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Albania's first impressions
Published: 14/03/2016

Albania was one of the biggest question mark of the journey. We researched a lot about the city, tourism and other issues related to the country, but the reviews we found were totally contradictories . There are people saying that is a great place, quiet, safe and beautiful. Others just the opposite , saying that lack energy is common thing, it is dirty, it is not prepared for tourism and so on. Still, we decided to keep it on our trip and now we can talk about some first impressions

For now we only visited a city called Shkoder, 90 km from Tirana, the capital. We walked through the center and we realized that it is a country full of contrasts. There are very poor people and rich people - showing off with cars that in Brazil are priced at US$ 125,000.

The traffic is a bit chaotic and remembers those images we have of India but without the bikes and tuk tuks. To cross the street you need to be careful because nobody respects the pedestrian. In fact, no one respects very basic traffic laws, but an advantage is that most of the drivers drives slowly.

We were lucky - or unlucky -. To be here at a national holiday day, called Summer Day. we did not discovered the reason for this name, but it must be something very important to them, because the streets were full of people walking - most of them very well dressed, as if they were going to a party.

The museum that tells the story of the city was closed and there is not much information for tourists, so we walked around and we went to have lunch at a restaurant indicated by the camping staff where we are. The food is not wonderful, but it was tasty. The place is called Bekteshi Village and is very cheap too : a salad, two main plates , two glasses of wine and water cost the equivalent of 17 Euros.

The main attraction of Shkoder is a castle, which is right near to the camping. To get there you have to face a very high hill and walk about 30 minutes, but it was worth. From up there you can have a privileged view of the city and mountains in the distance, even with the snow-capped peaks. Admission to the castle costs the equivalent of 1.50 Euro per person.

Probably in Tirana we'll find out a little more about the history of the country and we will write here on the blog.


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