Category: Albania

Bus station

29 fun facts from two months in the Balkans

Did you know Albanians put teddy bears outside their houses to ward off bad spirits? And that some kids in Serbia only go to school in the afternoon? Enjoy some of the things I’ve learnt after spending two months in the Balkans.

Albania (1)

Is it safe to travel in Albania?

Albania doesn’t have a great international reputation. It’s famed for its mafia, drug trade and human trafficking. Naturally, this image raises the question of whether it’s safe to travel here. After two weeks in Albania and I can tell you: it is.

Hitchhiking

I’m sorry Mum, I hitchhiked

Poor public transport means hitchhiking is popular in the Balkans. For weeks I ignored the encouragement to do it. And then I got stranded at the Macedonian border.

Protect Me (11)

The happiest dogs in Albania

Dogs are not usually treated well in Albania. Anyone who has lived in Albania will have a horror story you don’t want to hear. For more than a week, it broke my heart. When I had a chance to visit a dog shelter in Vlore, I took it. I wanted to see something positive.

Blue Eye (5)

How the Blue Eye took my breath away

The Blue Eye is a striking natural spring extending to a depth of about 50m. During the communist era Syri i Kalter was reserved for the party elite. Now it’s a popular attraction in southern Albania. It’s also bloody cold to swim in.

Theth (6)

Village life in the Albanian Alps

The village of Theth attracts up to 10,000 people a year. But despite it’s popularity, visitors still have an authentic stay in a peaceful community in the heart of the Albanian Alps.

Theth (2)

The ride to Theth

The small community of Theth is nestled in the Albanian Alps. It’s only 70km from Shkodra, but the drive there can take up for four hours. At least there’s plenty of entertainment along the way…