Albania Warnings and Dangers

  • It is hard to leave an Albanian town
    It is hard to leave an Albanian town
    by Orchid
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Vanity666
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Vanity666

Albania Warnings and Dangers

  • Be aware of thieves

    If you travel to Albania this is standard. You should take care of all your belongings.If you travel by car you should park only on save parking spaces.The Albanian "Auto-Mafia" is activ.It's better to drive with daylight! The roads are sometimes very bad. Some drivers haven't good light.Be careful with making new friends. Some friends are not...

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  • Crazy drivers

    When you drive on Albania roads ,be careful ,local drivers most of them on Mercedes behave on roads like in jungle,.Most of roads have just one line ,usually between the towns road surface is good ,but near the towns it became bumpy with potholes, and add to it driver that could jump from the corner exactly on your line opposite you. Therefore we...

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  • Foto pikë për pikë ndaluar!

    In 1988, our Albanian guide had warned us that we should not photography official buildings and army members in uniform and anything related to the defense. Strongly forbidden photo ! Here, we were looking for tracks of otter and saw only droppings but overhanging us was the Albanian army in operation. That was the occasion to try a forbidden...

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  • Watch out for religious indoctrinators!

    No not terminators but indoctrinators should be your worst nightmare in Albania. Espacially in the North the people tend to be a bit more enthousiastic about their religion (which is Islam by the way) so they tend to begin a "dialogue" with you about religion. Mostly this dialogue ends up in a monologue and they will provide you with some bonus...

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  • DONT DRINK THE WATER!!

    Do not drink the water while in Albania!!!! Being a poor under developed country, sanitation is quite poor. The food is plentiful but when I was there the Navy told us to NOT eat any of it. Hepititus A, B and C are among the MANY diseases that are easily contracted simply by consuming some of the food there. If you are thirsty, your best bet is to...

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  • Road Conditions

    Generally most of the main roads are in good conditions. All the transit routes are renewed and enjoyable to drive on. The coast road from Vlora to Saranda is excellent all the way to Llogaraja Pass and a few kilometres south of there. But for the 80 kilometres stretch from the pass down to Saranda expect a rough and slow drive. It took me about 4...

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  • Ice cream

    Although very very very nice at the time the ice cream from one of the stalls in Tirana (near to the main square) made me quite ill, i tried it a second time on another trip and the same thing happened again! I am guessing that this is because i am not used to the untreated milk that they use to make it, all the albanian's were fine and plenty of...

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  • Not really a danger but

    Not really a danger but you're not supposed to take leke (the Albanian currency) out of the country. We weren't searched or checked for this when we left, and I did have some with me, but you never know. Also be careful taking alcohol out of Albania into Greece/Corfu, especially given how cheap it is - I wasn't checked, but my travelling...

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  • Wallet lifted

    Ray got his wallet lifted they also like to steal cell phone or anything else from people, Ray carried his money in his front pocket from then on and his cell phone in his inside top pocket of his coat, it jsut wasn't that safe.

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  • Wildlife

    Be careful if you're going to walk out in the countryside - there are poisonous snakes, spiders and scorpions in Albania, and getting to a doctor could take some time. I actually didn't see any of these things while I was there, but some of my colleagues spotted a wolf spider (which actually isn't poisonous, but is quite big) and a dead scorpion...

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  • Dogs

    The piles of rubbish lying around do tend to attract stray dogs at night. Coming back to the hotel from the bar late at night we were frequently barked and growled at, and one of my colleagues couldn't walk back alone - they seemed to have taken a dislike to him and would chase him if he did!

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  • Health

    Although the locals say the water is safe to drink, it's probably best to stick to bottled water, which is readily available. Be careful about the food - I was very lucky when I was there that I ate pretty much everything on offer and wasn't affected in the slightest, but almost everyone else newly arrived on the project came down with a stomach...

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  • Rubbish!

    There are no rubbish collections in Albania, at least not where I was staying. All the waste - glass bottles, cans, plastic - either gets dumped in a communal midden in the middle of the village (a three-sided low brick wall construct in Ksamil), or seems to be thrown into the sea - from where unfortunately it all washes up onto the beaches....

