Praias vazias, comida deliciosa e um povo humilde
The Albanian customs officer looks at our passports, looks at us, peaks into Jorge and asks: „Holidays? Tourist?“ We nod, he stamps our passports, hands them over, says: „Wait…!“.
We look at him, waiting for the inspection of the car to come, when he pulls out a cigarette, lights it and orders: „Now, GO!“ 🙂
And so we enter one of the most poverty ridden countries in Europe, Albania, or, how they call it here, Shqipëria.
There is something peaceful, soft and unpretentious about this nation that we hadn’t expected. The pace is a lot slower than in the previous Balkan countries, drivers wait for us to enter a roundabout, they wave at us when we pass and seem happy. Old men ride their bicycles in their best suits on dirty roads, no matter what day of the week.
Everywhere we go, we’re welcomed warmly and with open arms. People don’t always speak English or any other language that we could communicate in. However, it doesn’t really matter. We learn the most important words like ‚Po‘ (yes), ‚Jo‘ (no) or ‚Falemindërit‘ and earn a smile and a head wobble wherever we use them. When we leave a place where we stayed, we get kisses on our cheeks, warm handshakes and a ‚All the best for you‘.
Driving through the cities and villages, it feels like travelling through South American regions that are lacking in infrastructure. There are also only a few real campsites in the whole country. However, the ones that we stay at are set-up perfectly.
Then there are the beaches. Rough, unspoiled (although full of trash) and the best of all: empty – except for the goats, of course.
We enjoy a short week here and love it. And it definitely won’t be the last time we visit this country.