Blogs from Albania, Europe - page 4


Europe » Albania » West » Durrës December 16th 2018

A few days’ previously, we had watched the chaos ensue near the Dogara roundabout as the road system struggled to cope with the volume. Pedestrians weaved precariously between the cars, as they attempted to cross the road to reach the Bus Station on the far side. It was our turn to join them this morning, as we had decided for our final full day on Albanian soil to take a trip to the seaside. Durres was the destination. We alighted opposite the Bus Station and decided the safest tactic to cross the road was to effectively use others as a form of human shield. If we let them take the initial plunge into the carriageway, they would get hit first. It worked. We made it the other side and the Bus Station. I say Bus Station, ... read more
Durres Venetian Tower

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana December 14th 2018

We headed to our normal table for breakfast. We were the only guests, apart from another guy who bizarrely sat and ate with his backpack on. He was either very wary of being parted from his possessions or it was surgically attached to his back. The coffee man did his duty and we asked him to translate an article on our intended football match for the day. It transpired that the fading light of the game yesterday had prompted an earlier kick off in the absence of floodlights at KF Kamza. Despite the rather confusing internet article in an online sports newspaper entitled the "match with the forgotten organisation", we also ascertained that the game was to be played at the stadium in Kamza. We set off to see the sights of central Tirana. A few ... read more
Hotel Rogner, Tirana
Dajti Ekspres, Tirana
Pyramid, Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana December 8th 2018

"Travelling is living", wrote Hans Christian Andersen according to the WIzzair magazine. It all sounds so glamorous. I can assure you the M1 at 3:30 in the morning didn't feel glamorous. The rain lashed down, as we sped south. The overhead warning signs flashed. M1 Closed. Junction 15 to 14. A quick check on the web showed long red line between the 2 junctions, indicating a serious queue of traffic. In the absence of additional information, we assumed an accident in the roadworks. We cut off on a diversion to avoid missing our flight. The alternative route worked well, so we arrived our 2nd home - also known as the Mid Term Parking at Luton Airport - shortly after 4:30. I suspect others would not be so lucky, as the morning traffic rush built up. Airport ... read more

Europe » Albania » East » Korçë October 5th 2018

You have definitely heard about the possibility to do your shopping online. It is a great invention that all the people can benefit from. What actually is online shopping? It is a shop that allows you to buy the products online. That means you don't have to leave your house and go by bus to the other part of the city - you can just sit comfortably on your couch in your pyjamas and watch thousands of products on the screen of your computer. You can actually even do shopping while going to work by bus - you only need to have your smartphone. What are the others advantages of online stores? Save a lot of time As already stated, you can do shopping wherever you want. There are absolutely no limitations - you only need ... read more

Europe » Albania » North » Shkodër September 16th 2018

I start the day with a run round Tirana lake; an artificial lake in the heart of the city with a footpath round it. The receptionist explains it is easy to reach, just over the hill at the end of the road. The hill isn’t very big but it’s steep and there doesn’t appear to be a path so I scrabble up the bank into the park. It’s a lovely scenic run with the lake in the middle and a backdrop of mountains. The lake looks like the designer used a paint splatter as a template, so even though it doesn’t seem to that big, a run round the edges is 6 km (it would make a great parkrun). Just before I finish my loop, I find the exit, which has steps and a ramp. My ... read more
War memorial Durrës
War memorial Durrës

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 15th 2018

We get up and have breakfast. The food’s not great but at least the chef has gone to the effort of writing the hotel’s name in HP sauce on my plate. The old man is usually the master of the all-you-can-eat buffet, but today he meets his match. An elderly lady at our table manages 6 plates to his 3. He says this an unfair comparison as she poured the entire first plateful into her handbag. I am keen to stay and see if she can manage a 7th but beat a hasty retreat when she starts stirring Nutella into her tea. We depart for a day sightseeing in Tirana. Most points of interest are on Blvd Deshmoret e Kombit; a wide, tree lined boulevard which runs between two squares, Mother Teresa and Skanderbeg. Our first ... read more
Dinasty eggs
Pyramid of Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 14th 2018

I have been looking forward to today; we are going to Albania. Most of what I know about Albania comes from a project I did at university in 1986, so I’m not really sure what to expect. First, the slightly surreal experience of breakfast in a wine cellar. The lack of natural light causes me to mistake jam for chutney and smother it all over my cheese and sausage. It tastes surprisingly good. A last wander along Lake Ohrid then it’s time to check out, which entails this cringeworthy conversation between the old man and the receptionist: Her: How was your stay? Him: Very nice except the shower leaked. Her: I’m sorry, I’ll get a lady to take a look at it. Him: It’s beyond that, it needs a man. And with that, we depart Ohrid ... read more
Ohrid port
Car Samoil’s Fortress
View from Car Samoil’s Fortress

Europe » Albania July 11th 2018

Thurs 11th The next morning we wanted to explore more of the Albanian coastline so set off along the coastal path in search for another spot we could spend a few days. We found ourselves in an awesome spot! It was 15km or so down the ever inspiring coastal road and had a small beach town vibe of restaurants, beach bars and of course the beautiful turquoise waters. We really lucked in as we could see other campers and some tents in a small woodland patch about 100m or so from the beach and well within walking distance to the town and shops. It was a beautiful shady spot and made camp with our shower curtain awning and went to head for an explore of the beach and town. The small town was full of restaurants, ... read more

Europe » Albania » West » Krujë July 3rd 2018

Though our nearly two-week tour of the Balkans already had a full-to-the-brim schedule of activities and sights from Albania to Slovenia, our time in Albania itself was relatively short and the better part of that was spent in Tirana. However, when booking our tour we were offered several varied optional excursions for an additional charge. One of these was an afternoon/evening excursion to the small but interesting and historic town of Krujë which was only a short drive of 45 minutes or so from Tirana. Weighing our options, we decided to book the Krujë tour and some others in advance of our trip. The excursion took place on our second day in Albania, and as it turned out, not only did we have a beautiful day for the visit, but it was my favorite experience in ... read more
Albania - Fushe Kruja - a George W. Bush Statue on George Bush Square
Albania - Kruje - Goats eating from trees
Albania - Kruje - Skanderbeg Museum - valley side

Europe » Albania July 1st 2018

Sunday 1st July We awoke with some groggy heads and had to have a dip in the icy cold morning sea to make ourselves human again. Once this was kind of achieved we made our way to the border with Albania. The drive was great, the roads were smaller and took us all the way up into the mountains and passed through serene villages that seemed to be stuck in time with a new view of more valleys and mountains around every turn. We got to the border and passed with no issue and the drive was just as equally as amazing! It was easy to tell straight away that is was the poorer of the countries we had driven through by the roads and the upkeep of the buildings. We soon got into Shkodra and ... read more

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