Northern Albania

Northern Albania

There are still some mountains. I recognized that from the beginning in Albania. I had no concrete plan where to go. My map showed me that there is only one city in the vicinity. I needed some money and Bajram Curri seemed to be the only place I could get something. At the entrance of the city a man spoke to me in German and told me about Valbona. For the first time in Albania I had a plan where to go.

The drive to Valbona in the heat (uphill at 42 ° C) was a tough piece of bike. But the surrounding mountains and the crystal clear waters of Valbona had no trouble. I found a nice campsite at the beginning of the village. It was an excellent and cheap hotel. That's why I decided to stay here for two nights. On my day off, I explored Valbona and took a refreshing bath in the river.

At the campsite I met Nadine from France and Janko from Montenegro. Janko is a travel guide to the mountains in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. He invited me to a dinner in the restaurant. Thank you, Janko!

My alarm rang at 3:30 the next morning. I try to avoid the heat. In the morning it is usually much colder. Already at 9:00 clock I arrived in the port of Fierzë, where Nadine was waiting for me. Together we took the ferry across Koman Lake.

The line runs between Koman near the Koman hydroelectric power plant and Fierzë near the Fierza hydropower station. The line is known for its breathtaking views of the gulches, unplanned stops for locals and the special atmosphere of the locals, foreigners and even animals that are fully equipped on board. After this impressive tour, we found a campsite at the bottom of the lake. Nadine advised me to stay at Lake Shkodra. There is a nice campsite 10 kilometers from the city. It's been almost 3 months since I started my journey and slowly I needed a brake. I immediately liked the campsite and decided to stay there for a few days.

Shkodra Lake is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula, with an annual seasonal variation of between 370 km2 (140 square miles) and 530 km2 (200 square miles). Shkodra Lake itself is located in the Western Balkans, with about two-thirds (229 km2) of its surface area belonging to Montenegro, and about one-third (142 km2 (55 sq mi)) to Albania. After 6 days of relaxation, I went back to the mountains. The road rose directly behind Shkodra. It was hard to cycle, but a unique scenic experience. Just outside Peja, I discovered a guest house. This guest house is run by a retired couple. Shortly after me, a family from Austria arrived with their caravan. We found this hotel so good that we opted for two nights. The next day we spent mostly with many frogs in the self-built pool.

The owners made us a delicious dinner. Early the next morning I left this beautiful place. This day should end as one of the toughest I've ever done. The road only went up and down. Behind each climb followed another descent. The landscape here is indescribably beautiful. I could not find a campsite in Kukes and there was only one way to reach the Kosovo border: the highway! The tiredness came over me soon. I wanted to set up my hammock in a small forest next to the highway. Some teenagers visited me and showed me a safer place in their village. They were looking forward to a foreign guest. Albania was a country with a beautiful landscape for me. Also the people were very friendly to me. Shumë falemnderit Shqipëri!