Greek and Latin Theranda: the fallen material
Moving on our spontaneous very last minute mini break, after visiting the capital city of Montenegro, Podgorica, where our flight landed; we continued our journey south towards Albania where we would spend the next 2 days visiting the capital, Tirana, the Adriatic coast resort city of Durres, and the marvellous intact Ottoman city of Berat in the middle of the country. Not much time for that many places, but easily manageable since the size of the cities are small and you can do both Tirana and Durres in the same day as they compliment each other. Planning any longer for Tirana would be nonsense as there is not really much to do and visit there.
I must say coming to Albania is been quite difficult over the years hence why we kept postponing it. Flying into Tirana is not a cheap business at all! Perhaps the tax is very high, or there is no other choice from London than the only direct flight with British Airways so no competitive. The great news was to find out the new Ryanair route from London to Podgorica, a great location just 24 kilometres from the Albanian border. However do not even expect good overland transportation between both countries. There is only a bus per day between Podgorica and Tirana in each direction, but the next good news is that you can rent a car in Montenegro and drive it into Albania at a little extra cost for the insurance. With all this information on hand, it was clear this was our chance now.
Tirana is very easy to navigate, either on foot or by car. Most of the city centre was planned in the 1930s following a perfect orthogonal street grid, although this urbanism came at a cost, demolishing many older structures from the Ottoman period, and unfortunately many more were destroyed through the WWII period. What’s there today is not much and that’s the reason you should plan ahead your trip including other places/cities or you will actually face having nothing else to do. (more…)