You know you are dating an Albanian when - The Balkanista
SH1 North of Bajze, Albania | Vukpalaj Bajze, Shkoder, Albania . Date of visit: November That was the first place I visited this summer in Albania. The SH 1 is a national highway in Albania running kilometres (78 mi) across the counties of Durrës, Lezhë, Shkodër and Tirana. As part of the European. Rr. Emin Duraku, Aviacioni i vjeter, Sh. 1, Ap. 65, Tirana , Albania. + 68 Italian, European, Albanian. PRICE Date of visit: September
On the political aspect, the city witnessed a number of events. Personalities visited the capital, such as former U. The former visit came amidst the historical setting after the fall of communism, as hundreds of thousands were chanting in Skanderbeg Square Baker's famous saying of "Freedom works! Starting informer Tirana mayor Edi Rama mayor from to under the Ilir Meta government, undertook a campaign to demolish illegal buildings around the city centre and along the Lana River banks to bring the area to its pre state.
In an attempt to widen roads, Rama authorized the bulldozing of private properties so that they could be paved over, thus widening streets. Most main roads underwent reconstruction, such the Ring Road UnazaKavaja Street and the main boulevard. Rama's critics claimed that he focused too much attention on cosmetic changes without fixing any of the major problems such as shortages of drinking water and electricity.
Since the southeast region of Tirana, mainly Farke and Petrela has had a burst becoming the preferred destination with many residence complexes being built and having the current biggest mall in Albania, the Tirana East Gate TEG. Bush marked the first time that such a high ranking American official visited Tirana. On 21 JanuaryAlbanian police clashed with opposition supporters in front of the Government building as cars were set on fire, three persons killed and wounded. In their first few council meetings, social houses got allocated to families in need.
InSkanderbeg Square was redesigned according to an earlier plan brought forward in The revamped project included greater green space areas around the square, underground parking, and the introduction of stone material taken from all corners of Albania and Albanian inhabited lands. Albania's rich flora would be represented by the gardens around the square, while the former garden behind Skanderbeg's monument has been restored to the pre state and named Europe Park.
Once the project is completed, the square will serve as a venue for the Village of Festivities, concerts, and where surrounding institutions would showcase themselves in an open environment concept such as in the yearly Nuit Blanche on November The new headquarters of Tirana City Hall are planned to be built along the New Boulevard together with a central park located nearby.
The architect Stefano Boeri was contracted to work on the General Urban Plan of Tirana TRwhich makes a series of interventions to the city's infrastructure. The plan was submitted for approval to the Municipality Council in November A Satellite imagery illustrating the Tirana Metropolitan Area. Geographically, Tirana is situated on the western slopes of Dajti Mountain in central Albania. In winter, the mountain is often covered with snow and is a popular retreat to the population of Tirana, which rarely sees snow falls.
The forests are composed of pineoak and beechwhile its interior relief with canyonswaterfallscaveslakes and landforms. The mountain can be reached through a narrow asphalted mountain road onto an area known as Fusha e Dajtit. From this small area there is an excellent view of Tirana and its plain.
Tirana is home to several artificial lakesamong which are included TiranaFarka, Tufina, and Kashar. The seat of the municipality is the city Tirana. Some snow falls almost every winter, but it usually melts quickly.
The border crossing Tre Urat is best used only if you are going to Permet or want to see some wonderful scenery; this border crossing is about 35km from Permet. Another important border crossing with Greece is Bilisht. The closest major Albanian city from this border crossing is Korca at about 35km away. There are two major border control points with Macedonia.
The most well-known and often-frequented one is Qafe Thane This border crossing is the fastest way to get to Ohrid, the Albanian parts of Macedonia and Skopje. This crossing is about 65km from Elbasan and 30km from Pogradec. The other border crossing, named Tushemisht, is the closest one to Pogradec at only 6km and is mainly used for tourists and locals who want to see the St.
Naum Church and the Macedonian parts of Lake Ohrid.
TOURS ALBANIA & BALKANS
By taxi[ edit ] Albania is a small country and as such it is possible to leave the country by taxi. Your hotel will be able to arrange a taxi to the border, where you should be able to change to a taxi on the other side.
Getting through passport control will take about 30 minutes. A taxi ride from downtown Pogradec to the Macedonian border at Sveti Naum costs about 5 euros and takes less than 10 minutes. After Albanian exit procedures, walk about. The beautiful Sveti Naum Church is very close by, and from there you can get a bus north around the lake to Ohrid denars prices April You do not have to change at the border; the taxi will bring you all the way price June Some taxis can take you into Greece; however, most will not go farther than Ioannina.
By bus[ edit ] Most people in Albania travel by public bus or by private minibuses called "furgons"which depart quite frequently to destinations around Albania.
Highways in Albania - Wikipedia
Furgons have no set timetable they depart when they are fulland in addition to big cities provide access to some smaller towns where buses don't frequently run. Furgon stations aren't always in obvious locations, so you can ask around to find them, or keep an eye out for groups of white or red minibuses gathered together.
