Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Tirana, Albania

Mar 31, 2016 - Bus to Tirana

3/31 Woke up after 12 hour + 'nap' to Mare complaining about the Greek passport stamp being close to invisible. Bon looked at her and made the very astute observation, "Well, they've used up all their red ink on more important things!" The stamp was using a red ink pad, ha! Love it! Bus left right on time, 8:30 a.m.. The route out of Athens was accompanied by lots of road construction/expansion. In fact, all the way to, and some miles past the huge, beautiful Rion-Antirion bridge Info on Rio-Antirion Bridge...... ___ crossing the Rio...

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Nov 18, 2014 - Change of Plans

The plan for today was to roam the cobblestone roads of Gjirokaster again. It didn't work out that way. The day started normally. I first explored the Gjirokaster Castle that looms over the town. It turned out to be a curious mix of Ottoman, World War II, and Communist Era artifacts. It's no wonder why there would be a castle here. High up at the top of the hill, it provides a commanding view of the entire valley. The earliest archaeological evidence points to an iron age settlement in the 7th century BC. By the 13th century AD, there was...

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Trip Journal

Balkans 2014

Oct 8, 2014 - Tirana, a castle and still no suitcases

What a gorgeous day in Albania today! Even our guide, Kristejan (Christian) says it's unusually nice at 72F. Last week, it was rainy and 60's so to have it be sunny and warm is a treat for them. We started off today with a 7:15 am wake up call; breakfast buffet at the hotel and our first tour at 9am. Of course, the first thing we did this morning was to check and see if our suitcases had arrived overnight--nope. There are 3 more flights from Rome expected during the day so we just hope that one of them will bring us our bags. Gate 1 Tours...

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Jul 26, 2014 - Making connections

And so to my last day in Albania. Heading down to my first breakfast here and I'm presented with a croissant and basket of bread, alongside the usual jam and juice. Two bites in and a hot pancake appears, plus cucumber, tomatoes, cheese. Halfway through the pancake and yet another plate lands on my table, bearing huge slices of melon. I was only after a few slices of bread - stop bringing me more food! Breakfast having taken slightly longer than anticipated I set off towards Sk├źnderbeg Square and the National History Museum. Three hours...

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Jul 25, 2014 - All change please

I know the city's awake from the symphony of car horns floating up the hillside and in through my window. I'm only half awake myself though, and struggling to fully leave sleep behind. I need to get up, because I've got to get myself to Tirana today. But I don't yet know how I'm going to achieve that, and as a result I'm reluctant to leave the comfort of my bed behind. After breakfast the hotel owner leads me down the hill to find someone who speaks English and can interpret for us. With the help of two of his friends, they explain that...

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Jun 23, 2013 - Albania

11 - 20th June We are near the end of our stay in Albania, shortly to cross over to Greece on the Ionian coast near Corfu. What to say about Albania? There is quite a lot; it is different from earlier haunts, but I will restrict myself a few oddities that will I hope give a flavour of the place. One of the fears that most travelers have spoken of is the state of the roads, from dirt tracks to missing manhole covers. The roads are the worst we have come across so far but they are not as bad as some have made out. True we have come across...

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Jul 1, 2010 - Tirana

Tirana wurde soeben zur billigsten Hauptstadt Europas gewaehlt, wenn auch nicht zur schoensten... Als erster Stop von Montenegro her kommend gewannen wir einen kleinen Vorgeschmack auf Albanien. Tirana's Museumsoeffnungszeiten sind eher willkuerlich, daher hatten wir Pech: einmal war es zu, obwohl es eigentlich offiziell offen war, und tags darauf kam der Staatspraesident Berisha auf Besuch und das Geschichtsmuseum war daher nur fuer geladene Gaeste geoeffnet. Ansonsten bietet Tirana nun etwas buntere Ostblockbauten als vor 2004, neuere...

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Jun 12, 2010 - Random collection of photo's

The answer to a very common question is: yes, we have a lot of photographs. Probably not many by some standards but quite a few anyway. So what are our photgraphic interests? Well, they are varied and we are often seen taking photo's that seem of little interest to others. So here is a random collection of some of our shots (that hopefully have yet to appear in our journal), with no explanation and hopefully none needed! JyT

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Jun 11, 2010 - Tirana, Albania

Before doing any sightseeing, we needed to figure out how to move on from Tirana. After 4 hours of walking and asking questions, it was clear that getting to Tirana was far easier than departing, at least to where we wanted to go. Nevermind finding tourist info, or someone to give you a city map, it's not worth spending time on that. The key is figuring out when buses depart from which location. Is there a schedule? You must be kidding! Are the departure locations well marked? Unless an abandoned parking lot with a few people standing...

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Jun 9, 2010 - Where to today?

We knew the train departure time and the location of the decrepid train station in Virpazar, but what was not certain was our final destination. Disembarking in Bar, offers of help poured in, but as they realized we truly did not know where we were going or what we were doing next, the help faded. Quickly we thought to press on and headed in the direction of the bus station. "Wow in 5 minutes, a bus departs for Ulcinj, should we go?" "Yep let's do it". Once in Ulcinj, we needed to decide whether to stay there or press on. Before we even put...

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Oct 14, 2009 - Tirane, Albania

We have discovered that Albania is where old Mercedes come to die. Thousands of them - rattle-trap and rusting - but a shadow of their original glory, ply the streets in a system of somewhat organised chaos. Albania has been a democracy since only 1991, and the years of communist rule show clearly in Tirane's ... indeed the whole country's...crumbling infrastructure and chaotic transportation system. There are few regularly scheduled buses; cross-country transit is often via "furgons" - 9-passenger vans that gather at a place known only to...

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Apr 13, 2009 - Skopje to Tirana

What a night! Bus departed pretty well on time at 7:00pm last night. We arrived in Tirana at 5:00am. It was a large modern bus but they stopped just about every hour, either at another town's bus pickup or just to have a smoke. and it was not just a 5 minute stop, it was 15-20 minutes. The stopped only 100 meters from the main square. We had booked into "Freddys Hostel" and his web site gave us pretty good directions. Here they are: "From Skenderbeg square follow the street the horse and rider are facing between the brilliant mosaic...

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