We didn’t see Norman Wisdom in a cafe in downtown Tirana nor a nail bitting England World Cup qualifier , but we did see a country  behind in progress compared to it’s neighbours and experienced some hell raising driving.

We are now in Thessaloniki after two days driving from Dubrovnik through Montenegro and Albania. It didn’t start well when we were refused entry into Bosnia because the border officials were unwilling to sell us border insurance as we had no green card. We turned around and headed down the coast and entered Montenegro with no problems.

Fearing the same issue entering Albania, we approached the border cautiously knowing it wasn’t a main border crossing. Luckily we had no problems, but we were told to get short-term insurance  in Shkoder, the nearest town.  After driving around for a while we stopped and I started a conversation with a Mercedes parts dealer and soon the owner was calling his insurance comany. Ten minutes later the owner of the insurance company was with us. The sitaution was helped when a young Albanian man from London appeared from nowhere to help us with translation. He was back in Shkoder for a month and his translation helped; before we knew it we were following the  insurance man to his office to sort it out. All worked out well; I paid for 2 weeks insurance for €27 and we were on our way again.

We were aiming to get in and out of Albania the same day, but getting through Tirana proved to be a nightmare. Heavy traffic and crazy overtaking on bad roads meant we didn’t get through Tirane till after 7pm.

Landy , a man who we met when we took a break having driven over  the 2000ft pass after the capital, said we could rest up for the night in our tent by setting it up behind his house. He fed us and gave us a few beers and  a Albanian liquor called Raki whilst we chatted all night. I didn’t feel too great in the morning!

We crossed the border into Greece at 9:30 on Friday morning. All of the photos, below,  were taken on our journey to the border.

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