Blogs from Tirana, West, Albania, Europe - page 8


Europe » Albania » West » Tirana August 13th 2005

Some European cities beg to be explored. The less quiet, romantic, and dimly lit back streets of Lisbon and Budapest come to mind. Others cities, however, instill a deep desire to remain in your hotel room with the door locked and all windows shut tight. Tirana pertains to the latter. Albania’s capital does very little to diminish the already horrendous first impression the northern city of Shkodër delivered. Hot and layered with a coating of chalky grime, Tirana only confirms that Albania is a third-world country in an otherwise modern Europe. Overcrowded and polluted with an endless blaring of horns from backed-up traffic, only a rare cool and rainy day in summer provides relief from the loads of fermenting trash at every street corner that overflows from neglected dumpsters. No matter what the weather, there is ... read more
All Aboard!
Exiting Train Station
Refuge in Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana July 30th 2005

I'm at the moment in Ioannina, Greece, but before writing about returning to the European Union I wish to write a few thoughts down about Albania. I already told about Shkoder fastly, but now after having completed my Albanian experience for this time, I wish to tell what I discovered about the culture. Since I'm only a backpacker going fastly through I offcourse haven't digged down into the Albanian lifestyle and do not know much more than others about Albania. But here is what I found out. Language difficulties Firstly I noticed the language and was pretty fast trying to figure out what it came closest to. But honestly Albanian is a little bit of everything and still nothing like any other language I've heard. They speak as if they are mumbling, using sounds from the ... read more
Tirana in the evening
Gjirokaster in the evening

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana June 23rd 2005

Tirana, the capital of Albania, can only be characterized as a bustling, out of control city, where organization of the infrastructure and people just does not seem to exist. Example: When crossing the street, whether in a crosswalk or otherwise, you do so at your own risk because drivers have absolutely no regard for pedestrians. You are forced to quickly bob-and-weave in between moving cars that have had to slow down only because the roads are so bad that they cannot drive faster. Honestly, at some points you would think that you were passing through a war zone due mainly to the conditions of the sidewalks and the roads. I would say also that drivers in Tirana employ horns as one of their most useful tools. It’s even possible that most drivers use their horns more ... read more
Multi-Colored Retro Anti-Communist Housing
A view from the back
Walking the border

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 19th 2004

The night I arrived in Tirana, Mother Teresa International Airport was a madhouse. The Albanian National Football team had just beaten the Greek team in a world cup? qualifying match, and the Greek airplane was just leaving. People were driving around town all night waving flags and celebrating. Enver Hoxha, the long time leader of Albania (The Land of the Men of the Eagle) passed on in 1985 and is no longer featured on the money. I wondered what would he say about the tight jeans and fashionable clothes the young people are wearing these days. Tirana is a city built around a few large squares which are the focal point for activity after dark. Wide sidewalks are great for walking, and stores have backup generators for the power cuts. Cell phones have made it here, ... read more
Korca - Church on the Hill

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