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.
THE 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.
ALBANIA 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.
THIS IS WHERE LENIN AND STALIN SIT NOW, BEHIND THE ART MUSEUM, COVERED!
Walking the street offers opportunities that biking doesn´t like the
APPLE 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
HUNDREDS OF UN-PAIRED SHOES, EVERYWHERE.
then I saw this fun bike shirt
“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.
AMERICAN DUCK TAPE GETTING THE JOB DONE AT THE HOSTEL
The cyclist I saw from the bus show up at the hostel.
THE 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
THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS OF THE ENCAMPMENT IN PHOTO GALLERY
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE BBQ GOAT/SHEEP? HEAD FOR LUNCH?
TRYING 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.
ONCE YOU GET 5-10 KM FROM TOWN THE TRAFFIC DROPS OFF.
I CAN´T FIND THE CARD, BUT THE HOTELS ARE $15-$20 A NIGHT ON THE BEACH. Off season has it´s advantages
THE BACKROADS OF ALBANIA CAN BE CHALLENGING
THIS GUY WAS AWESOME, CUSTOM MADE WOOD FIRED PIZZA ($3) I had one both nights in FIER, Albania.
I 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.
THE STUFFED ANIMALS ARE USED TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS.
I decide to take the scenic route along a lagoon and avoid the traffic.
THERE WERE THESE AWESOME CEMENT WITH STONE INLAY TABLES AND CHAIRS. Some one should import these?
The “highway” fruit stands were awesome.
THEY WERE SELLING POTATOES FOR 16 CENTS A POUND.
I took the taxi out to visit APOLLONIA.
IT´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.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF MILITARY WASTE, THEY COULD HAVE USED ALL THOSE RESOURCES FOR HOUSING OR ROADS (which they need)
THE STONE MOSAICS WERE AMAZING
THE DIFFERENT COLORS ARE SORTED COLORED STONES
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
NEXT? VLORE, MUSEUM CITY OF ALBANIA?
COFFEE SHOP PHOTO (didn’t load the first time?)
2 thoughts on “TIRANA: WHAT HAPPENED TO STALIN AND LENIN?”
Love the coffee bean pics Jeff. Inexpensive hotels on the beach are way cool too. Ride on brother! Mark