Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Albania has become a tourism hotspot

We slept in a little after arriving at Tirana Airport so late. Made it down for breakfast just before 10:00am. Pretty refreshing to see the prices, after having spent almost six weeks in England! 

Although, things are more expensive than the last time we were here, just like everywhere else in the world.

One of the reasons is the strength of the Albanian lek. Albania has become a tourism hotspot since they were one of the few countries in the world that was relatively open during Covid, so a lot of people (ourselves included) were able to come here and see what a hidden gem it is. Now, the world has discovered it, and the amount of tourism dollars flowing in has improved the economy immensely.

390 lek ($4.20 USD, $5.75 CAD) per person.

That, combined with the fact that the Canadian dollar has been so weak, means that everything is about 20% more expensive for us compared to a year ago. But, still good value.

Our friend Zeni at Go Rent Albania picked us up at 11:00am. This is the guy who looked after us so well when we first arrived in Albania in 2021. Remember, he even invited us to family dinner for an authentic Albanian feast. Great to see him again.

We had asked him for a one day car rental just to get to Shkodra about two hours north of the airport. It would have been cheaper than a taxi, and the Albanian bus system isn't very good. Anyhow, they needed a car brought up there and so he just gave it to us! Thanks Zeni!

Uneventful drive, with lots of traffic.

Ruth took a few photos along the way...

Shkodra Castle.

We couldn't get into our room until 3:00pm, so they let us leave our bags in the car rental office and we went for a walk to go find some lunch. We went to a restaurant that we had been to before, but they have changed it, and it's more upscale than it was. Still reasonable prices though, so we stayed. 

First on the agenda was a nice cold Peja beer!

I didn't take a photo of lunch, but we shared a plate of stuffed peppers and a plate of four cheese risotto. Just enough!

We went to two different cellular stores. They have changed things here just like they have changed them in Turkiye. They only offer two different types of tourist SIM cards, one with 100 GB of data and one with 40 GB of data. We don't need that much data, and they were too expensive.

Once again, we ended up getting an eSIM. I used BNESIM and once again everything happened exactly the way it should. I had a €7 coupon, so it only cost me €4.86 (5.25 USD, $7.20 CAD) for 5GB of data.

Download the BNESIM app, apply the code: WS774M6V at checkout, and enjoy a €7 discount on all BNESIM products.

We walked over to our apartment at 3:00pm and met the guy who gave us the key. He spoke zero English, but I managed to use four Albanian words during our meeting!

Our apartment building is undergoing exterior renovations.

Our room.

We got all of our laundry done!

Perfectly fine, for 2,600 lek ($28 USD, $38.50 CAD) per night.

Record low deal on this 32" Amazon Fire TV.

And in Canada...

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