Our adventures through Albania and into Greece!

The next two days of our life was pretty much spent in buses!

a “one-way” two-way bridge!

Our first bus ride was to the southern tip of Montenegro..to a town called Bar. The whole time we were traveling, Zlatan was talking about how horrible Albania was and how we have to try not to get ripped off, and how the roads and horrible, and so on….Brad and I were pretty interested at this point to see what Albania was going to be like. So our next bus ride was just to cross the border into Albania, and it definitely wasn’t the best place to be. We crossed this dodgy wooden bridge that people had to take turns crossing and it looked like the bus was going to make it collapse!! But…the bus driver did it no problem! There was lots of trash everywhere…and quite a bit of poverty. Luckily when the bus dropped us off…the other bus was waiting to take us to Tirana, Albania’s capital.

The main square in Tirana

Surprisingly, it was really nice!! We were a bit upset to learn that we had missed the last bus into Athens, and that we would have to wait until 4am, but decided to just check out the town and stay up until then! It apparently has one of the biggest squares in a city! And there were pretty paved roads, parks, and TONS of cute outdoor cafes! There was some political protest going on, which was exciting to see…but we did stay clear of it! Luckily, it was a Friday night and we found some cafes that were open really late. We tried this AMAZING fast food…it was basically the Albanian version of Souvlaki…a pita with meat and french fries in it..with this delicious sauce! It was at the recommendation of some Mormon girls from Utah (big surprise!) we met earlier!

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It was interesting, because these little kids came by and asked for our empty can, so we happily gave it…they said thank you and moved on. THEN…at about midnight these other little kids came by…both smoking cigarettes and couldn’t have been older than 8..and we thought they too wanted our empty can. We gave it to them and they threw it back at us..practically laughing in our faces and kept asking for money. Zlatan threw some change to them, but they would NOT leave us alone and kept lifting up his bag…we were SO frustrated. They were bothering us for about 10 minutes before they finally left…but they were little brats…laughing and smoking cigarettes in our faces. When it was eventually time to head towards the bus at 3am…we felt surprisingly VERY safe walking through the city…despite what we had heard about it being such an unruly country! At one point though, these 2 little kids came up to us and followed us the whole walk back..they did not say a word, but just walked beside us with their hand out. This time…we didn’t acknowledge them AT ALL, and even tried to duck into a restaurant to avoid them. Afterwards though…we felt a bit bad, because they really did loook bad off…the little girl cuddled in her brothers jacket on the side of the road as our bus took off…but those other kids completely ruined it for us.


Right before we hopped on the bus, we noticed someone hand our bus driver a really shady
looking package (drugs perhaps…probably!) but on we went….for our 15 hour bus ride to Athens. It was crazy too because NEVER before has anyone ever sat in their assigned seats on the busses we have been on. 3 hours after we had been sleeping in our own seats (although i dont know how, because the roads were AWFUL…just paved bumpy crossings), we hear this commotion, and these older Albanian men come and sit right next to me…in a practically empty bus…so of course Brad and i moved…but this kept happening until we realized we had assigned seats. But MAN…they gave us death looks when we were in their seat! So then the sketchy started…right before we got to border crossing..the bus driver pulled over on the side of the road…got off and put something in the luggage area…then hopped back on to precede to the border. I was soooo scared…thinking they tried to sneak it in our bag and we were going to be in crazy Albanian jail… ah! It took FOREVER to go through customs but thank god everything turned out alright. Then we pulled over at a gas station (didn’t get gas) and waited from some man to pull up on a motorcycle…the bus driver handed him the package..and off we went! SKETCHY!! But i guess interesting story since everything ended up alright!

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One Response to Our adventures through Albania and into Greece!

  1. Jenna says:

    Hi Brad & Chels! I tried posting two weeks ago, but I'm not sure that I did it right. Reading about your bus trip reminds me of the time that Dave and I took a ride where a woman sat on his arm the whole ride. I was asleep and he didn't speak enough Spanish to say, please move! ha! Keep your wits about you and learn from your experiences and others. A few updates… Dave and I dove in the giant tank at the Aquarium today, we had brunch with Nan, my parents and Chris in Boston afterwards. Take care of yourselves! Love, Jenna

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