We left Ksamil very early to get back to Tirane, but stopped off at Blue Eye on the way. Blue Eye is a natural spring which bubbles up from the surface, creating a whirlpool effect of clear, crisp water. When looking over the spring it gave the impression that it was a huge eye. The force of the spring caused a powerful stream through the woodland creating white water rapids, like those at Center Parcs, but on acid. It was pretty stunning, and all completely natural. As usual, Albania had managed to make a potentially lucrative tourist attraction very difficult to get to. The road to get to Blue Eye was pot-holed and bumpy. If only they could enhance the facilities and make it more known to the general public, they could make so much money. There weren’t really any signs for it either, so you wouldn’t know it was there if you weren’t looking for it.

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Back on the road and we were once again stopped by the police, but this time to just say hello. Apparently the area was notorious for drug smuggling, being on the Greek border an’ all. Lorries and any cars full of just men are automatically searched. So when they saw two women and one weedy English guy in the back seat, they let us pass through. Apparently this is the litmus test as to who the drug smugglers are. So if I ever wanted to smuggle drugs over the border, I know who to have in my car.

Mountain after mountain, trees after trees, communist bunker after communist bunker we were back in Durres. We had lunch at the beach and then went to the top of a castle’s turret which had been converted into a bar. After a spot of ice cream on the coast we headed to Tirane. One of our final sites of Albania was a man walking a bear. Bears should not be taken for walks with chains around their necks. A sorry sight.

Seven Things I learnt About Albania

  1. 95% of the people in Albania are accommodating, friendly, and warm. 5% are the police and psychotic taxi drivers.

  2. Breakfast isn’t really a thing. The closest thing you have to breakfast is coffee, raki, or beer.

  3. People cross the road on motorways where the speed limit is 100 kilometres an hour. Zebra crossings are a waste of paint. Not only do people not use them, but I’m not even sure whether they know what they are.

  4. It’s actually impossible to starve in Albania. There is so much natural produce nobody can say they are ever hungry – just find the nearest tree.

  5. Albania is one big brainstorm away from becoming a tourist hotspot. This is what they need:

  • Better transport (particularly a better train service).

  • Acknowledgement, restoration, and promotion of heritage sites for tourists to visit

  • Corruption removed from the police force.

  1. Ednora has about 700 aunts and uncles, 2000 cousins, and several grandparents.

  2. Bryan Adams, Elton John and Lily Allen are kind of a big deal here.

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