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  • Garbage everywhere

    You have to watch where you walk and not fall into open man holes. They are stolen and then left open and most of the open holes are about a foot or two deep some are over 10 feet deep. One man died while we were there after falling into one while it was raining and he drowned. Garage is everywhere they sweep out their stores right into the...

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  • Mind your feet!

    If you're going swimming in the sea at Saranda or Ksamili, or in Lake Butrint, be careful where you put your feet! I had great fun spotting hermit crabs and crayfish, but you might get your toes nipped. This probably wouldn't be worth a warning, but you also have to be wary of sea urchins - step on one of these and the spines can inflict a painful...

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  • On/Off

    When I was in Ksamili in 2002, the electricity supply, and therefore hot water, was a bit sporadic - it would frequently go off for several hours, usually in the late afternoon/evening when we got back from a long day's digging desperate for a shower! We were informed it was because the government was selling a large proportion of the Albanian...

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  • 1988, Lavdi Marksizem-Leninismit (for...

    In 1988, our bus drove us from Tiranë to Shkodër and back. On the way to Shkodër, I had spotted an impressive plant that looked like a ghostly ruin with rusted pipes and equipment, but that nevertheless seemed to work. I have made some research and found that there was in Lezhë a highly polluting paper plant that was a threat for the environment...

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  • 1988, plant in Korcë

    I am not sure where this photo was taken. It should be Korcë but if some one tells me it is in Elbasan, in Lushnijë (I do not think so) or Fier, I would not be surprised. Compared to other places in 1988 Albania, this looked like “reasonable” pollution !

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  • 1988, paper plant in Lushnijë

    I am not sure that the two photos shown here will give the true feeling of the very severe pollution that I had seen when passing along the paper plant of Lushnijë. There were chimneys spitting smokes of various colors. Moreover, but I could not take the photo (the bus was running and I was not fast enough), the small river that flew along the road...

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  • 1988, plants in Elbasan

    Pollution in Elbasan seemed in 1988 to be varied and coming from different type of industries. The production of the iron and steel plant was important and declined rapidly after 1991 while the production at the nickel and cobalt refinery ceased completely. In the1980’s, extraction of lateritic nickeliferous iron ore ranged from 1 to 1.2 Mt/yr of...

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  • School girls in 1988 in Tiranë

    It looks like each form had a uniform of a different color. These photos were taken in Tiranë in 1988 n front of Eytham bey mosquee.On the first photo, the girls, 13-14 years old have a light blue uniform with a white strip in the bottom.On the second photo, the girls, 15-16, have an orange uniform with the same white strip.From the 5 photos of the...

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  • Caution, school, 1988, 2005

    The first photo shows school road signs in 1988 and in 2005. All other photos were taken in 1988.The second photo shows the yard of a school in a village of the country.The third is the yard of a school in Vlorë. The girls, behind the grids wear a uniform.The fourth photo, taken in front of our hotel in Berat shows a group of school girls, all in...

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  • Frequent Radar Traps

    Speeding is a problem in Albaina but the police is trying to get it under control and mobil radar traps are frequent. I was counting 6 of them on the main road between Shkodra and Tirana! Stick to the limits or pay!

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  • Driving habits

    During the communistic period private cars were not allowed. This means that not too many drivers have a long time experience in driving and many learned driving in Greece or Italy! Until a couple of years the roads were that horrible that it was simply impossible to speed. Nowadays many roads are upgraded and in pretty good condition....

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  • Holes

    In cities often the covers of drainage systems are missing. These holes are quite deep and stepping in one of them can cause serious injuries. Be careful and bring a torch at night as many streets are not well illuminated.

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  • Goat's head soup

    One of the national dishes of Albania is a concoction known as Goat's head soup. We had it once (or should it be : it had me ?) and it wasn't too bad at all.The thought of it however puts it in that league of food along with delicacies such as Bull's testicles and sheeps eyeballs. In some of the wilder parts it may be all that is on the...

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  • Elbasan - one dodgy city

    If even Albanians warn you about this place then it might be a case of 'no smoke without fire'.If you are passing through on the train then check on anything you leave in the luggage carriage as the door opens up at the station and it would be easy to whip something off.The port of Vlore also seems to get a bad press from iother Albanians.I have no...

