Berlin to Georgia – Day 11: Lake Skadar and Albania

Should I mentione that we found the perfect location overlooking Lake Skadar for our base camp the previous night? In Montenegro, finding a desolate and incredibly scenic location might have been the easiest from all the countries we’ve been to on our way from Germany to Georgia.

Out of all the villages on the southern shore of Lake Skadar we vvisited that day, Donji Murići boasts the best location. And even then it is still not overrun. One may sit here on the empty beach and watch the world go by. An empty cafe on the beach stayed in my memory as the one that doesn’t have half the dishes and drinks most cafés offer – like tea or coffee for instance – and from the stuff that’s actually on the menu, another half happened to be unavailable. But the fish dish I spotted on other people’s plates was gigantic.

lake skadar in montenegro
The lake is shallow here, and hence warm as a hot shower

The hills on the road from the lake to the Albanian border are overgrown with lush vegetation when I spotted a hiking trail by the road I would have loved to do some hiking. But we felt that pressure of having to go forward.

Then we crossed Albania within approx. 5 hours without really stopping anywhere. Having consulted our Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, navigator data and Google maps we had the following picture of Albania’s sights:

The best beaches in the country are in the South (according to the Lonely Planet), but they are full of umbrellas and people (according to the internet).

The North is supposed to have some authentic villages accessible only by 4×4 (yeah!) – but in order to get there, we would have to invest at least an extra 6 hours into driving. I wish we had done it, but we were so short on time! Taking into account that the way to the southern beaches would also mean some extra 6 hours without any guarantee of finding something nice, we just went straight to Macedonia. So all my memories of Albania are just the memories of its highways: Every 5 meters there is a car wash and every second car in Albania is a Mercedes! That makes Albania the country of sparkling clean Mercedes. We got a glimpse of Tirana while changing highways – there is no lack of cafés, traffic jams and rough drivers there.

Dear reader, have you been to Albania? How was it? Was skipping Albanian beaches a terrible desicion? What have we missed?

We crossed into Macedonia pretty late in the evening but we got lucky and found yet another great place to stay for the night. After the Macedonian border, we had turned to one of the smaller roads leading uphill away from Lake Ohrid. We passed a lovely village and finally stopped on a meadow with some beehives. Even though it was already late we spotted locals driving around again – they were in a tiny, old Fiat 500 loaded up with six people – they parked next to our Gnu. It was time for a welcome drink of Slivovica!

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