Favorite thing: Albania has one of the longest histories in Europe of wine making. There are mainly five districts to talk about, Korca, Berat, Tirana, Durres and the area between Shkoder and Lezha.
I post a link to the Cobo winery, located outside of Berat.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
A few words good to know.
Favorite thing: I will not give a long list of words, just the kind of what I call "survival words" that I try to learn myself before I go anywhere. It's better to know the word for "Men's" instead of get to learn it the hard way ;-)
hello - pershendetje
goodbye - mirupafshim
thank you - falemenderit
excuse me - me falni
yes - po
no - jo
do you speak English? - a flisni anglisht?
entry - hyrja
exit - dalja
open - hapur
closed - mbyllur
men's restroom - burra
ladie's restroom - gra
for the timetables: arrival - mberrritja
departure - nisja
Favorite thing: There are three leading breweries in Albania: Korca, Tirana and Norga from Vlore. The Tirana brewery also produces the brand Kaon. Most beers are light in colour but Korca also have a dark variety.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Favorite thing: The Albanian currency is Lek, plural Leke. Here is a link to the Bank of Albania homepage.
It is nowadays no problem to withdraw money from ATM:s which you will find a lot of in the bigger cities. Credit cards are widely accepted.
In many places in the north is it also often possible to pay in Euro due to the closeness to Kosovo and Montenegro who use this currency.
Travel Back in Time
Favorite thing: My poor, poor, poor country the only thing that we have to offer is energy, hospitality and a very mystical experience that is unmatched for the distance to the closest EU country (only 300 km from Italy, sharing boarders with Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro & Kosovo).
Fondest memory: Everyday is another adventure
The rest of the worlds considers it below poverty line to live under 2$ a day, We would consider ourselves well off living on 1 Euro a day. Come and see for yourself what it means to be in Europe and yet very far apart. We have just stepped into the 18th Century, so if you would like to know how things were in your country during this era, then you have to visit. We are developing very fast, within the next few years we will move onto the 19th century, so now is the time to see beauty at it’s purest form. You’ll even find things and places so untouched and unspoiled, you can almost see how evolution begun.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Farm Stay
- Road Trip
RESCUED ! V.T. CRUISER IN TROUBLE !
OK. So I was driving down a main road in an Albanian city dodging huge potholes – as you do – when I suddenly had to swerve to avoid some cows. BAMMM! Yes I had driven V.T.Cruiser into a huge car killing hole. It was either that or hit the closest cow who would have also destroyed the car. I knew the second I drove on something was wrong. The cows just looked at me and just walked off.
My tyre was partially flat and it had an awkward feeling to the steering. So using my knowledge of Albanian (not a word) I made hand gestures to the guy at the petrol garage. He made hand symbols back to go up the road.
Up the road was another garage and their hand symbols indicated going across the road to a sort of concrete bunker and they began to shout at someone.
A little man appeared and I explained my problem, mostly with my hands.
The little man ran a tyre repair shop! Off came the badly dented wheel. OH NO! V.T. Cruiser was a rental car and I would have to pay for the tyre rim and a new tyre. NOT GOOD.
The short gentleman got to work and removed the tyre. He then got out crude hand tools and began to beat the heel out of the tyre rim. I was sitting there wondering what bad things were going to happen to my credit card.
Bang! Bang! Bang! 20 minutes this guy beat the tyre rim. Then he calmly tested the tyre and showed me – no leak! And the whole ensemble went back on and he indicated things were fine.
I handed over 2 five Euro notes and he tried to hand one back with change! No way. I figured that was probably a weeks wage, but it beat 200 Euros for tyre damage from the rental company. The man was humbled, especially after I gave him a beer (I had taken of the airline) that was in my car. He was really happy.
So was I!
And no – I never mentioned it to the rental company. Besides, it drove perfectly as I left Albania.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Favorite thing: Sheep are everywhere, on the road as well as grazing on the land. When driving, beware of sheep!
The first photo, taken in 1988, shows a sight that few of us have ever seen at home, a shephardess spinning while keeping the sheep.
