06 September 2008


Although Ive had no specific desire to visit Albania, Im always up for seeing new places, and particularly trying to add more countries onto the ˝list˝ Many tour operators in Budva were offering 1 day trips into the country with stops in 3 cities, giving a small taste of the country. Of course, i had to jump on one of these trips....the only downside was that we had to leave at 6AM.

So, the night before, a group of us from the hostel decide to go out. Everyone wanted to go out for a big night, but I decided that I would just tag along for a couple drinks......before you know it a couple turned into much more, shots were probably involved, and I started heading home at 2AM while the rest of the guys were going to check out another club.

Leaving the hostel at about 5.30AM, I ran into all the guys I went out with just coming home! I guess I missed a much bigger night.

The bus was made up of mostly Russian tourists...in fact the only other English speaking people were a couple from Australia. So, the tour leader would say his speech in Russian, then head over to the 3 of us and give us an English translation.

My impressions of Albania before I got to the country was that it was a very poor country, and still has communist aspects. From the little that I did see, my initial impressions were true.

We first stopped in Skhodra, a city just across the border from Montenegro. We hit the countryćs largest Orthodox Church as well as a local Mosque. Then hit Durres, a beach resort town and the capital city, Tirana. Durres, our tour leader explained to us is where the Albanians go on their vacations. It was actually quite similar to Budva, except it looked like it was a lot more run'down.

In Tirana, we had a nice lunch in a fancy Tirana restaurant. There were still many communisit aspects in the city. A large communist mural in the main square, big statutes of Albanian heros, and very uniform looking apartment buildings.

Although im glad I went, I think I would not be able to spend much more time in Albania.

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