In the mess of Shkodra, Albania

Shkoder Travel Blog

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Rozafa Castle

Driving in to Shkoder was some experience.  After the border control and the car accident we experienced there, we took it easy. This especially after, we had read in our Brandt travel guide, while we were waiting at the border control, that the traffic in Albania was dangerous. We followed the road in the region capital which was only 15 km. On the way in to Shkodra we stopped and watched the Rozafa castle before we entered the region capitol. At the entry of the city we meet a German car that was on its way back into Montenegro and they were consulting their map. Around the car a large number of kids were clustering the windows begging for handouts; we had surely entered another world after passing the border and it did continue like that all the way inti the city centre.

The main road into the city centre reminded me of the suburbs to Beijing or Shanghai; there were numerous of garages displaying their products one next to each other.

There was garbage everywhere - it was a better Napoli
In front there was dirt and garbage pilling up waiting to be picked up. The pavement was probably at one point in one level but looked now like a path through a forest; bumpy and absolutely not suited for walking unless you were a trained mountaineer.

Getting closed to the city centre just made it more crowded and less organized due to the parking of cars between the garbage. One thing that struck me was the enormous amount of Mercedes car in the city. Every second one was a Mercedes! We drove around in the city amongst the Mercedes display and shoppers on bikes. The roads were not in very good shape but I liked the intense scenery of city.

We decided to drive north along the Shkodra lake up to Hoti where the only other border was into Montenegro.

Speed limit 5 km/h
The way there was a two lane road that was very bumpy and the first part of it was crowded with a mix of fast new cars, cyclist with overloads of groceries and donkey carriages. The roads being so bad made it a hazardous ride and I let most of the cars by and enjoyed the beauty of the lowland with the high mountains surrounding us and the Lake Shkodra to the other side.

Along the bumpy road we quickly got surrounded by fabulous coloured houses which were newly constructed and very big also from a western standard. Many of the houses had green grass gardens which were kind of surrealistic given the heat of close to 40 degrees we were driving in. The houses kept on coming for the most of the 30 km of the 50 km to Hoti. We passed some villages on the way which were much more organized than Shkodra except for the town square were all the activities were concentrated.

The last 10 km towards the border was a lonely ride in the middle of nowhere, well not really lonely; we were teaming up with a Polish car, which I let by since I wanted to take it easy and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.  
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Rozafa Castle
Rozafa Castle
There was garbage everywhere - it …
There was garbage everywhere - it…
Speed limit 5 km/h
Speed limit 5 km/h
Rozafa Castle
Rozafa Castle
Street sale garages
Street sale garages
Street sale garages
Street sale garages
Probably a hero that walked in the…
Probably a hero that walked in th…
Mercedes, Mercedes and Mercedes
Mercedes, Mercedes and Mercedes
Mercedes, Mercedes and Mercedes
Mercedes, Mercedes and Mercedes
Street sale
Street sale
Passing a donkey
Passing a donkey
The country side north of Shkodra
The country side north of Shkodra
Some of the many new built houses
Some of the many new built houses
Huge villa on the way to Hoti
Huge villa on the way to Hoti
Some of the many new built houses
Some of the many new built houses
Some of the many new built houses
Some of the many new built houses
Some of the many new built houses
Some of the many new built houses
The lonely road to Montenegro
The lonely road to Montenegro
Shkoder
photo by: EmEm