Greetings from Tirana, Albania.
I’m writing this from Tirana in an apartment I rented with my friend Alex from Finding the Freedom who I have been traveling with the last week or so through Albania. The bus to Tirana from Saranda wasn’t that bad to be honest and it was a small mini bus which cost 1300L which is roughly ~10E or so; indeed.
The buses leave quite regularly at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30am etc… I know there are earlier ones but do check when you’re in Saranda; it’s right near the main square and if you ask around you can’t miss it. The ride will take you ~6 hours or so not because it’s far just because the bus only goes to a maximum of 80km an hour, is on windy roads for lots of the trip and makes frequent stops to pick people up and drop them off from random locations.
The guy driving my bus was amazing and he let me sit in the front seat, yes like a big kid. We hung out and got along quite well which made the time pass quickly and before I knew it, we were stopping for lunch. The driver invited us to join him so we did and ordered this mystery soup which frankly, I’m cool not knowing the contents of. Some of it was good but much was left due to the mystery of it all and the texture sure wasn’t helping.
The driver bought us both a coffee which was delicious and strong; an hour or so later we were rolling into Tirana. Albania isn’t a particularly large country so what I’m quickly realizing is that Tirana is not just the capital when it comes to government but really the capital for everything. The moment we started rolling into town it had a distinctly different feel than the rest of Albania which I’d been getting to know for little over the last week.
We got dropped off by the side of the road and took an inexpensive taxi to the apartment where we are now. Tirana has a real pulse and happy to be back in a major city… Saranda was a cool stop but it’s November and in hibernation mode until next year as it’s primary function is a popular beach destination but this time of year, not so much. Really glad to be in Albania actually as it’s a country I never heard much about but have been interested in for quite some time.