This post is the first in a three-part series I am writing about my recent visit to Tirana, Albania. — April
Hi, everyone! I am back home in Kosovo after having spent the last three days visiting Tirana, Albania. Tirana was high on my list of places I wanted to visit here in the Balkans. I was thinking I would visit there for spring break. But then my friend (who has been to Tirana several times) asked me if I wanted to go for a long weekend, and I figured, why not go now?! We (the Peace Corps) have been on a travel restriction since we arrived in Kosovo in June. But the restriction ended this weekend, so now we are free to start using our vacation time. (If you’re curious, volunteers accrue 7 weeks of vacation for the 2 years we are serving. That sounds like a lot until you realize we don’t get weekends off … any travel done outside of Kosovo counts against our vacation time.)
My friend and I left Pristina, Kosovo on a 6 a.m. bus on Saturday. We arrived in Tirana at 11:30 a.m. After we ate lunch, we took a long walk through the city down the main boulevard.
Tirana is bigger than Pristina. The streets are much wider. The city was decorated for Independence Day (November 28).
Tirana is south of Kosovo and has much milder weather (it’s been freezing at home … I wore my winter coat last week.) I had debated whether to pack my peacoat or my winter coat for the trip, and am glad I opted for the former. We lucked out with the forecast, too. It was supposed to rain all weekend, but it only rained on Monday.
The weather still felt like autumn. In Kosovo, the trees are all bare, but in Tirana there were still pops of color everywhere.
As I said, my friend has visited Tirana several times in the past, and she was commenting on how much the city has changed since her visit 2 years ago. She said it was much cleaner than she remembered.
At the end of the main city boulevard, we reached the city park.
My friend was also telling me about the recent changes made to the park, which included the addition of an awesome playground.
After walking through the park, we reached Tirana’s (man made) lake (which is still very pretty).
Stay tuned for more posts about Tirana this week! I’ll be writing about history, art, and the city as it is today.