Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Albania Adventure

Four days of our trip were unplanned. We wanted to go from Greece to Croatia, but the countries in between are off the grid, meaning not on the rail system. So we planned to figure it out when we got there. This is what we ended up figuring...

From Thessolaniki, Greece we hopped on a bus to Tirana, Albania. Getting on the bus, everything looked great - our bus driver spoke English, the lady at the office was super helpful and nice. But when we got on the bus, our seat numbers 27 and 28 didn't exist. There was a 26 and a 29, but no 27 and 28. Our bus driver, who treated us like his special guests, squared it away for us and off we went on our expected 8 hour bus ride. Almost 12 hours later, we arrived in the excommunist center of Albania, which looked like China buildings with European people. Albania was very interesting because communism only ended in 1991, so old bomb shelter bunkers are scattered all over the country side and the buildings in the middle of town have communist stars and soldiers still hanging on their walls. Using our Lonely Planet Travel Guide, we quickly found a hostel, walked the town a bit, found a bite to eat, and finally found someone to help us figure out how to get to Montenegro, the next country between us and Croatia. We hopped a mini-bus, which was just a really nice Kenyan matatu, to Shkoder, the closest Albanian city to the border. From there, we got a taxi, whose driver must have learned to drive from Kenyan matatu drivers, to Montenegro. He drove us across the border to Bar, Montenegro without crashing into anyone, although there were many close calls. A train to Kotor, Montenegro finally got us to a place where we could sleep for a few nights.

Montenegro was beautiful and had very amazing Old Towns from medieval times, but that's a seperate story. Let me finish by saying two nights in Montenegro were relaxing until we hopped back on a bus to Croatia. The border from Hell awaited us, but again we had a crazy driver who took our big bus around the 2 kilometer line and we had finally made it to Croatia!


  1. Kim and Will,
    Loved hearing your update...thanks for taking time to "take us along" on your journey. Blessings!! Tom and Linda H.

  2. glad to hear from you two!!! Sounds like quite the adventure!!!! Love you both sooo much!