Monday, March 31, 2014

Albania the Beautiful

Albania the beautiful. Did you think I was joking when I said I was on my way to Albania? I wouldn't blame you if you did; I can be quite the jokester. But it's real life! Here's a little update on what I've learned here:

Most people don't visit Albania as tourists. This means there's less Americanization here than most other places I've been. There isn't a single American chain restaurant here, but they do have AFC - "Albanian Fried Chicken", and "Coffee Bucks," which has a logo with bold, green letters. Remind you of anything?? It gave me a little chuckle. 

People of Albania

The Albanians I have met are very, very friendly. Hospitality is deeply rooted in Albanian culture, so the natives are typically helpful and kind. In fact, it is said that if you are lost, Albanians will often literally get inside your car, and direct you to your destination--even if that means they're riding with a stranger out of their way for 15-20 minutes.

Currency of Albania

Albanian currency is the leke, and if something costs 500 leke, that means it is about 5 US dollars. What a relief to know the exchange rate when the dinner bill arrives! 

Cuisine of Albania

Speaking of dinner... Albanian food is great. Albania is right next to Greece and just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, so most of their food is Mediterranean. My favorite thing I ate is called souflaqe (soo-FLAH-chee), and it is basically like a Greek gyro. In Albania, they add fries on top (awesome), and it is considered fast food. (My favorite restaurant would be the Chick-fil-A of Albania.)

The cost of a nice meal in Albania is about half of what it would cost in America.

And olives. I ate so many olives. Olives for breakfast, olives for lunch, olives for dinner. (This is not a joke.)

Landscape of Albania

Albania has about 3 million people living here, with 1 million of them living in the capital city, Tirana. The country is small enough that one can see a good majority of the sites in just 4 days! Albania has city, country, mountains, and ocean all within about 5 minutes of each other. It's ahhhh-mazing. 

That's it for my Albanian update! I'm leaving in the morning. This country has been good to me! Next up: India!


  1. Who did you travel here with? Looks like a grand time- I'll have to go their someday.

    1. Hey! I went with the people in the bottom photo (minus the guy in the middle). We all do video projects together!

  2. Albania had really never been on my travel radar, but it definitely is now. It looks like an amazing trip! How was the language barrier?

    1. The trip was great!! But the language barrier would have been an issue if we didn't have people to show us around that spoke the language. In our hotel they spoke English, but many nationals only speak Albanian. It is definitely beautiful! It would be fun to see for a couple days if you go to Greece or Italy. :)