Max, enjoying a rainbow view near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Like Vancouver. But far cheaper, and with nicer weather

We were supposed to check out of our central Tirana apartment at 10:00am, but when I sent our host a message to confirm, he said we could stay until 11:00am. Which was nice, because we couldn't check into our new place on the outskirts until after 3:00pm.

At 11:00am, we locked all of our things into the car and headed off to do some more exploring. There is a beautiful big park located only a kilometer or so south, so we set off to check it out.

We stopped at a couple of shops along the way, and picked up some cheese, crackers, and sandwich meat to have a bit of a picnic somewhere in the park.

Walking across the dam

The park includes a beautiful dammed reservoir. They are putting lots of effort into beautifying it, and it really is a gorgeous park. Lots of new construction with apartment projects on the go overlooking the water.

Colorful duck.


Lots of people out enjoying the day.

The apartment complex above is a huge project. When it's completed, it will look like this...

Very stylish.

That's one of the things we notice about the people here. They seem very stylish.

Scenery along the way.


This walking and cycling path goes all the way around the lake.

It was such a nice day we decided to walk all the way around the lake, about 5 kms (3 miles).

What do you think? Does Tirana remind you of Vancouver.

I had posted the above photo on our Instagram account and one of the commenters said it reminded her of  Vancouver. 

Maybe a smaller version. 

Vancouver skyline.

But there are two distinct differences. Yes, it's like Vancouver. But it's FAR cheaper, and with nicer weather.

I have to say, If I owned property in Vancouver, I would sell it and move here. In a heartbeat.

The average Vancouver apartment sells for about $650,000 CAD (€430,000, $525,000 USD). The average apartment here sells for about €60,000 ($89,000 CAD, $72,000 USD).

Scenery along the way.

Beautiful park.

We had a nice walk and headed back to the car. 

The car had been parked for more than a day and a half in a big downtown parking lot right in the center. We had no idea what it would cost, but street parking is difficult. Anyhow, we handed the guy the ticket, and the fee was 700 lek ($8.50 CAD, $6.80 USD). Not bad for the center of the capital city!

We found a big modern shopping mall on the outskirts with a huge SPAR grocery store. We figured this would be the best place to do some stocking up.

Big grocery store in a modern shopping mall.

That took an hour and a half or so, and by the time we would get to our new apartment it would be after 3:00pm. So we headed there.

Our host had explained that they were doing road construction outside the building, so to expect some delays. Boy, he wasn't kidding. What a mess. But fortunately it's on the opposite side of our apartment so we don't hear any noise from it at all. Good thing we have underground garaged parking included. 

Again, it's an older building, but the apartment has been recently renovated.

We are paying 1,950 lek ($23.50 CAD, $18.90 USD) per night for a 7 night stay.

Living/kitchen area.

European style beds.
This is very common, and they are designed to be pushed together.

Table and television with Netflix.

Washing machine.

Our clothes have been hand washed for the last two months. They are looking forward to seeing the inside of a washing machine!

Big bathroom!


View from our balcony at sunset.

Looking towards the mountains.

Looking towards the central area.

Ruth made a delicious dinner of  fish, potatoes, and veggies.

Today might be a day of rest. And laundry! Although, our Albania car rental company has offered to switch cars for us. The one they gave us would have been okay for the price we are paying, but it has some minor issues and I didn't ask, but they offered the switch. And, I need a haircut!

Omega Cold Press Juicer. Record low deal.

And in Canada...


  1. Ok, have to ask, what is the big sink on the floor in the bathroom ? a urinal ? or foot cleaner ?
    What kind of fish did Ruth cook ?
    What language do they speak there. Kelly

    1. It's a bidet. It squirts water at your private parts for cleansing. Very European! I suppose it could clean your feet

      The fish is called pangasius here. It's basa in North America.

      They speak Albanian. But most young people also speak English, and in fact we haven't come across many people who don't speak English here in the city. However that will change when we get into the countryside.

