was lots of rubbish on the roadside, lots and lots of carwashs and not quite completed buildings. When we got to tirana we got taken on a driving tour which took us past all the brightly coloured buildings with designs. After the drive tour we got taken to our accomidation for the night which was an apartment style with a kitchen, lounge, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. We were very spoilt here with the accomidation, and the beds were amazing, I got to catch up on a lot of sleep.... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 31st 2011

So from Mykonos it was an over-nighter in Preveza, and by accident we got a hotel upgrade so we were staying in immaculate accommodation. This was a quiet night for everyone though, a bit of a wind down after the craziness of Mykonos. The next day took us on to Albania. As the poorest country in Europe, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect and honestly my first impression was wow! The rolling mountains were so colossal and being surrounded by these towering giants is actually kind of humbling. The whole country is practically in a valley, it’s quite amazing. As far as civilisation goes it’s not real crash hot ha ha :-). The outer areas are 3rd world with run down houses and derelict buildings, and apparently its common practice to only half finish building ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 25th 2011

This morning we were up at 6.15am so we could clean our boat before leaving (we had to have inspections)... problem was we were such a great team that we had the boat finished and emptied in 45 minutes... I stood guard of our luggage because our friends (the 'town dogs') may have tried to steal something! After packing up we drove to Tirana, Albania. It is crazy to come from such a pleasant, rich place (Plataria, Greece) to this incredibly poor country. We stopped at a shopping mall and I was not feeling so well. Steve told me I would be ok and I wondered if I had just been sitting funny on the bus... 5 minutes after getting back on the bus I was vomitting into a rubbish bag... not very nice but it ... read more
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Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 7th 2011

I was joined by my chums from Skopje on the bus to Tirana but their hostel was full so ended up in the Albania Hostel, which was a most agreeable place. On the taxi ride to the hostel the driver advised that you don't have to wear seat belts in taxis only in Private cars, I did ponder explaining the merits of wearing seat belts (especially in Albania, as the drivers are crazy) but decided against it and resumed the conversation about Manchester United:-). The hostel had a bar and a puppy, what more could you want:-) The next day I had a walk round the centre of Tirana but like Skopje, it was also a building site, I think there has been an influx of money into the Balkans countries and they seem to be ... read more
Another building site

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana June 4th 2011

Tirana, Albania’s capital, is a loud, dusty city. After a 16-hour overnight bus trip from Athens we contemplated exploring this city until we stepped foot off the bus and were immediately hustled by a number of Albanians. We hadn’t even picked up our luggage off the bus or decided whether we were going to stay or head towards the Montenegrin border further north before one guy was already on his mobile calling his mate to tell me in English over the phone that the cab fare to the train station would cost 5 euro. His insistence and unwillingness of the others around us to answer our questions made me want to get the hell out of there - fast. I thought Istanbul’s unscrupulous merchants were dodgy, but Albanians take hustling to a whole new level which ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana April 11th 2011

So, what the hell am I doing in Albania? Well, it’s because of Eng. I first met her in Ecuador in October of 2009. We travelled south eating everything from giant roasted pigs in the markets to guinea pig together. She met me for my 8 hour layover in Heathrow on the way to Africa and we knew we had to travel together again. She planned for a month off work and had her heart set on Eastern Europe – and she thought Albania sounded cool. I’m game for just about anything so off set a celiac and an Asian girl from London for an Albanian adventure. Tirana - the capital city We landed in time to catch the once-an-hour local bus to the capital Tirana. Our bus was a rocking pink number with a dark ... read more
Albanian rug anyone?
Traditional Albanian wears
One serious dominos game

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 25th 2010

When I got to the bus station at 10am the next bus from Skopje to Tirana in Albania was at 7pm and would travel overnight. Incredibly there was only one bus a day to the capital of a neighbouring country - and in a country that had a significant population of Albanians. I couldn’t figure it out but plan B was to get the next bus to Kosovo and then hope for a connecting bus south to Tirana, it would also give me a few hours in Kosovo, the world’s newest country. The next bus was in 20 minutes so I bought a ticket and quickly got myself some byrek - a filo pastry thing with meat or cheese or veg - which is everywhere in the Balkans and Turkey. The woman behind the counter had ... read more
Kossovo flag
Monument to NATO
8 Tirana - 2 Sep 2010

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 18th 2010

Mother Teresa, Enver Hoxha and George W Bush all in one blog entry The last leg of our trip in the Balkans was Albania. To be honest we actually began this journey in Albania because that is where our initial flight went to. But we then only spent one day in Tirana before we continued to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So for us it is easier to write about this day in the Albanian capital here together with the rest of our stories from Albania. Tirana is a quiet place. Parts of the town are slightly run down but it is not a bad place to visit. But there is very little there to see and to do so in one day we pretty much saw everything worth seeing in Tirana. First we ... read more
Mother Theresa Square
Emma gets a blessing from Mother Teresa
The Pyramid

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