As much as we wanted to stay in the same hostel as before in Tirana, the one with no heat, we found a bit of an upgrade for about 18 Euros a little bit closer to town. When we arrived, we found some orange trees in the back, and I climbed up on a ladder to grab one. In this hostel, we had a room to ourselves as there was only one other person staying there, though it was a little cold, and we had to plug in a space heater to sleep warmly.
We spent the evening first at the Albanian History museum, which houses some artifacts from the Roman era. We also ate dinner at an Albanian restaurant where we ordered essentially a four-course meal for about $15. We played several games of backgammon in the hostel common room, where a guy from Maine spent nearly an hour bothering an Albanian man about his hometown, a place the Mainer had visited previously. I rolled my eyes and left the room when he started talking US politics. Life is too short to spend a day in Albania kvetching about “what America needs.” Whatever we need, I assume it isn’t some vaguely homeless vagabond’s opinions on war strategy, I can tell you that much.
The morning’s breakfast was bread, fig jam, oranges, sliced crudites, and hard-boiled eggs. We still had a couple of hours left before we were to catch the airport bus from the city center, so we stopped by “tanner’s bridge,” an old-timey stone bridge that looked like it might lead to Narnia, and a corner of a park dedicated to some of the remnants of communism. The park housed a small bunker, which Albanian leader Enver Hoxha built, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and several concrete-and-steel communist-era structures. We stopped by the “I Love Tirana” statue as well before our bus ride, at the end of which we sat for a couple of hours, exhausted from a long trip, waiting for our gate to be assign on our flight to Vienna.
Victor Bernabei is just another millenial travel blogger. But here's the twist: He isn't a millenial! His goal is to see as many countries as he can, and spread the message that the world is not as scary as the news wants you to believe, and that there is beauty in all people, places and things.