Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 12 - Tirana to Shkoder (100km)

Heading north toward the border to Montenegro, we made an effort take 'side roads' rather than the highway. As is often the case, this was not a particularly straight forward way to go. It took us through parts of the countryside that even locals probably don't ever see.

Many of the houses in the countryside were unfinished - concrete structures with supplies at the side and plants growing around the supplies. My initial assumption was that they were abandoned - but, in fact, it may just be that people construct houses differently here. Building as they are able to pay for it, rather than taking out an enormous loan as we do in North America. I rather like this idea.

One of the traditions here seems to be to hang a stuffed animal from the front of the house. It is like a modern day gargoyle, without the functional water letting properties, aesthetic appeal, or longevity of a gargoyle. It is something I'd never seen before coming here (and sort of hope to never see elsewhere - it's not the prettiest tradition).

There were also many abandoned factories that were begging for exploration - but we did not have the time (or balls) for such excursions. We pushed on to Shkoder, which will be our second and our last night in Albania. There is so much to see here, it seems a shame to leave so soon.


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