Albania (the destination we are most proud of)
Trip Start Feb 22, 2005
35Trip End Ongoing
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We decided to go through with the plan and as soon as we crossed the border we were greeted by our first fake copper that demanded our passports. It was kind of funny, we had read about these dudes but didn't think that we would run into one literally 50 metres into the country. Anyway, we politely told the fake copper that there was absolutely no need for us to show our passports again seeing that we had just shown the customs officials. After arguing with him and a couple of taxi drivers for a while, we finally decided to walk of down the highway to the mini buses
At that minute, some dodgey bloke agreed to drive us to the mini-bus station. This is the same mini bus station that he and his mates tried to convince us didn't exist and that we would have to get into one of their taxis for the 200 km drive to Tirana. We ended up giving some magazine delivery guy 10 Euros for a trip into the capital. He couldn't speak English, we couldn't speak Albanian and so we all just sat in the front seat eating chocolate.
Tirana was a cool place, it was nicer than I expected it to be and the people were super friendly. One time we were lost looking for the mini bus to a city in the North and a fast-food vendor walked over to us and asked if we needed help. He gave us directions to the mini bus and we happily set out in the completely wrong direction. We then stood at the biggest dirt round about I have ever seen, giving way to shonky buses, stray animals and a thousand Mercedies (it is literally the only brand of car you'll see in this country). The food vendor saw that we had completely stuffed up with the directions and that we were slightly intimated by the 8 lanes of traffic. He walked over to us and walked us across the road, with his hand out-stretched and yelling something in Albanian. He parted the see of traffic like some sort of biblical backpacker hero. We finally got on the bus and enjoyed looking at bunkers and the massive rocky mountains that cover the entire country.