Destination place names are generally displayed on the dashboard; prices are never posted. Furgons are loosely regulated and provide a real "Albanian" experience. Furgons departing to southern destinations like Gjirokaster or Saranda tend to depart fairly early in the morning. Generally, furgons cost a little more and go a little faster than buses, but can be uncomfortable over long distances because of the close quarters with other passengers.
The following approximate operating schedule for services leaving Tirana was provided by the tourist information office there. Tirana Furgon Departures Buses are cheaper, more comfortable and run on a set timetable though it is very difficult to find printed schedulesand they are generally well regulated. There are different bus stations in Tirana for different destinations.
The following timetable for services leaving Tirana was provided by the tourist information office there on the 4th of September Tirana Bus Departures One publicly-edited list of the departure locations and times of furgons and buses in Albania may be found at: The latest bus schedules are available hereverified by locals and including detailed information about the bus stops, their GPS coordinates, prices etc. By train[ edit ] A train ride is a must, as there are few such enjoyments in Europe these days.
Tickets are very cheap, journeys are very long, and the views and the atmosphere are usually priceless.
Tirana - Wikipedia
Among the things you will see along this unforgettable journey are people working their land with primitive tools, beautiful landscapes and wild terrains, houses under construction with various things hung on them to ward off the evil eye, and a chance to meet interesting passengers, mainly from rural areas. At most stations you'll find people selling sunflower seeds, fruits, chewing gum and many other different things. No direct service to Tirana has operated since Septemberdue to planned relocation of the capital's only railway station and redevelopment of the previous site into a residential area.
Kashar is thus the closest rail station, at a distance of approximately 10 kilometres. The station was completely renovated in May Rail replacement bus services are reportedly operating between the old station sites at Tirana and Kashar, departing twenty minutes prior to the advertised train departure from the Kashar station. Train timetables are available here: Albanian trains are still in relatively poor condition.
Wealthier Albanians never use trains and, if not traveling in their own cars, use the many mini-buses. On the other hand, trains offer more space than the often overloaded minibuses.
No service has operated between Librazhd and Pogradec since By car[ edit ] Roads between important destinations have been re-paved and fixed recently and offer most of the security measures one would expect on a highway. There are no fees for using the highways. Beware of minor roads: It seems that all the expensive cars in Albania are SUVs rather than low-slung sports cars - and for good reason. Consult the locals in advance if you are planning to travel away from a highway.
Highways have frequent changes in speed limit, sometimes with little apparent reason, and there are frequent police mobile speed checks.
Police will stop you if you have not turned on your car lights. Police will often stop foreign cars often owned by Albanian and Kosovan expats returned homewhich seem to be good targets for extracting fines or other money.
You know you are dating an Albanian when…
However, it seems that once the police recognize you as a foreign driver, they wave you on with minimal fuss, sometimes without even checking your documents. Expect to be stopped by police once per hour while driving in Albania that frequently!
Beware of temporary lane closures and temporary rules such as no left turn which serve no apparent purpose but are watched by police who are ready to stop you if you misinterpret the confusing signs. Make sure you travel with a proper driver's license and insurance documents ask your car hire company for these to present to the police.
Car-driving behavior on the highways is not as orderly as elsewhere in Europe. Expect cars to pull out in front of you, little use of indicators, and hair-raising overtaking. Lanes on dual or triple carriageways tend to be observed. Also expect pedestrians, horses or donkeys to cross highways or walk on them.
Especially beware of cows on the motorway. Navigation is pretty easy, although some maps of the country are out-of-date or contain errors. It is strongly recommended to have an up-to-date GPS in your vehicle, as new roads are constantly being added to the Albanian road network.
In case the GPS does not work, have a paper or internet-based map available as an alternative. In the cities, especially Tirana, many roads are being upgraded and fixed. As a result, traveling by car inside the city is slow. Be aware that Tirana in particular suffers from great traffic congestion during mornings and midday. It is a typical Mediterranean road, and offers an amazing view of the sea from the mountains. Gypsy and beggar children may approach your car at major stop lights. Nudge slightly forward to get them off your car and, if necessary, go into the traffic intersection to get rid of them.
The locals will understand. Note that around Greek holiday seasons, including Orthodox Easter, the roads leading to and from Greece can be crowded with cars with Greek plates of Albanian immigrants going to Albania or returning to Greece after their holidays.
Renting a car is a good option to choose, but the practice is fairly new in the country. Rental companies are available mainly at the Tirana Airport and in Tirana proper. Various travel agencies may offer such services as well. By bicycle[ edit ] There is a lack of respect for people riding on bikes on the highways. Also, there are few places to put your bike. These and other challenges make Albania a difficult cycling destination, but a rewarding one.
Often asking around to see if you can stay in somebody's home or camp in their garden is the only option. Food and water are easily available in the many roadside cafes and bars. It is OK to camp in all not-strictly-private places, and even if a place is private, there should be no problem with your stay; just ask someone if you are in doubt.
Be aware that it's very hard to get parts or repairs for modern bicycles. Be careful with the dogs while riding bicycle Many stray dogs walking the roads, some of them in groups and can be dangerous.