TIRANA: WHAT HAPPENED TO STALIN AND LENIN?

I take the bus from Shkoder to Tirana, usually the road between to major destinations is busy, this one is no different. Good decision, the road is narrow, fast and crowded. I board the bus and grab a seat, then i inspect my seat choice.

20131017-182953.jpgTHE BUS WINDOW IS FILLED WITH WATER.
I can´t see out the window, as the bus empties I move to a view seat. I spot a couple cycle touring, doesn´t look too fun. The bus drops me off, I don´t see one cyclist on my pedal to the Hostel. I left Shkoder too soon, TIRANA is the capital and very busy.
I chose the TIRANA BACKPACKERS HOSTEL because of their bike knowledge. So I got my directions for the museums, farmers market, gypsy camp, and an awesome restaurant. I go to the Art Museum first.

20131017-203807.jpgALBANIA TRADITIONAL DRESS, ALL THE “LOCAL” ART WAS OUTSTANDING (check Albanian photos for more art paintings)
But this next photo is a part of recent history. In December 1990 the last Stalin statue in Europe was pulled down.

20131017-205549.jpgTHIS IS WHERE LENIN AND STALIN SIT NOW, BEHIND THE ART MUSEUM, COVERED!
Walking the street offers opportunities that biking doesn´t like the

20131017-205758.jpgAPPLE BICYCLE CART, PRETTY COOL
I go to the HISTORY MUSEUM rumor says it´s not great, but actually i saw a couple interesting things. The huge stamp collection focused on historical periods in history, there was a large bicycle series.
I head the the open market, It´s actually pretty interesting

20131017-213519.jpgHUNDREDS OF UN-PAIRED SHOES, EVERYWHERE.

then I saw this fun bike shirt

20131017-213818.jpg“CAKEWALK YOURSELF” (they only had it in a small)
I bought everything I needed to make a dinner, prawns, tomato, broccoli, onion. Every time I buy something, they always give me something extra. I bought a melon and later he waved me over and gave me a cucumber. When I bought a shirt, she gave me a key chain. I was given post cards. This is from a country that pays their teachers $300 a month.
The last time I got fresh ground coffee was Barcelona (Starbucks), I was giving up. The poorest country I visit has fresh ground roasted coffee.

20131020-104709.jpgAMERICAN DUCK TAPE GETTING THE JOB DONE AT THE HOSTEL
The cyclist I saw from the bus show up at the hostel.

20131020-104929.jpgTHE FUN PART OF CYCLING, FIXING A FLAT AND GETTING GREASY!
I sometimes read about the Roma/Gypsy being moved, well this is where they end up

20131020-105252.jpg THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS OF THE ENCAMPMENT IN PHOTO GALLERY

20131020-110138.jpgHOW ABOUT A LITTLE BBQ GOAT/SHEEP? HEAD FOR LUNCH?

20131020-110319.jpgTRYING TO RIDE OUT OF TOWN, THE BIKE LANES ARE USED AS PARKING, EVERYWHERE
I´m riding to Duress on the coast, an easy 40km. The road is so beat up, I´ve been mountain biking on trails that are smoother than the roads here.

20131020-110739.jpgONCE YOU GET 5-10 KM FROM TOWN THE TRAFFIC DROPS OFF.

20131020-111032.jpgI CAN´T FIND THE CARD, BUT THE HOTELS ARE $15-$20 A NIGHT ON THE BEACH. Off season has it´s advantages
.

20131020-111651.jpgTHE BACKROADS OF ALBANIA CAN BE CHALLENGING

20131020-111806.jpg THIS GUY WAS AWESOME, CUSTOM MADE WOOD FIRED PIZZA ($3) I had one both nights in FIER, Albania.

20131020-112245.jpgI MUST HAVE SEEN 10 DIFFERENT PEOPLE HERDING THEIR TURKEY´S. Turkey is my favorite meat, I´m looking to order it, but can´t find it yet?
I kept seeing these stuffed animals hanging from houses under construction.

20131020-113449.jpgTHE STUFFED ANIMALS ARE USED TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS.
I decide to take the scenic route along a lagoon and avoid the traffic.

20131020-114243.jpgTHERE WERE THESE AWESOME CEMENT WITH STONE INLAY TABLES AND CHAIRS. Some one should import these?
The “highway” fruit stands were awesome.

20131020-114656.jpgTHEY WERE SELLING POTATOES FOR 16 CENTS A POUND.
I took the taxi out to visit APOLLONIA.

20131020-115243.jpgIT´S SAID THAT JULIAS CEASAR HUNG OUT HERE IN THE DAY
More interesting than that was Albania’s leader ENVER HOXHA built 700,000 bunkers.

20131020-120105.jpgTHIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF MILITARY WASTE, THEY COULD HAVE USED ALL THOSE RESOURCES FOR HOUSING OR ROADS (which they need)

20131020-120343.jpgTHE STONE MOSAICS WERE AMAZING

20131020-120527.jpgTHE DIFFERENT COLORS ARE SORTED COLORED STONES

.

20131020-143346.jpg RIDING INTO VLORE, ALBANIA.
There is so much to write about, but I´m going to end it here for now
TO VIEW THE ALBANIA PHOTOS CLICK HERE
THANKS FOR READING
RIDE ON
JEFF
NEXT? VLORE, MUSEUM CITY OF ALBANIA?

20131020-144459.jpgCOFFEE SHOP PHOTO (didn’t load the first time?)

2 thoughts on “TIRANA: WHAT HAPPENED TO STALIN AND LENIN?

  1. Pingback: CARFREE IN TIRANA ALBANIA PART VI the Final Chapter (finally!) | Jeff's Bike Tour

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