The second and the third photo show that in 1988, you could find very often flocks of sheep on the road. In 2005, we have not driven enough in Albania to know what is the situation. I guess that with the increase of the number of cars, they do not feel as much at home on the road! In 2008 ad 2009 we have found on several occasions sheep on the road, but far less than in 1988.
The fourth photo (1988) shows that even in a state driven agriculture, sheep have a distinctive mark : some have three strips while others have a round. Were they privately owned or were they belonging to two different state farms, I do not know.
Thank you Jiking to remind me that even in a flock, there are several sheep and no sheeps!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Farm Stay
Kala (castle) Rozafa
Favorite thing: Rozafa castle with Skodra lake are important tourist attraction there,it sit on rocky hill and has great view from the main road,and you have a great view from the castle's walls to all around directions,especially to Skodra city,and to place were Buna Drini and Kiri rivers meet .
Favorite thing: When in Gjirokaster it worth to visit their castle that seat on hill ,so you could see all town and Drino river valley ,there was also exhibition of weaponry of 2 world war Italian and German,and also Anglia's,and even one American military plane that was shoot down ,as spy aircraft on the cold war times.
You enjoy strolling in old Gjirokaster streets with Ottoman stile homes,or seating in cafe and seeping cap of strong coffee .
City of Thousand windows
Favorite thing: Visit old part of Berat city, stroll on narrow street ,see the homes sticking one to another on hills ,and you could see just their windows ,and on evening on promenade along river Osum,
were all cafes are filed by locals , see the Mosques and Orthodox churches,and of course visit the Berat castle, with his great views on all directions.
Favorite thing: Visit the Kruja's castle ,you see the old walls dated of the 5-6 centuries AD. Then continue to old bazaar that exist on same place from 15 century,there you could buy several souvenirs ,silver jewels,rugs ,carpets.
tirana capital of albania
Favorite thing: Tirana is the capital of Albania. It enjoys a beautiful setting between the ranges of Dajti mountain from one side and the coastal plains on the other one. Relatively a new city Tirana. was founded in 1614 by Sulejmen Pashe Bargjini, feudal lord of that time from this region.and proclamated capital in 1920. However the area has been inhabited as early back as the Neolitic period. The ruins of the castle of first century A.D. which is likely to be the castle mentioned with the name Tirkan by Byzantine historian Procop (VI century) have been unreathed in the foot of Dajti mountain.
Still rapidly growing Tirana is a busy commercial and administrative center with several comfortable hotels, restaurants, discos, pubs as well as modern facilities for conventions and conferences.
Fondest memory: http://www.tourismalbania.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=59
Skype Phone calls
Favorite thing: Another idea:
There are Internet Cafes all over the country and most all of them have Skype already loaded on the computers. The cost is usually 100 Leke ($1) an hour. If you have a Skype account you can add money and call anywhere. For example: To call the states from Albania it is only $.02 a minute. You can also send text messages through Skype to cell phones.
This is how I communicate with friends and family when I travel. It works great!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Favorite thing: Albania has a lot of rivers. This one should be the Buna, that flows in Shkodër. Downstream to Shkodër, it makes the border with Montenegro, where it is called Bojana. It finally reaches the sea 15 km south to Ulqin/Ulcinj at Ada Bojana (look at my page)Related to:
Watch your wallet
Favorite thing: Albania was a wonderful country. It is one of those countries that, if you go, you will find something that you like. I happened to really enjoy the beach. However, there were alot of pick pockets among the people there. I watched two different groups of young people search through peoples stuff. The first time I stopped them but the second group actually was caught by the owners of the bag so all was good. There are quite a few YOUNG children that beg for change while you walk the street brousing shops. DO NOT GIVE THEM A DIME!!! I gave one little girl, who had her baby brother in tow, a small amount of change and soon she was crying and begging me to give her more. What a racket!!! If you REALLY watch, you can see them take the change back to a large group of kids who put it in an empty water jug which is about half full of change. Its crazy!!! I did have a good time though. Albania is nice, poor and under developed but its cheap and relaxing as long as you watch your wallet.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Having spent approximately 5 months in the Sheraton-Tirana, I know the "ins" and the "outs" of the...more
My first visit to Albania was in 1994 along with a friend of mine, but we just visited Tirana....more
Sheshi 2 Prilli, Shkoder, 1233, Albania
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
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