Albania Favorites

  • Direction sign at the Buna Bridge
    Direction sign at the Buna Bridge
    by HORSCHECK
  • Square Sheshi Demokracia
    Square Sheshi Demokracia
    by HORSCHECK
  • Square Sheshi Demokracia
    Square Sheshi Demokracia
    by HORSCHECK

Albania Favorites

  • Travel Back in Time

    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).http://albaniabackintime.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/welcome-to-my-albania/ Everyday...

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  • 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...

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  • Sheep

    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...

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  • Kala (castle) Rozafa

    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 .

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  • Gjirokaster

    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...

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  • City of Thousand windows

    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.

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  • Kruja

    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.

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  • tirana capital of albania

    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...

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  • Skype Phone calls

    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...

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  • River Buna

    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)

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  • Watch your wallet

    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...

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  • Get Your Entrance Stamp When Traveling...

    If leaving and returning to Albania by car, making sure to get your passport stamped at the Albanian border when you return! (They do not automatically do this at the Montenegro border crossing) If you don't, you run the risk of some minor heart-ache when departing Albania the next time by air.

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  • General things to know

    Entry Fee: Travellers of certain nationalities will have to pay 10 € to get into Albania.ATMs & Money: The situation changed totally during the last years. In every city there are ATMs accepting Visa, Master & Maestro Cards. Raiffeisen Bank has these machines everywhere. Changing cash is no problem and takes only a few minutes in a bank. If you...

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  • Things to do in Albania...

    Whether you are looking for things to do, places to go, where to eat and where to sleep you should take a look at the albaniantourism website. Hope im allowed to put this on www.albaniantourism.com that should give you some good info.

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  • Pure mountain water

    Tepelene water is produced in the town of Tepelene. It comes down from the mountains and is bottled. Sold all over Albania and is one of the best waters it comes in sparkling and still and is the sponser of the Albanian national football team and also seen at the table of a meeting between the government!

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  • Olives

    Olive groves are ubiquitous around Ksamili and Butrint. They are the remains of collective farms from the communist period. It's sad to see that the olives remain on the trees and fall to the ground - the men who used to work these fields have all gone to Greece.

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  • Language

    The Albanian language is its own independent branch of the Indo-European language family with no close living relatives. There seems to be no scholarly consensus over its origin. Some scholars maintain that it derives from the Illyrian language, and others claim that it derives from Daco-Thracian (Illyrian and Daco-Thracian however may have been...

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  • respect people

    I would take people who had not visited albania before,to a small village Kurjan.Here they could meet the most important thing Albania has.Friendly people. Living in the village of Kurjan.(10km from Fier).I miss the people,peace and quite,slow pace of life.

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  • Cars

    A lot of people have commented on the numbers of Mercedes in Albania, apparently stolen from Germany; and I did see several while I was there, but what really surprised me was seeing so many Smart cars!! I don't think parking is much of a problem in Albania, so I don't know why they needed them!!

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  • Weather

    Albania can be very hot in the summer, and when I was there in September, it was still pretty warm - temperatures of over 30 degrees C most days. We did however have some spectacular storms, with torrential rain, hailstones the size of eggs (I kid you not), and thunder and lightning. One of my fondest memories is of standing on the balcony of the...

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  • Music

    Traditional Albanian music is a mix of diverse rhythms and melodies. The songs of Albanian music are an oral tradition and have not been written down. Even as contact with other cultures has grown and their influence increasingly evident, Albanians have preserved the integrity of their musical culture. It is difficult to give an exact date for...

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  • Lizards

    I didn't see a single mouse or rat while I was in Albania - I was told the rodent population is very low - but we did see lots of tiny little lizards crawling up the walls during the evening. Quite a fascinating sight.

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  • Pigs!

    Pigs seem to roam freely in Albania - or at least they did in Ksamili. There were at least two or three decent sized porkers just wandering around the streets of the village, eating whatever they could get their trotters on, which usually seemed to be the rubbish from the local midden. When you've seen the pigs chomping away on a bit of plastic, it...

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  • Relics of Communism 4 - State Farms

    While driving across the Vrina plain, between the villages of Vrina and Xarra, we saw a group of buildings just outside Xarra that seemed to have been completely abandoned. When we asked what this place was, we were told that it was one of the old communist state farms. It seems that there are lots of these farms scattered around the country, left...

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  • Relics of Communism 3 - Canals

    The canals across the Vrina plain, seen in this view from the castle on Butrint, were also built with Chinese help.

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  • Relics of Communism 2 - Chinese truck

    For the many decades under his domination, Enver Hoxha created and destroyed relationships with Belgrade, Moscow, and China, always in his personal interests. During the period that Hoxha was cultivating the friendship of China, China supplied Albania with various goods - apparently including this Chinese truck, which is now rusting in a driveway...

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  • Euro widely accepted - No-one wanted Lek

    As I was unsure what to expect in Albania since the UK foreign office recommends no travel in the country. So the plan was a quick blast through it and in to Greece So I didn't bother getting any currency. In fact as we had just spent the last week in Croatia so I didn't even have much in the way of Euro either, just left with about 20 Kuna and 30...

