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Europe » Albania » South » Gjirokaster February 26th 2015

url=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Kz05k_wnRKo/VDD6gXdi2dI/AAAAAAAAB_M/T8G7sxK1S84/s1600/07-733-P1340836.JPGimg=https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Kz05k_wnRKo%2FVDD6gXdi2dI%2FAAAAAAAAB_M%2FT8G7sxK1S84%2Fs1600%2F07-733-P1340836.JPG&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F* Wedding - the most important event in each Albanian (woman) Literature: Map of Albania (Shqipëria), Freytag&Berndt, 1 : 200 000, www.freytagberndt.com Gu... read more

Europe » Albania » South » Vlorë December 29th 2014

Stayed 2 nights in Sarande, we were hoping to travel down the coast a little farther but as luck would have it, there was a terrible coastal storm the next day. We were happy to just stay inside and watch the waves crashing against the rocks. We did head out the following morning to Vlore taking the road that weaved along the coast............ or so we thought. Started out late morning for the next driving adventure, just a note it is ALWAYS best to drive the roads in Albania in daylight, that way you can clearly see potholes and missing pieces of road. Anyway back to our drive, beautiful sea views from all different heights of the road, passing through seaside villages and old ruins along the way. Looking I could see switch backs going up ... read more
Goat crossing
Switchbacks ahead
About 1/2 way up

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë December 27th 2014

Day 2: Durres to Sarande Wow what a road trip! The country side beautiful, the scenery breathtaking, the views spectacular, the road....... the shits. There are no major roads or highways through Albinia, no bypasses of every city and town. They have started some, but none completed so it makes for a very interesting drive. There are people along the roads everywhere, selling everything from live animals to fruit and vegatables and shoes and clothing. You can buy almost anything as you drive, Turkeys, goats, chickens, rabbits, donkeys, and people do stop, right there on the road. A four lane road they just stop, and buy or visit or cross over to the other side. Also watch for horse and carts, or donkeys on the road, or scooters and bikes going the wrong way, or people ... read more
Road side
heading back to the coast
Sarande

Europe » Albania » West » Durrës December 26th 2014

Albania! nope never thought I would be driving in Albania but it is an experience not to be missed. We left our comfortable rented flat in Kotor Montenegro and thought hey why not just drive down to Albania while we are in the area. Albania is a beautiful country but just still a little behind when it comes to roads and everyday life. We spent our first night in Durres, not a bad drive really about 200 km but it takes about 4 1/2 hrs. The border crossing was an experience, line ups where long. Someone, not too sure who he was, border official of some kind, not sure for which country, walks along takes your passport and goes into the booth, in about 1/2 hr you pull up to the booth and they hand it ... read more
Boardwalk

Europe » Albania » East » Korçë July 31st 2014

Amy had a great day out in Albania today. We crossed over from Ohrid and visitied the very nice town of Pogradec on the banks of Lake Ohrid. Mum and Dad were very happy with the coffee on offer while Amy enjoyed watching the boats go past. We then went on to the city of Korca, described somewhere as the "Paris of Albania". Hmmm....maybe that's a bit of a stretch. The best bit by far was when we visited a nice outdoor beer garden with lovely sausages and Amy got to play on the swings there. What we saw of Albania we liked, although we definitely need to come back someday and spend more time here to properly explore the country.... read more
Welcome to Albania
These bunkers were everywhere
Beside Lake Ohrid in Pogradec

Europe » Albania » North » Shkodër July 18th 2014

Hi everyone April here. Following what happened with Si's passport we decided to stay at Lake Shkoder much longer than planned. For Si's birthday, we arranged a two night stay in the mountains to trek the Valbona Pass in the Albanian Alps. Day one was spent getting up very early to go by boat down the Komani River. It is known as one of the world's greatest boat trips and the views were breathtaking! We sat up the front of the local commuter ferry. I say local commuter ferry, the ferry would drop locals off and they would have to walk 3 hours back to their village carrying watermelons and sacks of tea (not very local). Sometimes they had mules/ horses to help them. We spent one night at a place called Valbona which is famous ... read more
The Komani Ferry
The Komani River
Komani River

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë July 13th 2014

We arrived in Saranda late yesterday evening, and I didn't have a place to stay. They dropped me off, and I found a guy with a sign, so went back to his hotel with him. It was ok so I decided to stay, though it was about 20 minutes walk out of town. And back from town was all uphill. Saranda is in the south and has some things I wanted to see, but I had been hoping for more from the actual town itself. It is a very tacky touristy beach resort, not really my kind of place. But it was ok. I went the next day one more time with the Norwegians to Butrint, a ruin I really wanted to see and the main reason for coming to Saranda. Really cool that they took ... read more
Butrint National Park
Butrint National Park
Butrint National Park

Europe » Albania » South » Gjirokaster July 12th 2014

On our drive to Saranda in the south of Albania, we stopped at Gjirokaster to see the castle there.... read more
Mosque
View from car
Old town

Europe » Albania » West » Elbasan July 12th 2014

Hiya, We have been here for 10 days now and it has been action packed. We have been staying with The Purver family who have been very hospitable to us. Thank you Dawn, Tim, Aaron and Phoebe, you allowed us to see the "real Albania". Simon: When we crossed into Albania, we immediately had to buy car insurance from a small hut at the roadside. While I (Simon) paid, April was rather mobbed by begging children who swarmed around the van and tried to climb in the windows. An early reminder of the poverty which is present. We then ventured on with a little trepidation after what we had read and been told about the Albanian driving. On a main road, the driving style soon became apparent. Go at whatever speed you want and don't let ... read more
View from one of the worlds most dangerous roads - Tirana to Elbasan!
View of Albania from a mountain pass
View from the mountain

Europe » Albania » West » Berat July 11th 2014

Today I got a ride with the Norwegians to Berat. It was a really rainy day to begin with, and we left quite late, which always annoys me. But after talking to someone else later on, I found out how lucky I was to get a ride, as there is no bus station in Tirana and it can be really hard to find buses out. Albania has the worst roads ever, so the driving was quite slow. We got to Berat much later than I expected, but luckily the rain ended and days are really long in the summer, so I was still able to walk around a lot and go to the old town/castle and LOVED it. Every moment was picture perfect. Plus, I loved my hotel. I could have stayed forever. Of course, the ... read more
Castle town
Castle town
Castle town




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