Balkans 2014 Diary #5.5; The Time I Technically Visited Albania Because I Spent 15 Minutes At A Motorway Service Station There (somewhere near Kukës)

~~The WordPress app decided to delete this whole post while it was uploading. I have irately rewritten it.~~

Albania is the travel blog destination du jour. No one can stop raving about how unspoilt it is, how weirdly wonderful it is, how beautiful, and how there’s such shit infrastructure that there aren’t any bus stations or designated bus stops. How charming!
Except I am too busy looking out for my safety and sanity to play “guess where the bus will stop”, so I decided to give Albania a miss. For whatever reason, the blogs lauding it leave me cold. However, the quickest way from Montenegro to Kosovo is via Albania, courtesy of a brand new motorway, so I inadvertently ended up there anyway.
There were some nice views, like this view by the motorway:
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But generally speaking, there was rubbish strewn everywhere. Malnourished animals in fields. Abandoned building projects left, right and centre. I felt conviction in my decision.
However, as an avid country-counter, I was delighted to disembark at a service station near Kukës. My rule of country-counting in transit: if you disembark from the vehicle, it counts.
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Some people may say this is silly and of course it doesn’t count because you haven’t experienced anything of Albanian life, maaaaaan. Armed with my phone camera, I set out to prove that I now know loads about Albanian life as a result of these precious 15 minutes at a service station shop.
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This is Albanian beer. Like Bosnia and Macedonia, its beer of choice is named after the capital city.
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These are Albanian crisps. I have never seen some of these flavours in the UK. Albania is clearly a crisp innovator.
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This is a selection of Albanian music. Look at all this outstanding cover art. Look at it.
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This is the face of someone who is fed up of travelling on buses.

Signing off,
A deviating from her journal slightly Jen

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