Monday, June 6, 2011

Grand Finale Albania- Berat & Shkodra

So Albania is pretty crazy. One girl I met who's traveled all over the world for like 30 years or more, said it was like the wild west. And I thought she was overstating it. She said, "You don't realise it when you are there but then you leave and you realise how crazy it was." Well, she was right. I got to Montenegro, and couldn't believe how nice it was. With garbage trucks, and bus stations and honest fares.

On my ride from Berat to Tirana in Albania, I counted 51 bunkers. And that was just when I happened to be looking out the window. It was about a 3 hr ride. (I've read that there are 700,000 bunkers in Albania.) One bus ride, the girl next to me threw up six times in a bag. The roads and the poor quality of the buses are the cause... There's trash everywhere, and most things are half constructed. Looking at the quality of the work, I think it will be 10 years or more before the construction will be finished. That said, there are beautiful places, and it is very interesting. But I think it may be a country for the intrepid traveler, not your every day wanderer. That is just my opinion.

I am backtracking to the art in the Modern Art Museum of Tirana. I quite enjoyed the place... it was my favorite stop in Tirana. They had a lot of old commie art and interesting stories on the wall, and I was the only person inside. About 4 floors of art. Delightful.

Berat, an old Ottoman town south of Tirana.

Berat from above.

Castle on the hill. I was hand gesture talking with that sweet old man.

Entering the castle courtyard.

An old aquifer.

The pedestrian bridge to my hostel.

Albanian countryside.

The ghetto hotel I stayed in in Shkodra. For $10 a night.

I hand washed a few items that were really smelly and the sink started to fall out of the wall, but I pushed it back in and everything was A-OK!

Old men in the park. Shkodra.

I am scared of the dentist anyway, but this looks particularly sinister.

The hotel from the outside, and the front is where the cabbie feed tourist giant lies about there being no buses to Montenegro, and then try to sell you a taxi ride for 100 Euros.

Some really skinny people here.

And some really short people also.

In this square they played hideous music intermixed with singing prayers from the nearby mosque. I thought I was not going to sleep but I put in ear plugs and woke up the next morning. One must be a hardy sleeper if you are going to travel.

The view from the hotel window.

The hotel hall. Yes that is a sort of hole in the ceiling.

On the way to Montenegro, two buses could not fit on the road, so one had to back up quite a ways.

1 comment:

Dee J. said...

Great photos and stories! This time I prefer to be the armchair traveller rather than see it myself!