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Last week Albania

It seems like an eternity since my mother arrived at Tirana Airport. She arrived on Sunday and Thursday evening we took her to the hotel next to the airport. So that she could fly back to the Netherlands at 6 a.m. on Friday morning. We are already in Montenegro again, 15 degrees colder than in Shkodra and it rains all day long. Still, a lot has happened this last week in Albania.


On Monday we went into Shkoder. Actually like all other cities there is no parking space to be found and you have to be a bit lucky for a place and we had that. In that place we did lose the 'X' on the tailgate of our Volvo, which probably fell off completely on its own......... (not).

We went to the 'Site of Witness and Memory' a museum about communist rule in Shkoder. There is also the possibility to view the old cell complex. You see the cells and the room where people were interrogated. The torture techniques are described and you also see the isolation cells. Rudolf asks if we want to close a door to experience what it must have been like for the prisoners. Very very oppressive! It is an impressive museum that you must have seen to get an impression of the regime.

On the way back to the car we pass a greengrocer and buy carrots, bananas, apples and tomatoes here. Altogether less than €5,-. Mom thanks the owner and she immediately gets a big smile and hug back. That's how it goes when you buy from the local entrepreneur.

Then we go to some airy, the museum of Venice Art Masks. Here in Shkodra is the factory of Venetian masks. We get a short tour of the factory where the ladies are focussed at work. The real masks are made of papier machee and not plastic as you can also see. Each employee has their own specialty and it also takes a day to let everything dry properly, before moving on to the next part. In addition to masks, they also make art objects, beautiful artistic masks that can fill an entire wall on their own. We thank the employees 'Valeminderit' and there will be a smile on various faces. After the factory, where no photos are allowed, we go to the shop. You can take pictures of that anywhere, because that's the final product. The owner has eight shops in Venice and one in Las Vegas. In addition, he exports to Dubai, Australia, Austria and wherever you want to go. A number of masks have been used in Tom Cruise's film 'Eyes Wide Shut'. Mom buys a bracelet and we buy a small mask. If you're in the area here, this getaway is definitely worth it. Oh yes, afterwards mom was allowed to take two photos in the factory. Not from the production, but from two paintings.

Just go shopping at the Spar. Here we see the slum and the begging children again. Who this time even try to steal food from the bag and if that doesn't work they walk all the way to the car. Fortunately, they do go aside, because you also hear that they will then stand in front of and around your car.

Koman en Prekali

Mom goes on an excursion to Koman Lake. She leaves at 8am, which eventually turns 8.30am due to a car that is too small for the number of people. So a second car has to be added. She will be back at 6pm. She confirms what we already heard that the road to Koman is full of holes and potholes, that it is not a nice road to drive and that your camper or car will age five years in one hour. In addition, she sees a lot of waste in Koman Lake, a lot of plastic bottles, a lot of junk. It was a nice trip, but maybe more beautiful in the brochures than in real life.

We drive by car to Prekali, a village (formerly hamlet) inland. First we visit an old original Ottoman bridge near Shkodra. Very nice to see and it wasn't busy with other tourists. The route to Prekali is with beautiful rocks and clear water. Here you can hardly take two cars past each other, but the route is beautiful. However, Prekali is a hamlet and that is where the asphalt road also ends. You can continue off-road towards Theth with a 4WD / jeep.

Birthday Lianne

This is why Mom came to Albania. Rudolf decorated the canopy with garlands and of course a 50 drawing. Mom brought the presents from the Netherlands and a number of sweet cards from family members. That was a nice surprise. Also surprising were all the apps I received from the family and friends, Rudolf had told them that I turned 50. In the evening the three of us had dinner in the restaurant on the campsite, offered by the group of friends from Winterswijk. It wasn't to be missed that day, and before you know it, the day will be over in no time.

Krujë part 2

Mom thought it would be nice to see a bazaar and we had to take her to Tirana Airport anyway so we could visit Krujë again. This was nice to link. Of course she bought a carpet and at the store where we also bought one ourselves. She had to think about it for a while, but still tacked. This lady is 77 herself and still makes the carpets herself. She also sells them to shops in Gjirokaster and Berat, but yes her age is already progressing and she has no successor (according to her son). Mom gives her a big hug and we get a little keepsake. Another wonderful visit to this shop, I can recommend it to anyone. The only store where handmade carpets are still made, you can see it in the loom that is in use.

We have some food in a traditional tavern, where Misty is also allowed to enter and then we drive on to Tirana. Together with mom we take a look in the departure hall (where the arrivals hall is also :-) to check in advance whether everything is clear for tomorrow morning. Then really comes the goodbye. A nice goodbye with a smile and a tear, knowing that we will see each other again soon and that both of us are doing well. Love you mom.


After we recover from the intensive week on Friday, we will drive a bit towards Theth on Saturday. I would really like to visit it, park the caravan in Boge and then continue by car to Theth. So we're going to test and that's a good thing. I soon realise that Rudolf is right. The road is very narrow and you can drive two cars past each other with art and flying. Provided you stop and go on the verge. That is really not possible with a 7.5 metre caravan. However, the route is beautiful and only after Bogë does the climb really start. We didn't, because we just wore shorts. In Bogë the temperature had already dropped to 14 degrees and it also started to rain. Quickly back to Shkodra, where it was warm and dry. So it didn't become A Theth, but directly on to Montenegro. (wherever it rains now haha).

I can recommend Albania to anyone, provided you also visit the local entrepreneur in the non-touristy areas. Then you experience the country even more intensely than if you only visit the tourist villages and areas. And they see that you are a tourist and then the price can always be just a little higher ;-). Warm regards from rainy Montenegro, Lianne


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