Shkodra & Lake Koman Fjords, Albania

Albanian Flag albania
Albanian Flag
Downtown Pedestrian Street Molo Promenade Shkodar Shkoder Albania
Downtown Pedestrian Street 
(Molo Promenade)
- Shkodar (Shkoder), Albania
Mosque in Shkodra Albania
Mosque - Shkodra, Albania
Lake Koman Fjords & Shkodra, Albania (5/4-5/2011) - Shkodra (Shkoder) is one of the oldest cities in Europe founded about 2,000 years ago. 

Shkodra (also, called Shkoder) was our first stop in Albania. See below to read about one of the most interesting transits we have ever had.

After being badly damaged in a 1979 earthquake, most of Shkodra's old town has been replaced with ‘modern’ buildings.

Shkodra is in the north of Albania and it appears to receive little tourism because maps, restaurants, etc. are lacking but improving. The people are friendly and helpful. They do have a nice short pedestrian street (Molo Promenade) they are proud of.

Some of the cultural monuments of Shkodra are the Castle of Shkodra (Rozafa), the Turkish Bath (hamam), the Mosque of Plumbi, and many old houses with an appearance characteristic to Shkodra. The city lies next to the lake and the residents use the beach of Shiroka for recreation.

Beautiful Lake Koman Fjords Albania
Beautiful Lake Koman Fjords - Albania
Lake Koman, the largest lake in the Balkans, is one of the most beautiful ferry rides in southern Europe – somewhat like the Norwegian Fjords (see photo). The three minibus transfers not knowing for sure where we were headed made the day exciting.

From Shkodra, Albania, we had a very unusual transit across Albania's Lake Koman to our next designation (Kosovo) on an older ferry with diesel engines like in the movie African Queen.

Boat on Lake Korman Albania
Boat on Lake Korman, Albania
We first started in Shkodra in Albania at 6am with a 2-hour minibus trip to Koman (basically a dock with two small restaurants) to catch our ferry. After the peaceful and scenic ferry ride along Lake Koman to Fierze, we were met by a small minibus where the passengers and ferry crew crowded in and were transported to Bajran Curri where we were met by another minibus. 

Bajran Curri Albania
Bajran Curri, Albania
Not speaking English, we were ‘assured’ by thumbs up that we were going in the right direction. By the way, they took very good care of us by flagging down a local woman when we arrived to make sure we safely got to our hotel in next stop which was Prizren, Kosovo.

Map of Albania
Map of Albania
Although Albania, with a population of 3.6 million, is a poor country by European standards, the people in Albania are very friendly stopping to help you. There are numerous rebuilt mosques and churches around but a majority of Albanians have become agnostic or atheists after communist rule after WWII. 

Some history... In 1992, a democracy was established and Albania is still dealing with corruption and a dilapidated infrastructure. 

Concert Bunkers in Albania
Concert Bunkers in Albania
An unusual story about Albania is that they built and installed about 60,000 5-ton concrete bunkers buried all over Albania when they feared possible Soviet invasion in the 1950’s. Now these crumbling bunkers dot the countryside and many Albanians can admit to losing their virginity in one (love does conquer all).

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