You know one thing that sucks traveling as a female?
That nature continues its course.
You beg her not to come but good ole Aunt Flo shows up on vacation with you just the same. She says ‘it’s only a few days, you won’t even know I’m here’. I call BS. She makes you moody and irrational and lazy. The travel partner that nobody wants.
Also, it’s Murphy’s law that your bowels have been acting completely fine until the day that you are travelling and carrying a 13kilo pack in which the waistband is cinched in squeezing everything even more. If you’ve seen the movie Bridesmaids you will understand this reference as I had numerous visions throughout the day of having to slowly squat down in the street and just let it happen. WAY too close for my liking. Damn street meat.
That being said, Albania was still amazing, and other than having no sleep and being homesick for anything familiar, Greece isn’t too bad either.
I’m going to be honest and say that I knew nothing about Albania before I went (I don’t even think I knew it was a country..) and I was very pleasantly surprised. Having just come out of communism in the past 20 years it is fairly untouched by tourism and that was what I was excited for. The history is very rich and the beauty is around every corner. The people are so kind and willing to help out even though the majority of people do not speak English. This resulted in a lot of hand gestures and best guesses.
Albania is a fairly small country but it takes forever to get from one place to another and ‘bus stations’ are more of a stop at the corner of an intersection. Good luck finding any kind of schedule, more of a show up and hope for the best kind of scenario. Sometimes this means the buses are over capacity and then they break out the collapsible stools for people to sit on in the aisles (yes, this happened).
I spent a good portion of my time in the interior of the country but skipped out to the coast for the last two days to cool off in the refreshing Adriatic one last time. If I’m being honest, there’s not a ton of things to do but it’s always nice to just enjoy the slow pace of life. And if you are looking for a thrill, I’d suggest renting a bike and riding it around the city of Shkodra. Definitely something that needs to be experienced first hand. And while you’re at it, make sure to bike up to the castle at sunset to watch the most incredible thing. My favourite sunset to date (I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the company I had with me..).
I can’t believe I return home in less than two weeks, the time has just flown by!