Tirana was a complete change of pace from the quiet countryside of the Albanian Riviera. The capital city delivered tons of dark communist architecture like this now abandoned pyramid that was built as a museum to the dictator Enver Hoxha. Now it is a giant trash heap which accurately sums up his legacy.
While it might look a bit creepy, hanging teddy bears or life-sized scarecrows from roofs is very commonplace all over Albania. The belief is that it wards off the evil eye. We saw them hanging from everything from commercial buildings to residential homes 🧿
This is Berat, The City of 1,000 Windows. We fell victim to the forceful tour of the town by the local hobo scam. It goes like this: You start to stroll though the nice old town taking in the views when a kindly old man beckons you up the hill for the best view of the city. You oblige against your better judgement and follow the man up the hill and are rewarded with the nice view. He proceeds to give you a counterfeit history lesson of the town and church you're standing in. Just when you think the tour ...
So Albania was a little afraid of foreign invasion and by a little afraid I mean "cover every inch of coastline with defensive bunkers for the invasion that never came" type scared. Lauren was beyond ecstatic to find one on a hike. Lauren read about these pill boxes that dot the countryside at a rate of 15.7 per square mile. It was inevitable that we would find one but exciting nonetheless. Swipe over to see what the inside looks like.
The Albanian Riveria is miles of pristine coastline interrupted by the occasional small town or pack of wandering animals. It made for some great driving and pit stops along the way. The summer season was just getting started but the beaches were pretty enjoyably sparse everywhere we went. This was one of the busier beaches that had some kind of camping and rock climbing weekend in the canyon behind the beach.
We forgot to get a good shot of the blue eye so here are some video clips instead. The Blue Eye is one of Albania's more popular attractions. It's a deep blue hole of bubbling fresh water that makes for some pretty blue hues. 🔵👁️🇦🇱
The Albanian Riveria is a stretch of Albania's southern coastline. It's getting pretty popular with tons of hotels quickly popping up along the seaside towns. This was the view of Sarandë as we approached on the ferry from Greece. We were really excited to see Albania as some people described it as having the same beautiful water as the Greek islands but at a fraction of the price.