Shkodra is not considered as one of the most calm cities of Albania. Murder is not a rare crime. But in most of the cases a murder in Shkodra has to do with the so called 'blood feud', a very stupid tradition (but interesting maybe for some foreigners) still alive in some parts of north Albania. The visitor should not be scared by this report, the assassins know very well who they are going to shoot and normally they do not make mistakes.
It is like the situation in Naples, Italy. There are murders there, but visitors usually have a normal day in the city. The difference is that in Shkoder ordinary street crime (theaft) is not a widespread danger. I have been in Shkoder several times in the last years and I have never seen public order problems.
Anyway, I would not advice to walk around late at night.
Rozafa castle is, in my opinion, a must see in Shkod?r However, you must read the following if you plan to make the visit.
This is the situation in July 2005. Both roads that lead to Rozafa are unsuitable for small cars, without enough ground clearance as the surface is very uneven. A 4WD is not necessary, but a strong car with a good ground clearance is a need.
You can park along the main road and walk. The climb should be around 1.5 km until the entrance into the castle. It is perhaps possible to hire a taxi from the city center. Of course visitors riding a mountain bike (whom that might it be ?!) will not have any problem.
Caution, school, 2005
The 2005 road signs have a more modern look and are almost alike the Italian road signs. I will show them on my road signs page, to be built as soon as I have collected and scanned all my slides.
I have not seen any school children as it was late July and they ought to be on vacations. I suppose they do not wear any more a uniform.
Caution, school, 1988
As some of you already know, I collect photos of "caution, school" road signs. The 1988 sign features a girl in a skirt and with a pigtail with a boy in shorts holding a small schoolbag. Note that the girl has no school bag ! The sign limits the speed to 30 km, but to whom does it addresses ? There were no cars ! Was that for bicycles or for pedestrians ?
Children wore a uniform of a different color following their age. The smallest were in white (third photo) while, when a little older, they wore a blue blouse (fourth photo).
I have to admitt that although...
I have to admitt that although the situation has improved drastically since the troubles of 1997 it is still dangerous to venture at night. However it is completely safe to wonder around during the day when most siteseeing and exploration activities take place anyhow.
Anyone interested in taking a side trip from Montenegro's side of Skadar Lake...be advised.
As soon as you no longer can see the border crossing, the roads have gaping holes (if they are paved at all). Additionally, you can fully expect to be stuck behind a wagon pulled by a mule while navigating debris throughout the road.
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