Isaac again (yep, gonna be a long'un).
Today class, we're going to be talking about Albania.
Once upon a time, 2 young handsome princes went to Albania. THEY HATED IT. The end.
Ok that's not strictly true. It was actually quite a cool place.
I can however, honestly say that there are very few situations I can't cope with. Albania has taught me many things. The most important however is that I was wrong. Wrong to ever EVER complain about the state of the UK public transport system or road network.
I give thanks to all those geniuses responsible for creating those beautiful covered BUS STATIONS and producing TIMETABLES.
And when I'm stuck on a motorway which is partly closed due to widening or general improvement works, I won't moan. They're doing it for a reason. My spine has had more trauma in 3 days than it has in the previous 28 years. This includes being sat on by rugby teams containing 15 overwight 40-somethings.
Yep, those 3 days were complete, unmitigated chaos.
And it all started so well....
A smooth border crossing (including funky stamp) to Skhodra was followed by a smooth-ish passage to the outskirts of Tirana. Yes, it was bumpy, but somehow it was ok. I also enjoyed spotting the mushroom bunkers, dotted all over.
On arrival into Tirana we passed a butchers shop with cows tied to a post outside. Their tether was long enough for them to walk in and out of their friends, recently slaughtered and held upside down to drain. Then next to them, the next 2 stages of meat production. But hey, if that's what they do here, that's up to them...
We were dumped at the side of the road and luckily we were able to find a road which lead to the hostel.
The hostel itself was lovely. Welcoming, friendly and fun with a shed-conservatory area with a bar and guys playing music. Great location, right in the city centre.
We had a pleasant evening in the Blokku area, then up to 2 Sky Bars, one overlooking the national football stadium, 1 rotating and overlooking the rest of the city.
It didn't take long to see the sights but actually that was fine. The pyramid has to be seen to be believed. Grey concrete, grafiti top to bottom.
Unfortunately, the city was undergoing an awful lot of construction in the main square so that didn't help.
I just don't understand why they make it so difficult for people to get around on public transport which is so important for the people.
I'd go back in a few years because I believe it has potential, but man, is a concrete shed so hard to build?