Sadly, it took three visits to Albania before I wrote an article about this interesting new tourist country. My first quick visit from the North Macedonian Lake Ohrid, and the second day-visit was from Greek Corfu by hydrofoil to Albania’s Sarande. The third time was a flight to the capital Tirana, where we spent a day before we took the local bus to the port city Durres, and from there we took the boat to Italy.
We visited a very interesting bunker in Tirana, which was made into a museum (Bunkart 2) of Albania’s troublesome recent past of human rights violations and introversion. Tirana felt indeed more interesting than the coastal cities that are marketed to tourists as relaxing holiday resorts. The beaches are often enclosed and hard to reach, and as those towns also have substantial port activities they dominate the best parts of the city. The restaurants in Sarande and Durres were not that impressive either, whilst the eateries in the old bazaar area of Tirana were quite interesting.
We tasted Albanian meat-focused specialities although also fish and seafood is widely available also outside the coastal regions. We tasted something that they called summer salad, and it seemed to contain cottage cheese, marinated pepper crush and garlic. Stews of for example mutton (mish) and beans can also be found in the menus.
The Albanians are eager to show their internationality by speaking English. They are thrilled to find themselves being a new destination for tourists and they are happy to help their visitors.