Sun and smiles in Shkodra
Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
143Trip End Sep 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
Our next try (after wandering around a bit looking lost and being offered help a lot) at hotel Parku was the polar opposite - staff that spoke no English whatsoever with huge welcoming smiles. The lady found great amusement in trying to pronounce our names from our passports and then proceeded to show us around in Italian - Albanian hybrid.
Our next challenge was catching a bus 4km South of town to Rozafa fortress. It took an hour, and asking a lot of people to find roughly where the bus might pass by and a description of the bus so we would know which one to try and stop. Thankfully our wild arm flailing was successful at stopping the bus and afterward whenever the same bus driver passed us around town he waved and grinned at us. The fortress on the hill overlooks lake Skadar, which is shared between Albania and Montenegro. Built progressively by the Illyrians, Venetians and Turks and now rebuilt by international funding, the place is an overgrown maze, complete with escape tunnel (or maybe just some winding stairs, we stupidly forgot our torch). Complete with gruesome backstory, the fortress is named after Rozafa, a local woman who was walled into the fortress as an offering to the gods and asked for two holes to be left so she could feed her newborn baby (who doesn't like a good pagan sacrifice story?)
The next morning, unsure of the departure times of the Montenegro buses and warned that they fill up fast, we arrived at the travel agency about an hour early. As the office was still locked up, we settled down onto the footpath to wait. Our entertainment was the cafe next door where people were breakfasting - Albanian breakfast is a shot of Rakija (fruit brandy), a shot of espresso and a glass of water