Albania! We only spent four days there but it was awesome. Very different to be in a developing country all of a sudden. Such cool people. Heaps stopped what they were doing to talk to us (read: talk to Andrew in Italian while I say “si, si, po, po”), swap bikes for a few hundred metres, buy us drinks (also once a loaf of bread) and ask us what we are doing and why we are not married.
We took a bus day trip to the capital, Tirana, which is full of cars and new buildings and old falling down apartment blocks. A smart mayor at some stage after the end of communism had some of these covered with simple murals – trees, coloured dots, rainbows.
For the last two days we rode through the mountains in the north of the country. The central government has just built a big motor way just south, so we had a beautiful main road all to ourselves. Lots of steep climbing and perfect green vistas, little farms, some sad streams filled with rubbish, old mercedes and horses and carts. The occasional bunker a reminder of the old paranoid communist leader.
The food has been good too. Simple meals of cheese (also gjeez, which is like a cross between cheese and yoghurt), cucumber/tomato salad, turkish sausages, yoghurt and bread. Here is Andrew with our couchsurfing host eating burek (flaky pastry cheesy goodness) this morning.
Today we rode into Kosovo… next stop Macedonia…