Crossing the border into Albaia was probably the biggest change so far. Not just the fact that the biggest religion is Islam, but you can very clearly see that it is poorer. For example in Shkodra, the first big city we went to we saw people with horse and carriage in the middle of town. And because there are such a big difference between the poor and rich you can se e that next to a brand new Mercedes.
After leaving Shkorda we cycled for a while before stopping at a church to ask if we could put out tents on the church lawn. That didn’t work out but a man suggested a church not far from where we were. So we continued on until we saw a little church up on a little hill just above where they were building a new big church. The only person we found there was a construction worker who was very helpful and took Millou on his scooter to the priest. And after a while Millou came back with some beer given to us by the priest and the good news that we could sleep in the church. And I have to admit that it felt a little strange to sleep in the church. But I had a great night sleep and the next day we set our sight on Tirana.
At first the road was great, but after a while big holes appeared in the asphalt and there where parts that was just terrible. We pushed on for a little longer until we stopped for some coffee and to rest after some hard work on that road. There we met a man who Millou and Julius could speak Italian with and who bought us coffee and lunch. The people here have been very nice and as we cycle along the road almost everyone smile and wave at us.
After lunch we decided to get on the big road because we didn’t want to cycle anymore on the bad road. But even on this road we had to look out for holes in the asphalt. It didn’t take us very long to get into Tirana and once there the traffic really got crazy. We had to be careful and to watch out for cars coming from all directions. But we made it to the center and found ourselves a hostel to stay in. And from here I will be continuing on cycling on my own. I had two great weeks with the guys and it will feel kind of strange to cycle without them. But I’m very inspired to continue on and from here Greece isn’t very far away. I just have to decide what route to take from here.