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Some more photos from the Riviera

Paragliding is becoming more and more interesting lately. If you fancy flying from Llogara down to Palase, google Alket Islami, the head of the Albanian Aeronautic Association (or smth similar). Otherwise write me here, I have a couple of contacts.10-_IGP956211-_IGP9565

This is the view from the platform they have been recently, down to the military post where Top Gear flew an old Lada down to a ravine. 13-_IGP9570

Saranda, calm as always, with small and big yachts becoming more and more prevalent in the bay between Albania and Corfu. 70-_IGP9645

Ksamil and its small dreamy islands… Always a pleasure to come here and lay on the beach, reformatting your hard drive, away from city noise and pollution.75-IMG_6048

The small island you see in the Porto Palermo bay hosts one of the many fortresses of Ali Pasha of Tepelena (or Ioannina). It isn’t an island actually, there is a small strip connecting it to the mainland. The buildings on the foreground are part of a military complex serving the submarines base at the shore. I’m not sure if the base is still functional but I do know there are no more submarines there.

This place is almost after Himare, before reaching Qeparo or Borsh. The area is full of Aloe Vera and other medicinal herbs.

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Guys, I’m seriously thinking of turning my passion for travel to a full time tour guide operation. If you ever consider visiting Albania, let me know 🙂


Ngjipe Canyon

For you guys that want to find it online, most people have tagged this place as Gjipe because N & GJ are two letters of the Albanian alphabet that never go together. The street signs of the Ministry of Transport have the correct name on them, Ngjipe.

Here are some photos of the canyon. It was dead dry this summer and the only being I saw were a couple of frogs and a small snake living in a pond. No photos of them though.


Ngjipe – Perhaps the best beach in Albania

This place seemed always so close yet so far. I have been swimming around this part of Albania for as long as I remember but I never took the time to visit this particular beach and its canyon. To begin with, there was no road until recently and the road you see on the photos can be done only with 4×4.

It wasn’t on my plans for the last weekend either but an old Belgian couple I met up in Llogara told me they were amazed and considered this as the most beautiful beach in Albania. I decided on the spot to visit it, although I had my 4 years old son with me.

The place can be found easily if you keep an eye for Ilias village as soon as you cross Dhermi Panorama. After the village there is a right turn that leads to a monastery. The road is narrow but paved with asphalt. Drive until the end and you will see a parking space with amenities for campers. Park your car, pay some 1-2 EUR to the lady that lives there and just start walking toward the only path that leads down the hill toward the beach.

The rest can be seen on the photos. I can only say that the water was crystal clear, the beach was sort of sandy with very small pebble stones. There is also a canteen for beers or water, in case you didn’t bring yours. Expect to pay 80 cents for a small bottle of water or 1.5 EUR for a bottled beer (Korca). As for toilette or shower, this place is semi-famous for travelers with tends or sleeping bags and there are amenities.

Best part, this place is almost empty of people. I’ll post photos of the canyon tomorrow or the day after.


Moonday

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Moon during the day on a Sunday.


Tirana by night

 

Not much going on tonight. What you see on these photos is the fountain of Taiwan, a recreational center in the heart of Tirana, within Youth Park or Parku Rinia. The park itself, once home to hundreds of trees, became home of more than a couple dozen of tin shanties during the mid ’90s. Thanks to then mayor’s persistence (now PM), the park was freed from all the craziness of this lawlessness and the remaining trees started breathing air again. Unfortunately the park is nowhere near its former glory but let’s say it is on the right track.

Now, a funny story about the middle building on the background. First, it is against the law. It sits next to the Swiss Embassy and the Albanian law prohibits buildings of more than 4 floors when they share the same fence with a foreign embassy. Second, it is against the building guidelines since it does not posses an underground parking. It doesn’t have parking at all. Third, its owners were in such a hurry finishing its construction that they forgot about the elevator shaft. Can you fucking believe that? I used to work at the low building next to it and we had to listen to their jackhammers all day for a whole week while they were opening a new elevator shaft from the top floor to the ground floor. To be fair though, the owners weren’t the brightest tools in the shed, if you catch my drift. Violent and scary people, like straight out of a cave. I almost forgot, it’s also too close to the building on its right and that is against the law. So, in all its greatness, this is how we used to fuck the law from all holes here in Albania until recently. If it happened 70 meters far from PM’s office, imagine what has happened in other cities. Now it’s getting better but the pace is toooooooo slooooooow but let’s discuss it in another thread.

I’m sorry my post got dark pretty soon but as you see on the photos, the sun is setting. If you ever visit Tirana, stop by Taiwan for a coffee and if it’s summer evening, the water flow on the fountain follows the rhythm of operas playing on the background. A truly relaxing experience.


German Bird

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Met this fella in Hamburg, he stared at me with his hands behind his back  and gave me the “WTF Do You Want” look. I promptly apologized, took a photo of him and continued on my way.

Seriously though, some of the most good looking girls I’ve met this year were from Germany 😉 (more…)


Hello Hamburg

A majestic city, although I managed to visit only the center. I guess I should thank the Berlin Airports Ground Operations Syndicate for their strikes during the 2017 ITB in Berlin. As there were no flights from Berlin, I had to take a train to Hamburg and fly from its airport. I really liked those couple of hours I spent there and hopefully I’ll visit it again as I have family in Kiel, one hour north.

 


A weekend trip to Berlin

I know most of the photos are cliché but it was my first time in Berlin and I had a blast. Me and two colleagues were actually there for the ITB Tourism Fair but we managed to finish our appointments in time and had like two full days & nights to wander around and detox our systems with pure beer. I wish we had some electronic music therapy too but we ran out of money too soon, thanks to the strike at both Berlin airports and expensive last minute tickets. I will definitely visit again this fantastic place.


Another weekend in Durres

Some sea snail shells, a naked woman statue and a strange playground where a ship ran ashore and couldn’t go back to sea. It’s the Kompleksi Teuta one. The strange gray metallic wall on the right is actually part of the ship and the hull has sunk in the sand at almost ground level.

The season is starting so get ready beforehand to visit our beautiful country, the land of contradictions. 🙂

A friendly reminder, you’ll find us on AirBnb and at our website http://www.durresbeachapartment.com 🙂

 


Good morning from Durres

At approximately 8 o clock, a peaceful morning, a cold breeze and a warm sunshine caressing our faces. I wish I had my running shoes but still, I was late for work. It will be for another time I guess.

So, what you see here is the Durres beach, as seen from Apollonia beach, a small section of the long seashore. The structure on the sea surface used to be  a restaurant but nowadays only the platform remain, the restaurant is long gone. The hills on the background are part of Rock of Kavaja, a small rocky hill by the highway.

As you can see, the beach is perfect foo jogging and the sea is ideal for families with kids since the water is shallow. If you’re thinking of visiting Durres, check my rental apartment here. If you’re from the future and wish to pay in bitcoins, let me know, I’ll be happy to welcome you.