23 july Tirana (ALBANIA)

An hour and a quarter flight is what it takes us to go from coast to coast...  here we are in the Albanian capital: Tirana.

The airport is modern, clean and well organized. By an abusive  taxi we reach our hotel: London, right in the center.

The red flags with the two-headed black eagles, waving imperiously in Skanderbeg Square, we wander around aimlessly, eat first a "byrek", then at "Oda", a restaurant with traditional Albanian dishes, we taste an excellent bbq lamb (mish qengji) and peppers with ricotta (fergese tiranse)... delicious!

24 july Tirana (ALBANIA)

[Stefy]: "Through Blvd Deshmoret Kombit we see the "Pyramid", a structure that has been the Conference Centre but now, abandoned and left to die slowly. We get to Mother Teresa Square.

We enter every alley, market, we eat so tasty street food and drink the excellent local beer.
We go far and wide the Blloku district, with its local markets of fruits and vegetables. We visit Shyqri Berxolli market where they sell everything from beauty products, costumes to souvenirs.

Meanwhile, nearby, in Et'Hem Bey Mosque prayer takes place. This mosque is one of the oldest buildings left in the city and certainly the most picturesque one we have seen, the first with all glass walls, giving you the chance to admire it from outside without entering it.

Lunch at "Zgara Korçare" where we drink three beers and eat some good kebabs accompanied by warm bread on the grill and a compound of greek yogurt \ pepper \ extra virgin oil ".

We spend the afternoon at the National Hystorical Museum of Tirana, just in Skanderberg Square. 200 lek to immerse ourselves in the history of this Country, from the prehistoric times to the warrior who has named the square, to the dictatorial regime of Hoxha, through Mother Teresa until today.

Most people speak Italian very well, they say that it is thanks to the television, but then, if they go a bit deeper you find out that many have had experiences of life in our country, directly or indirectly, and you hear stories of people who "has tried" ...

25 july Shkoder (ALBANIA)

Today it’s my wife birthday: happy birthday honey!
This morning we wake up calmly and slowly we get to the square to catch a bus or furgons (kind of minivan) to Shkoder.

We move to the north and, in two hours, we reach our destination, it’s 12.00 am.

Outside it’s 40° and with our heavy backpacks, we struggle  because the bus leaves us quite far from our hotel and, shortly after, we even find out that it doesn’t exists!  Guest House Rruga Hysaj doesn’t exist! Even though we had booked and paid on booking.com! Nearby, we find another one who welcomes us with pleasure!

[Stefy]: "In the afternoon it's really impossible to walk on the streets, the heat is oppressive. With nightfall the town starts to come alive and populated.

It seems a different place from the one seen in the afternoon. All the shops are open, events, exhibitions... after dinner we go to listen to a group French-Israeli playing jazz music, drinking an excellent local cold beer... it’s what we needed on a hot Albanian summer evening! "

26 july Bajram Curri (ALBANIA)

[Stefy]: "Today we are in Bajram Curri, a tiny village on the Albanian Alps... but it all begins at dawn: at 6:10 am we catch a furgon and in two hours we reach Koman, we embark on a journey of about three hours.

The landscape is surprising, the mountains plunged in the green waters of the lake. Huge walls dive into the lake, they remind us of Halong Bay, Vietnam.

It’s really nice to sit barefeet, lying on the roof of the boat  enjoying this wonderful unspoilt nature.

At about 13 we get to Fierze, and aboard a furgon, we reach Bajram Curri, near the border with Kosovo...
It looks like the Wild West has moved here... no one around.

We leave our backpacks in our hotel room and we head towards the center of this tiny village looking for a place to eat, they do not speak any language other than Albanian and also the menu is incomprehensible to us.

The owner decides to take us straight to the kitchen to look inside two large pots... if they say that in a kitchen of a restaurant is better not to get into it before eating... there must be a reason, isn’t it? Whatever! Stew soup is good, but the soup of legumes and vegetables is exceptional! We pay 3,50 EUR for two!

Throughout Albania we noticed that the bars are full of men who take a coffee with a big glass of cold water, here it is this is a typical picture of these days. "

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