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Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
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  #1  
Old 20 Feb 2006
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Location: Gent/Antwerpen
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northern albania - kosovo

hi all,

glad to hear so many people have passed through albania and liked it. trui and i are vaguely thinking about going back this summer and do some of the things we missed out last time. hence, some questions:

we skipped kosovo (lack of time) two years ago, but would like to do it now (at least the southern part). i suppose safety wouldn't be the biggest problem, but accomodation used to be hard to find. is that still so?

borders: i see there still is quite a lot of discussion about riding through the north eastern-part of albania. any recent info on safety? (never mind the bad roads)
i suppose northern macedonia is ok by now, apart from the north western part near the border?

considering albania in general we were wondering if it would be doable to enter albania via debar and then drive through the mountains to gjirokaster in one day (given the bad roads)... and if anyone been in this part of the mountains and has any info on safety/road conditions/accomodation? -same thing for north eastern part near kukes and bajram curri).

any info on (free)camping in the balkans in general? (bosnia and below?)

thanks a lot and enjoy the upcoming season
g(&t)
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  #2  
Old 25 Feb 2006
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Hi guys,

Last year I went from north to south along the coast of Albania, then to the SE corner, and a bit along the Albanian/Macedonian border before crossing over into Macedonia. Originally I had intended to do the complete loop inside Albania, but the more I read about the NE the more I realized I needed more time to really enjoy it. Apparently it can be a bit wild, but I don't think there are many issues these days with security. Apparently some of the towns in the NE that used to be completely lawless have been cleaned up by the government. I'm looking forward to heading back there when I have some more time. As far as crossing into Kosovo, my sources say it isn't a problem, but you do have to buy separate insurance for the province. There are more small hotels about Kosovo than there were just a few years ago (I used to work there), but they can be a bit expensive. I think that trying to push thru to Girocaster in one day would be difficult to impossible if the weather is not good. Girocaster is not that exciting anyway (even though it gets a lot of write-up in the books). I say take your time in the NE and enjoy one of the last "remote" areas of Europe. Let me know how it goes for you.
Mike
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  #3  
Old 26 Feb 2006
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So the Bajram Curri and Tropoj√ę areas have been "cleaned" by the police? How do you know it?
I am also interested to go there this summer.
It sounds tempting when yoy say "the last remote areas of Europe", especially for a geography student like me.
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  #4  
Old 26 Feb 2006
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I said "government" not police, and that's just what the Brandt Travel guide said. It's a good and fairly up-to-date book.
Mike (also a geography student)
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  #5  
Old 6 Mar 2006
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hey mike,

we were'nt planning to drive all the way down from bajram curri to gkirokaster, actually, just considering to enter via macedonia, let's say via ohrid for example, then drive wouthwards to gjirokaster, and loop back up via the coast past durres and then into the north... but we have no idea if we'd find a place to slaap before gjirokaster then... any ideas?

chance is high we'll be going back, so i'll let you know how it went. we sure loved it two years ago.

greertings and thanks
g
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  #6  
Old 7 Mar 2006
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Location: Varazdin, Croatia, Europe
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Quote:
thanks a lot and enjoy the upcoming season
g(&t)[/B]
We've been in 2004 through Albania - on the way back, we've entered Albania from Kosovo (i don't recall the name of the border crossing) and drew from Krkes to Skoeder. It took us a lot of time as the road was in a bad shape but the scenery was great!

We didn't encourted any problems during this part of our trip and, AFAIR, the road condition in Albania was inproved during last years.
__________________
SixDays02 | Croatia
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  #7  
Old 8 Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaea_trui:
hey mike,

we were'nt planning to drive all the way down from bajram curri to gkirokaster, actually, just considering to enter via macedonia, let's say via ohrid for example, then drive wouthwards to gjirokaster, and loop back up via the coast past durres and then into the north... but we have no idea if we'd find a place to slaap before gjirokaster then... any ideas?
g
There are places to stop between Ohrid Gjirokaster, a few "lodges" in the mountains as well as small hotels in most larger towns. Pick up a copy of Brant's travel guide for Albania if you can. It seems to be the most up-to-date, is quite informative, and a nice change from Lonely Planet.

Good luck,
Mike

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