Albania – country worth a visit!

Happiness of being in Albania.

So, I did something that really shook me up and down and returned thrill and happiness back to my body (not that I wasn’t happy before, just that I was even happier after Albania experience;)

So, as I am still struggling with job thing I decided  to give it a rest a bit and just dedicate my time and my thoughts to thinking (or not thinking at all:) about something else. …and it turned out to be a good decision.

I started planning my trip to Albania and was pretty enthusiastic at the beginning, and assured!, that I would go there only and only by the means of road transport…airplane excluded.

But my initial plan was soon rejected…by me. As it turned out, from Split (Croatia) there was no way I could reach Tirana in a days time. Sounds strange!??..since I need only to enter Montenegro from Croatia, and then from Montenegro to Albania. My plan seemed perfect but laws of physics and bad infrastructure between two countries (Montenegro and Albania) made me drop my initial idea and instead go all the way to Slovenia where I caught a plane that flew directly to Tirana. Once in Albania, I found out that there are buses and mini vans that run from Podgorica (Montenegro) to Albania, but it’s just that information can’t be found on internet. Good to know, just in case I decide to return! (which I most probably will:)

Albania is not the country with perfect roads. There roads are run by the law of creative mess. Everybody is his/her own boss while steering through the streets of Vlora or Tirana. It is the country that has a lot to offer to a tourist who is not looking for a classical or stereotypical beauty. It has great food. They are very proud of byurek and their most famous cognac Skanderbeg. If you just let yourself go and walk randomly through Albanian streets you will definitely discover so many charming local shops, pastries, start a conversation with a stranger who will even walk with you for 5min just to show you where is that road that you were asking about…….great country…so here are some pics, mainly taken in Vlora:)

home made byurek..pic with a byurek chef:)
hospitable and generous people, and very very generous portions…;)
great company to make my  already good impression even better

taking a stroll down Adriatic sea, but about to reach Ionian. amazing!, how do you know where one sea ends and other one begins? 🙂

back to Tirana, where it all started from. Waiting for a flight to Ljubljana, from Ljubljana catching a train to Zagreb…spending a night in Zagreb and catching the bus to Split….

but it was worth all the travel and would definitely do it again.

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The story of one old granny, sprained ankle, sailor and rakija

The other day, as I was walking through a mall in Converse shoes  I sprained my ankle. That happens so often to me…but it never happened with such intensity.
It was so bad that for a sec of where I was  and all I could see was just black in front of me. The place was crowded and I was thinking to myself..-.”there’s no way I’m gonna faint here”- so with little strength that I had left I managed to drag myself outside of the mall and I sat on the steps outside of the mall for a few seconds.
The next day my ankle was completely blue but that didn’t stop me from doing usual sport activities.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, even such a little and benevolent thing as ankle sprain…as I realised later on.
I did a few pilates trainings (currently I’m in a phase of looking for  a pilates gym that suits me best) and managed to do all the activities without hurting my ankle even more. But jazz dance with all the jumps, twists and turns and stretching was more than my ankle could handle.
I survived the class but by the end of the class, my ankle was a wreck! It tripled  in size….and wasn’t such a nice picture.
It was time for me to pay a visit to an old lady who knows how to put fractured or damaged bones back to its place!
It’s been four years since I visited her last.
I showed up without phoning first. The door of her house was open. She just made a waving sign with her hand to let me know to come inside. I entered her place and sat on the chair to wait for my turn, had no idea that I would leave the place richer in so  many ways.
As the old lady was turning and maneuvering with my ankle, as she thought and felt was right, she was asking me  questions, that as I later realised weren’t just plain ‘let’s-small-talk’ sort of questions.
Introductory question was job wise.  She asked me whether I work or I am still a student. I told her I’m neither and that I am looking for a job.
Without further thinking and postponing what was obviously lingering on her mind she went straight to the point and asked if I would like to waitress in her son’s pub.
I told her I would have to think about it. But the old lady just ignored my answer and continued with her ideas.
She told me how high my salary would be and then out of the blue she started talking about her three sons and her amazingly handsome grandsons!!
She has two actually, as I came to realize later on without asking myself.
So, she was still holding firmly my ankle as her story was taking a completely new turn.
She was actually welcoming me in her family. She was praising her grandson and kept repeating how good-looking he is and how we would make a great couple.
‘He is a sailor’, she added as my ankle made a clicking sound,’and he will be home soon’.
It was all very funny to me and it help me get my thoughts away from the aching ankle. She put a bandage around my ankle and then poured rakija on top of everything and told me to stay away from doing sports for a few days.
Story about waitressing and getting hitched with her grandson was a just a small talk for me but  granny was for real…!
I was about to leave the room when she pushed a pen and a piece of paper in my hand and told me write down my name and my phone number.
I obeyed without even thinking of making silly excuses.
She waved me goodbye and said that she would call me these days to come and meet her grandson.
Not only did I leave her house with a ‘fixed’ ankle but I also got a job and marriage offer…:)