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  • Don't take a Mercedes into Albania

    There are thousands of stolen Mercedes cars in Albania. Everywhere you look in what is the poorest country in Europe, you see that famous three-pointed emblem of successful consumer capitalism.Driving your own car into Albania is not a wise idea at the best of times, and certainly not a Mercedes - the possibility of theft for re-sale or spare parts...

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  • Tirana is safe

    Tirana is a safe city with friendly people. i encountered no problem there. it is generally assumed that albania may be dangerous and i must say i was a bit weary on entering. however i quickly found out that people are there to help and i didnt have a single bad experience there. obviously its unwise to be foolish with showing off mooney etc. but...

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  • Tension on the Greek - Albanian Border

    The land border between these two countries is not a place you want to hang around.When I was there, the atmosphere was deeply unplesant as the Greek Border guards struggled to control and process Albanian entering Greece or Visa-Versa.They opened the gates at irregular intervals, kept order with large batons, and herded people into interminable...

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  • Banditry, etc...

    According to locals we talked to in Tirana, the security situation has improved considerably in the last couple of years.The military still patrols some of the formerly most notorious stretches of road, but there's apparently not too much to worry about. It is still recommended, though, not to drive at night, but this has more to do with road...

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  • Careful at the best of times....

    Careful at the best of times. We entered from Corfu, but you need to be wary of the young lads who climb up on the ships and beg for money. That's life, but they can be a bit rough if you turn them down.

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  • Traveling past Tirana and...

    Traveling past Tirana and Lezhe towards the north will be dangerous in itself, but traveling on your own northward is particularly foolish unless you know people in the area, as bandits stop buses and cars frequently along the Skoder and Puka roads

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  • Electricity Shortages

    Southern Albania seems to be plagued with an electricity shortage. Do not be surprised if the power goes off for a few hours each day. Usually people know when the scheduled blackouts will occur. The unscheduled blackouts only lasted a few minutes. In one new hotel in Sarande, having the heat and TV on at the same time would blow the fuses...so be...

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  • For tourists (only) on day...

    For tourists (only) on day trips from Corfu Town to Sarande, Albania there are no charges for a visa. If staying overnight or entering through other Albanian border crossings. there is a fee of $10 USD (depending on nationality). Albanian border officials at the port of Sarande would only accept visa fee payments in $USD. However Albanian officials...

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  • The roads in Albania are no...

    The roads in Albania are no where near as good as the rest of Europe. The road is a one lane highway through the mountains with no side rails.The counrtyis behind the rest of Europe, but is slowly catchingup.The country is the poorest in Europe.Bribing is common.But it is very beautiful, with many high mountains andlakes.and a lot of historic...

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  • OFFICIALLY, THE COASTAL BORDER...

    OFFICIALLY, THE COASTAL BORDER BETWEEN ALBANIA AND YUGOSLAVIA WAS CLOSED. STILL, THERE DIDN'T SEEM TO BE MUCH DANGER CROSSING OVER, ALTHOUGH I DID VISUALIZE SOLDIERS CHARGING TOWARD ME FROM BEHIND THE SAND DUNES!

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  • Albania - Travel WarningJune...

    Albania - Travel WarningJune 12, 2000The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the potential danger of travel to Albania. The security situation throughout Albania remains unstable. During the political and economic unrest in 1997, many weapons were looted from government arms depots and remain in unauthorized civilian hands. All gatherings of...

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  • Remember 1389!

    You don't need to be a very savvy traveller to realise that mention of politics, particularly affecting Albania's immediate neighbours in Kosovo and Macedonia, can be ill-advised and hazardous. Memories run deep in the Balkans - feelings run even deeper.

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  • The list is endless....

    The list is endless. Absolutely essential, no matter how many times you've travelled anywhere in the world, is to know an Albanian there to help you. Don't go anywhere near the Kosovan borders or into the mountain villages unless you are with Albanians who you trust. You don't need a visa but have to pay about 57USD at the airport. In Tirane itself...

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Albania Warnings and Dangers

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