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  • Relics of Communism 1 - Bunkers...

    Looking down from every hillside, sprouting out of every bank, are the cracked and rusting domes of the defence bunkers - a concrete legacy of the paranoid imagination of Albania's communist ruler for 40 years, Enver Hoxha.Apparently there is one bunker for every four Albanians.

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  • Getting around Tirana -hotels, food,...

    'Tirana in your Pocket' is a great little find. It has some background information on Albania and interesting sites to visit. You will also be able to check out restaurants, hotels, hostels, and even find a clean western restroom or a non-smoking coffee shop! It is well written with a good sense of humor. I have been to many of their listings and...

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  • The sounds of Albania

    Some of the main things I remember about Albania are the noises. The sheep's bells clonking as they roam around; the cock crowing early in the morning, and the donkey joining inn with a startling bray. The song of the cicadas at night, when you're relaxing with a drink... ah, beautiful.

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  • Suspended bridges

    The suspended bridge on the first photo was really “home made”. When walking on it, it was swinging right and left, up and down! The good thing was that the river was not far below!The second photo shows a more elaborate suspended bridge, close to Lezhë.

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  • Huge fields

    In the lowlands of Albania, drainage has allowed to turn marshes in excellent agricultural land that are very fertile. The season was too early to have here any crop but I have read that in 1988, Albania used to produce enough corn to feed its people without any import.

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  • Green houses

    On several occasions, I spotted greenhouses. Given that is was early in the season, what would grow underneath could not be seen and as they were not along the road, I could not go any closer. That might be tomatoes for the internal market.

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  • More women at work in the fields, 1988

    On the first photo there are more than two dozens of women working in the field … and on man watching. He has the hard work : alone against two dozen women! Will he survive?On the second photo, there are again two dozens of women working but this time there are several men … watching!On the last photo, this is the world upside down. In the left,...

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  • Women at work in the fields, 1988

    In 1988, I was stroke by the number of people that were working in the fields. Looking more carefully, I discovered that they were mainly women! If you enlarge the photos, you can check what I say.First photo : about 15 women working in the field and one single man working on top of a cart (left background).Second photo : five women working hard...

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  • Tractors for a modern agriculture

    However, even if in 1988 tractors were not a really many, I could notice some of them. Some were strange engines such as the one shown on the first photo, that might be the improbable offspring of a tank, a locomotive and a 19th century steamroller. On the second photo, the gang of three identical engines seems of the same breed! This was not a...

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  • Horse drawn carts for peoples transport

    However, the main use of horses was in 1988 for fast transport of people and in 2005, I have seen that in the country, that was still true. The carts are made with recycled parts of cars! Not only the axle is the main part, but parts of the body of the car can be reused too!

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  • Horse drawn carts for faster transport

    Most of the time, horses are used for faster and lighter transport.However, as can be seen on the first photo, carts with inflatable tyres can be used for heavy loads too, given that the surface of the road is hard enough for the cart will not sink. On the left, one of those small bunker of the 50s.

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  • Heavy loads, oxen drawn carts

    Litter and manure are heavy and have a strong smell. Oxen are the most fit to their transport as horses are sometimes disturbed by the strong odor of manure and can become a bit nervous. In 2005, I have not seen any oxen drawn carriage but the road from the border to Shkodër is short. We will see in 2006 on a longer ride!

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  • Heavy loads of hay, oxen drawn carts

    In 1988, the use of oxen to draw heavy loads was very frequent. For centuries, oxen have been extensively used as farm animals all over Europe. They are very powerful and quiet, which makes them easy to drive. They are perfectly fit for example to draw carts heavily loaded with hay from the fields to the farm. If the cart, with its wooden wheels,...

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  • Cows

    Cows may not be the farm animals that were the most visible in Albania in 1988 but, nevertheless, there were small herds (first and second photo) It seems that there were also industrial farms such as the one shown on the third photo.

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  • Ducks

    In the lowlands of Albania, ditches have been built to drain marshes that grew only shrubs of no value. It has given fertile lands and the ditches are perfectly suitable for growing ducks. In several places I have seen large flocks of ducks like this one.

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  • Pigs

    We are so used to see either pigs fed in an industrial pig house and never going out but for final slaughter that it is always a surprise to see flocks of pigs roaming almost freely in the country. Actually, in 1988, we saw that only once, along the road between Tiranë and Shkodër.On the first photo, the group of women in the background are...

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  • Donkeys

    Donkeys are cheaper to get and to feed than horses. Then, no wonder that in 1988 there were so many donkeys. I do not know the name of the breed of donkeys appearing in the first and second photo (region of Shkodër). They are rather short and with a very thick fur, thicker than most breeds I know. They look like mountain donkeys, adapted for low...

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  • Horses

    In 1988, as no private person could own a car and as there were anyway so few cars and trucks in the country, horses were widely used for transport of persons as well as of goods. Breeding and trading horses was mainly the job of Roms (the word "Gypsies" should not be used). In 2005, there are still many horses.Photos 1 through 3 shows a group of...

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Albania Favorites

Reviews and photos of Albania favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Albania sightseeing.
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