Blogs from Albania, Europe


Europe » Albania » North » Shkodër September 11th 2015

Here I am, with another tale of two cities, or better - 2 countries. Contrary to the suggestion of the Montenegrin coast-dwellers, I have adventured myself inland to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. From there I left to the country's eastern neighbor, the Republic of Albania, where I stranded in the westernmost city Shkodër. Leaving the Mediterranean coastline of Montenegro behind, I took a 2 hour bus inland to the capital... This is also when I left my Montenegrin friend behind and started the lonely part of my trip. Shortly referring to the title of this entry, I want to talk about a concept I noticed in this stage of travel and on how this particular feeling makes my travels worth it. What I am talking about are the transits, the shifts, the slow going. What ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Elbasan August 6th 2015

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana July 29th 2015

Back in the summer of 2013, I did a small amazing train trip in part of the Balkans. It was a first, and I knew I would come back to tour the remaining capitals I hadn't visited. So first stop, I'm in Albania....I know, who goes on holidays in Albania, if you don't really have a connection to the country...not that I don't have one somehow! Instead of going direct, I flew through Istanbul in order to try the huge Turkish Airlines lounge, saving the cost of a hotel night at the same time. Lounge is huge, but not that impressive with their offerings...except for the pool table, and yes, the golf simulator. It's a first for me to play on a golf simulator....all this at midnight, drinking some nice Merlot, and ended up even playing ... read more
Great group city tour in the morning...
Poor country, but in Tirana, easily 20% of the cars are Mercedes!
The past is still around...

Europe » Albania July 22nd 2015

We woke up in our beach chairs by the sun and Albanian tourists going for an early swim. After a little swim of our own and a breakfast we started hitchhiking again. Within 15 minutes we were on our way again, in the direction of Sarandë. We were picked up by a friendly business man setting up a little beach place near Sarandë and he was on his way to make sure his beach chairs were delivered correctly. He drove us first to a deserted place where he had a meeting with the chair suppliers and after a few minutes of shouting and cursing we were on the way again. (The suppliers messed up the order and caused a lot of delay). We had a nice drive through the mountain roads of Albania and we decided ... read more

Europe » Albania July 14th 2015

The next day Dylaver showed us the way to the centrum and pointed us to the bus station. We figured we might as well take a bus to Durrës and start from there as it costs only 1 euro per person to go there. When walking around and while sitting in the bus we were amazed at the chaos of the Albanian traffic. Everyone just seems to think about themselves and rules don´t seem to exist in the Albanian traffic jungle. As Dylaver put it: A lion in the jungle doesn´t need traffic lights so why do we? After an excruciating 40 minutes in an over-full hot minibus that felt more like an oven, we arived like baked potatoes in Durrës. This city is by far the weirdest city I have ever been to. Apparently people ... read more

Europe » Albania July 13th 2015

We woke up this morning ready to start hitchhiking again. It took a while before we were done with breakfast and finding a cafe for a toilet but once we found a good hitchhiking spot it didn't take long to get a ride out of Dubrovnik. The guy was a friendly Balkan guy that didn't speak English but understood what we wanted. The drove like a madman through the mountain roads of Croatia with Balkan music on full volume. We had a good laugh with him for about a 10 minute ride. He dropped us of at a perfect place near an airport with only one road going into Montenegro. After an hour waiting we got a ride from a friendly Albanian guy who could speak a little bit English and German and we could drive ... read more

Europe » Albania June 26th 2015

ALBANIA We thought there was a step down from Croatia to Montegreno. It’s quite a number of steps further down into Albania. Here in Albania the things that hit me first up – and stayed with me- are · A marked difference between the haves and have nots, · Unfinished houses – and other buildings, · Building supply stores and building products for sale in huge quantities at numerous outlets, and · Constant displays of tolerance and patience amongst general chaos – most markedly by those of humble appearance. PLAYING BEDLAM ON THE ROAD IN SHKODER Driving along a tree lined but cluttered street in the city of Shkoder there were pedestrians and animals walking out onto the street without a care as to the direction, speed or flow of traffic as well as cars ( ... read more
Lezhe town Albania  (1)
Lezhe town Albania  (4)

Europe » Albania » South » Gjirokaster February 26th 2015

url=* Wedding - the most important event in each Albanian (woman) Literature: Map of Albania (Shqipëria), Freytag&Berndt, 1 : 200 000, 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

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