I wasn’t in Albania long enough to draw any conclusions, but I noticed a few peculiar things.
Along the roads I took there is a gas station every couple of kilometers, despite the light traffic.
There were dozens upon dozens of “Lavazh” – not a bread type but car wash – from the ones in gas stations to makeshift ones along the roads. It seems there’s one car wash for every few cars.
There’s an incredible amount of unfinished buildings, both residential and commercial. They range from a carcass to fully built but without windows, some empty and some occupied.
Men’s purses are very, very popular.
I haven’t heard a call to prayer but I’ve heard church’s bells in this predominantly Muslim country.
This morning I thought for a moment to go to the airport by bike but quickly dismissed the idea: too far, too hot. At the airport, the airline agent didn’t give me any grief about my “personal mobility device” but I still had another hurdle to jump: the security checkpoint. They tried to tell me bicycles were not allowed any further. Showing a picture of Greengo stowed away in the overhead bin of a previous flight finally convinced them, after some hesitation: “You aren’t going to ride it beyond this point, are you?”
Airport bar in Athens: what a departure from tasty and cheap Balkan food. During the last few days, with little cycling and lots of Albanian food with a fair amount of beer, I am gaining the weight I lost pedaling. Such a pity.
P.S. In Tirana, I realized there are more people speaking English than I originally thought.
Today in numbers:
2h55m – total flying time to Cyprus
6h20m – layover in Athens, it was either that or an expensive ticket