Sunday, March 16, 2008

travel tip - albania

albania is not an easy country to travel
it's difficult enough to get to

what i found is that you really need to rely on the kindness of strangers due to albania's lack of tourist infrastructure

there are NO bus terminals, bus stops change all the time

travelling south from montenegro means being dropped at the southernmost bus terminal in montenegro and hopefully finding a minibus to take you over the border
so the tip -
make friends with people on the bus in montenegro

we did and thankfully so as there was no minibus for albania, and one of the albanians called and got one, and then helped arrange a minibus to tirana after crossing the border at albanian prices

tirana is chaotic and the same new-found friends walked us to one of the inns we had marked down and negotiated a decent rate for the night

tirana is not worth spending much time in - most of the buildings are communist blocks, and there are few historical remnants. but the pizza is good!

i found the everyday albanian to be wonderfully hospitable even though we didn't share a language to communicate easily in

and the most useful word to learn in albanian is thank you - and i used that a lot

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