Blogs from Tirana, West, Albania, Europe - page 6


Europe » Albania » West » Tirana October 28th 2008

At the bus station in Saranda, there was a bus going for Tirana so i decided to take it, so much for Gjirokaster, I really wanted to see the town it looks interesting from the main road when we passed it from Berat but there is also a part of me that wants to get to Montenegro as soon as possible. It will be 8 hours bus journey and I knew we are passing through the zigzag mountains when the conductor started handing out plastic bags to the locals, puke bags!! Luckily none did though got a bit dizzy once again. We stopped again in Gjirokaster, and saw the tower from a distance, maybe I was not meant to visit it at this time.. Stopped for lunch somewhere, and when we arrived in Tirana heavy traffic ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana October 10th 2008

It's fair to say that Albania suffers from an image problem. Communist for so long and isolated because of its refusal to become part of Yugoslavia in 1948, plus the breaking up of relations with Russia and China, it suffered more than anyone when the old regime collapsed in 1991. The country's economy collapsed, the capital Tirana was swamped with migrants now free to travel there, and infrastructure was found totally wanting. Five years ago we would probably have shyed away from this poverty-stricken nation, but things have changed. Money has been invested from abroad and the capital city has been transformed. We arrived at 5am on Monday morning and were taken to our apartment by the sleepy owner who was late meeting us because of his very human mistake of overusing the snooze button on ... read more
Former home of Enver Hoxha
Clock tower

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 9th 2008

Geo: 41.3317, 19.8172This morning we left Dubrovnik very early, at 7-30am. We headed down the coast, stopping for a photo of the city from the clifftop. Continued on to the Croatia/Montenegro border which we passed through without too much difficulty. Our first major stop was in the old walled city of Kotor in Montenegro. This is on what they say is the only fiord outside Scandinavia. Strictly speaking it is not a fiord but is a magnificent inlet. We drove right around it before we got to the city. There are two small islands in the middle, each with a small church on it.Kotor was an interesting place. Narrow streets, many Orthodox churches and small squares. It was another hot day, sunny and bright. We meandered through the streets and had an early pizza lunch at ... read more
Adriatic coast, Montenegro
Islands in the lake near Kotor
Narrow streets Kotor Old Town

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 17th 2008

I feel guilty to say this but when I lived in Tirana, in a way I felt a bit bored and understimulated. I didn't see alot of culture or arts in play. The city's residents seemed a bit conformist to me and the entertainment options seemed limited. Now, on this trip, I see a new Tirana. The residents are going through a transformation where there is more diversity, more demand for culture, arts, style, entertainment, etc. The city's visual appearance is changing to become more modern, bigger, and more prosperous. There is more activity everywhere. Today, I walking from the apartment and I saw the clear blue skies and the mountains behind the city. I just felt taken by the city and its march to a brighter future. But I still some signs of the rough ... read more
Traffic in Block
Tirana University
Tirana's newest skyscraper

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 15th 2008

After Lufthansa refused to allow me to change my ticket to Georgia, I have decided to spend the rest of my holiday in Tirana. Actually, it's very good because I am really enjoying having the time to spend here and re-connect with this place where I used to live. The transformation of Tirana into a modern European capital is amazing. Today, I was walking near the lake and I was just taken by the beautiful of the lake, the pine trees, and these huge mountains to the east. It's really a beautiful and under-appreciated country. South of the lake is a new neighborhood with many apartment buildings under construction and I feel that this would be a good investment. It's a quiet place without too much noise and pollution from the city, yet only a 3 ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 7th 2008

When I first came to Albania in 2004, I landed at a small shack-sized airport and drove into a city where alot people looked and acted the same and where the country was still struggling to take its place among European countries. Yesterday, I landed in the morning to the city's new airport--which although still sized for a small country (ie, only one luggage belt for arriving passengers) had all the modern trappings and architecture you expect in 2008. A modern, organized parking lot has taken the place of the mud field where the driver once picked me up two years ago. A new road leads into the city center, where buildings have sprouted up and businesses have taken the place of where young guys used to wash cars and still out front of businesses with ... read more
Skanderberg Square
National Museum
National Museum Mural

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana July 4th 2008

Happy 4th of July. I am writing this now for the 2nd time because the internet connection just lost my blog entry. So here we go, I will try to recreate. I am now in Tirana, Albania and wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday. This has been quite an adventure so far and we are having a fabulous time. Here is a short and quick overview of what we have done so far. Plane from Stuttgart to Zagreb, Croaita. Few hours to see the sights and eat a large plate of meat. Watched Spain win their seat in the final match of the Euro Cup against Germany. Overnight train from Zagreb to Split. Saw the sights in Split, ate half a watermelon from the market. Beautiful palace on the water. Gorgeous beaches out of town. ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana June 29th 2008

We got into Durres at about 7 am and joined the mob trying to push throught he one door to customs. Pushing did not help the situation at all, it was hot and sweaty and everyone was frustrated. I did feel like giving a lecture on appropriate ways to queue, as their system is all shove if some one gets in your way, floor them so as they are merely something to trample on. Marvelling at the begging children who could tell a foreigner at 50 paces we edged our way towards customs, where eventually a stressed sweaty bloke stamped my passport, right over my Ghana visa (despite there being every other sodding page in the passport totally empty), I was not impressed. It felt so much cooler outside in the hot air than inside with ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana February 20th 2008

Venice was the "Vacation of our Vacation." Here we met up with our friends, Pete and Fallon, who were honeymooning in Italy. In Venice, we enjoyed the pre-Lent festival of Carnevale. We spent the time strolling the streets, shopping for masks, admiring the amazing costumes, and eating fantastic Venetian seafood. The festival ended with a huge reggee concert in St. Mark's Sq. (Kirstin felt like she was back at the Bob Marley festival in Ethiopia!) Saying goodbye to Fallon and Pete and Venice, we took the train back to Ljubljana, where we continued on to Zagreb, Croatia. After having a blast in Venice, being tired from Carnevale, experiencing the "don't care attitude" of the people (aka "The Croatian Shrug"), the too high prices, and the lack of unique attractions...unfortunately, we were rather unimpressed and disappointed in ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana November 21st 2007

We woke this morning with the intention of getting a croissant from the patisserie on our road however when we got there it was less of a patisserie and more of a bar. I wanted to see the "Grand Park" which is located right behind our hotel. From reading about it we believed it to be not too dissimilar to the park in Chisinau except we hoped it would better looked after. Inside the park we were confronted with a multitude of directions to go and settled for the grassy path up the hill. At the top was a small graveyard / memorial area and between us and the lake was a open air theatre. The theatre had been built during the concrete era; concrete steps, concrete stage and concrete seats. All the concrete had the ... read more
And Again
Pretty Scene
Urban Wasteland

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