Before this trip I had never heard of the country Albania.
Topdeck, and similar companies, do their best to ensure you see as many places in a short period of time. The trip that I went on included one night stopover in Tirana, Albania of all places.
As our time in Tirana was short, I will simply share a few photos and excerpts from my journal.
“Although we spent such a short amount of time here, I found it to be one of the most interesting (destinations). Just the way of life and history is so interesting. The affect of the tough times in the past are still so evident now.”
“Until 1991 it was only legal for government and military officials to drive. So everyday people have only been driving for 25 years in Albania.”
“Mercedes-Benz is the most popular car brand in Albania. BUT 80% of them are stolen from Germany.”
“Observation: Everything is under developed. Obviously because of the struggles it has had in the past in terms of war, invasions, dictators, etc. The country has never really recovered, or developed at all.”
“(The) Albanian countryside looks like a scene out of Narnia or Harry Potter. Everything is so natural. The mountains are dominating. Buildings are scarce in terms of quantity and quality.”
“From an architecture perspective, the designs within Tirana are so random due to the influences from the countries that have invaded / influenced them. There is Chinese, Italian, Turkish, German and Russian architecture styles, in addition to the attempt of modern architecture. Such a great juxtaposition.”
“It is clear that, as a country, they are trying to improve their image and encourage tourism – especially in Tirana. I think it’s quite interesting that they held an architecture competition, sometime in the last decade, to add value to the town and the idea selected was merely to add colour to buildings around town to make it look more appealing.”
“I have a feeling that in the future Albania, and Tirana specifically, will become a more popular place to visit. It has a lot of potential.”