SHKODRA, ALBANIA> my favorite place in the Balkans

I’ve been to Shkodra, 4 times in the past 7 years. I’ve been working on a Postcard project in Slovenia and thought the painting of my photo would make a nice postcard too. So I printed & sent 100 to a friend in Shkodra, Albania, the unreliable post of Albania? the cards never arrived. So I printed 200 and decided to deliver them and maybe make a little money?

I went through hell to get the painting from Albania, the story THE GREAT ART CAPER
I learned rather quickly that making money with the postcards was a BIG NO! They sell postcards here for 20 cents. My solution for the cards? I gave them to everyone I met. I traded my friend that owns the San Francisco Restaurant for dinner. I got a free beer at one place I gave a card to.

Since this is my fourth time here I do some repeat visits. I got a bike from the hostel and head out. There’s still some of the obvious problems that affect Albanians and are exacerbated by government corruption. There is no snow on the mountains and the rivers are at summer levels. Climate Change is having impacts here too.

Shkodra is now marketing itself as “THE BIKING CITY” I felt the same way 7 years ago, SKODRA ALBANIA, Eastern Europe’s Biking Capital

I biked the whole town but had never walked on the other side of the car-free zone. I was thinking that taking school groups out to clean-up the mountain of plastics and learn to respect the environment was something that is desperately needed. Then I stumbled across the EKO MENDJE. It’s an organization that is attempting to clean-up Albania, one site at a time.
The day laborer’s stood on the street corners with their “tools of the trade”. Albania is 50-60% , Muslim, but there are also Catholic and Christians. Another reason I respect the Albanian people, is they let religion be a personal choice.

I”m in Vlore, Albania now. I was just intending to work on the blog and enjoy my HOTEL room. I biked to the ferry to figure out my ticket then I rode the new beach esplanade. I was here maybe 4 years ago and boy has this town grown. Stone work bike lanes, walkways and parks, I hardly recognize the city. I’m staying at the GREAT HOTEL 4 STINET with an awesome breakfast.

When you do the Albanian wave, Albanian’s give you an ear to ear smile and flash you the wave.

Here’s a video from walking the many interesting streets of Shkodra

WALKING THE STREETS OF SHKODRA: MUSICIAN, CHICKENS AND FOOD STALLS

FUNNY SIGNS SEEN AROUND TOWN

Taking the ferry to Italy tomorrow (Feb. 28, 2020), with mask
Thanks for reading,
JEFF


ORIGINAL ALBANIAN POST FROM 2013



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