  2. We were wondering too about the sink on the floor. Ruth’s dinner looks delish. That is great being in the city and enjoying the mountains from your balcony. We can’t wait to see what’s in store when you explore the countryside! Have fun!!

    1. Now you know that it is a bidet! :-)

      It was nice to finally be able to cook a normal type of meal for ourselves. There will definitely be more of that happening now.

      We didn't do much yesterday but today we have plans to get out to the country and do some exploring, we am sure you are going to like what you see.

  3. I’m loving following your journey! Living vicariously through the two of you. Thank you! By the way, I’m new to your blog but wondered if you share details of the Airbnb places you find and enjoy?

    1. We are really glad that you are enjoying our posts and our pictures.

      We aren't sure what you mean about sharing the details of our Airbnbs, Kevin mentioned the price that we are paying in this post and has posted pictures of our Airbnb. He also mentioned that it is closer to the edge of the city, so not sure what else there is to share?!

      Also, just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to post a comment, we really do enjoy hearing from our readers. :-)

  4. I thought we couldn’t get better than Turkey but Albania looks so nice and clean. Looking forward to reading and seeing your adventures. Your Airbnb looks lovely.
    I look forward to your post every evening around 4 pm. Stay safe and be careful.
    We got our 1st Vaccine and our 2nd due early April, hopefully might be able travel in September.

    1. It will definitely be hard to beat Turkey, it was full of surprises for us and it really ranks up at the top of our list for one of our favourite countries but yes, we think Albania is going to give Turkey a run for it's money! :-)

      We really do hope that you will soon be able to start traveling. Fingers crossed that maybe our paths just might cross in the fall.

  5. Those are some very modernistic designs inside and out.
    Dinner looks yummy.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, they certainly are. Albania so far looks to be quite modern and very up to date.

      Dinner was delicious, it was so nice to be able to cook properly for ourselves again.:-)

  6. We just watched 2 good movies on Netflix. Penguin Bloom, and My Octopus Teacher. Uncle Frank on Amazon Prime.

    1. We will see if we can get those movies here, thanks for the suggestions. :-)

  7. The city photo also reminds me of Anchorage, Alaska. Nice to see veggies and not soaked in curry sauce in every meal. Love the modern city.

    1. Yeah, I can see the resemblance, but it would be far warmer and cheaper here.

      We like curry but yes, it was nice to have just normal veggies again and a big variety of them too.

  8. What a great deal on that apartment! It looks very nice. I know nothing about Albania, so it's fascinating to read your posts and visit vicariously. Looks like you'll really enjoy your time there.

    1. It is a really nice apartment, we are quite comfortable here.

      We don't know a lot about Albania ourselves, so we will be learning as we go. :-)

  9. Yes, there is a certain similarity to Vancouver. Only the houses are double the height and the price double the money.
    Your apartment is very nice. I thought B&B is only a bed. What you are renting is much nicer!!! I m very anxious what is coming next. Safe travel.

    1. Yup, and the pricing is definitely a major difference!

      This is totally different from an B&B. With Airbnb, you can get an apartment or a house all to yourself or you can get it even cheaper if you share it with the family or individual. We like doing that more because then you get a much more local feel for the country/area that you are staying in but because of COVID we feel that it is better for us to stay in a place by ourselves and lower our risk.

  10. Wow! I’m getting more and more impressed with Tirana. Looks like a nice place to live ... modern and inexpensive compared to Canada. I always wanted to retire in Vancouver but Paul doesn’t like the winters there and the high cost of living. I love those bidets and the European style of the two twin beds that could be pushed together. ....very functional for me! Your apartment really looks nice for that price. Can’t get that here in Edmonton. So looking forward to more of your impressions.

    1. As far as cities go we are quite impressed with Tirana as well, except for all the road construction going on but we know that will only improve the city more once it is complete. There is no way we could afford to live in Vancouver but we certainly could here.

      We are very pleased with our apartment, it has everything that we need the the price is fantastic. :-)


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