This is part of the third section of our around
the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Macedonia
2/12/97 A very thorough check of papers out of Macedonia, (seems many stolen vehicles try to cross into Albania) and a cursory and friendly welcome into Albania. $US 5.00 for each, Kay, myself and the motorcycle for paperwork. A frequent visitor to Albania informed us that the "war" was now over and it should be safe to travel. We headed off to Tirana (the capital) cautiously at first but with the friendly smiles and waving we soon relaxed. The poorer but quite acceptable, even good compared to India, road meanders up throughout the mountains to Librazhd in sunshine before heavy rain set in, suggesting we stay the night at Elbasan. Our new hotel with spacious double room, heating and private bathroom at $US 20.00. So far the quality of accommodation this trip is excellent, between $US 10.00 and $US 30.00, averaging about $US 18.00 a night for both of us. All have hot water and heated rooms and most with private bathrooms.
3/12/97 The 54 km stretch to Tirana rises to mountains and follows a razor back ridge dropping either side to valleys of magnificent scenery. Again raining, thunderstorms. Spent just two hours in Tirana looking for suitable accommodation, walking muddy potholed streets. It seems an enigma of dilapidating government infrastructure with glossy private enterprise. Decided to press on to Shkodra, just 35 km short of the Yugoslav (Montenegro) border. Shkodra still has "mafia" problems left over from the civil war of just two months ago. On entering town we were advised not to leave the bike in the street. At our cheap hotel they would not allow the bike to be kept in the locked compound but insisted it be locked in the reception area. At a restaurant we were advised to return to our hotel by 6.00 pm, to be off the streets after dark. All this advice given by ordinary citizens without asking easily convinced us to take care. Reinforcing this were the 50 odd rifle shots we heard between 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm that night.
4/12/97 Violent electrical storms and heavy rain through the night cleared for great riding weather as we left Albania for Yugoslavia.
Move with us to Yugoslavia
or go to our next visit to Albania
Story and photos copyright ©
Peter and Kay Forwood,