From Ohrid in Macedonia a very nice busdriver drove us all the way to the border although he should have stopped a 20minute drive earlier.. then we crossed the border by foot and got to walk our way into Albania. The sign that welcomed us to the country had gunholes in it. The heat was crazy.
We took a taxi to the nearest town called Pogradec and jumped on a albanian eurotechno-playing minivan that took us the three hour bumpy ride over beautiful mountains to the capital of Albania. We stayed alive thanks to litres of water and our homemade sandwiches that we had made earlier. And cookies, of course.
In Tirana the first thing we did was calling Stavri Cifligu that is the cousin of a friend of ours in Sweden. We had been told that he was in couchsurfing and that we could spend the night at his place.. what we didnt know was that Stavri was a Tirana and travelling expert that would prove to be the best guide and host we could have ever wished for! We went to Stavris home and met his utterly nice mother, then we went out and took a walk by ourselves the way we do it best, just like that.. walking around.. watching people.. and taking pictures.
Later on we met up with Stavri and his girlfriend and they showed us around the city, we had a nice talk and then they took us out into the Tirana nightlife and introduced us to their friends. The people in Tirana are really nice and they all know Italian from tv! haha..
The next day the heat was out of this world.. we met Stavris brother in the morning, had breakfeast and got out although we would have rather stayed at home hiding behind the fan.. we took our bags into town, left them at the tourist office, took a quick walk around central Tirana and then tried to manage our way out of Albania the best way.. it wasnt really as easy as we had thought, but we made it somehow.. jumping into a minivan to Shkoder, where we met a really nice girl that showed us to the place where we could find a taxi.. and thats the way we went.. by taxi.. an E-class Mercedes, 4hours, crossing the border.. to Budva, Montenegro.
The overall experience? Albania is really nice, the people are even nicer.. we wished we would have time to visit the beaches in the south that everybody kept mentioning.. and Stavri, the perfect guide.. thank you very much for making our Albania experience great!