Wednesday, May 21

Tirana, Albania

(see on map) trin: One of the interesting things about overland travel is you end up visiting places you never thought of before. Albania was one of the those places for us. To get from Southern Montenegro to Greece we had two options. One, bus through Albania into Northern Greece. Two, bus to the capital, Tirana and then fly to Athens. We opted for the latter and toured the city for a day.

The center of the city, Skanderbeg Square, is surrounded by the National Historical Museum, Et'hem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower and various government buildings. In the center is a statue of the Albanian hero, Skanderberg. We walked through the square a couple times which was scary as Albanian drivers have little regard for pedestrians.

Commonly referred to as the pyramid, it was formerly the Enver Hoxha Museum (Albania's communist dictator). Later it was transformed into a night club and now it looks abandon.

We thought is was a cool place to take an 80s style photo.

We basically just walked around the city, drank some cappuccinos when it rained and then walked around some more.

Do you think the McDonalds people are ok with this?

Another funny sign. Why would you show the cute lamb? If you zoom in, you can see a little frown on his face.

We did have one of the best meals of the trip at Efendy. If you are ever in Albania, you should eat here. The meals was awesome and it only cost $30US with wine. The chef is from Turkey and he has been traveling through the Balkans for the last fifteen years adding to his recipes. He is also an opera singer.

The following morning we had cappuccinos with the owner of our hostel before he drove us to the airport. His four year old daughter was with us and he introduced her as "Fiona, like Princess Fiona from Shrek." I wished I had a pair of Shrek ears in my bag. I would have given them to her in a second.

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