Tirana, Albania day two

Our first day in Tirana we did a quick tour, and today we are going a bit more in depth a little bit further south.

More street art, I think the Facebook page is pretty cool, means it’s sponsored and supported by the government. Street art usually means progress.

Some more street art, copyright their owners, obviously ha
Some more street art, copyright their owners, obviously ha

The National Gallery is getting a pretty sweet makeover, though I hope they splash some more colour in there.

The National Gallery is getting a makeover
The National Gallery is getting a makeover

This boulevard stretches from Skanderberg Square south over the river that used to be the entrance to the city. It’s nice and wide, with new, wide footpaths great for walking.

Walking down the main boulevard next to the National Gallery, Tirana
Walking down the main boulevard next to the National Gallery, Tirana
Tirana AudioGuide4U iPhone app icon
Tirana AudioGuide4U iPhone app icon

The Tirana app Tirana AudioGuide4U describes this as a painful reminder of Albania’s history, half of Albanians want to demolish it, and the other half want to keep it as a reminder of the past so it’s not repeated. In the meantime it’s fallen into disrepair. You can climb it, though, one positive thing.

The infamous Pyramid, Tirana
The infamous Pyramid, Tirana

I love how my Daughter charges ahead full steam, in fact she was at the top before I got up the courage to climb up, Son in tow. Here we are, proud and happy at the top. I’m secretly scheming how going down is going to go.

Daughter is a daredevil and scampered up the Pyramid first, followed closely by Dad and Son
Daughter is a daredevil and scampered up the Pyramid first, followed closely by Dad and Son

The way down see the guy in the orange jacket, Alpha scampering down; she ended up passing him as he struggled a bit. If you had the wrong shoes on this climb could be a bit treacherous.

Going down was a little harder till you realised you had to go face first, sitting position
Going down was a little harder till you realised you had to go face first, sitting position

Cool view of the city, almost as good as the one from the Clock Tower in Skanderberg Square.

The view from the top of the Pyramid, Tirana
The view from the top of the Pyramid, Tirana

It even looks like there’s a bunker at the top of the pyramid. And yes, that’s barbed wire; the other side didn’t look very safe at all.

The view from the top of the Pyramid, Tirana, looking the other direction
The view from the top of the Pyramid, Tirana, looking the other direction

Gotta do the selfie. Thanks Daughter for being such a go-getter! I now have this memory for life. Son was a trooper too and made me be brave so I could be brave for him. “We’ll get down togther” I said to him. Daughter climbed back up to give us encouragement. 🙂

Selfie at the top of the Pyramid
Selfie at the top of the Pyramid

Another view of the Pyramid.

Glamour shot of the Pyramid, though nothing can really make it more than it is, a reminder of the bad old days
Glamour shot of the Pyramid, though nothing can really make it more than it is, a reminder of the bad old days
More Tirana street art, a la Warhol
More Tirana street art, a la Warhol

Across the street is the monument to the oppression. A piece of the Berlin Wall, a bunker, and supports from the prison mine all bear witness to the atrocities committed by Hoxha; his former palace is just down the street:

Germany gifted a piece of the Berlin Wall to Albania
Germany gifted a piece of the Berlin Wall to Albania
This is next to the piece of the Berlin Wall, it is supports in the mines where people were wrongly imprisoned
This is next to the piece of the Berlin Wall, it is supports in the mines where people were wrongly imprisoned
A decorated bunker
A decorated bunker

We had a good laugh about this store display, it shows the Albanian sense of humour, with Santa sleeping off a hard night in a pretty sweet, modern bathtub:

Someone had a hard night
Someone had a hard night

We wanted to capture how at many intersections there’s not only streetlights but traffic controllers as well, blowing their whistles constantly. Of course I only captured one tweet in this video:

A cool stencil/street art on the way back toward Skanderberg Square and then home.

I thought this was cool, inKing Tattoo
I thought this was cool, inKing Tattoo

Street art is always good, especially when you have to think a little harder about its meaning:

Street art, check out the balaklava on this gent
Street art, check out the balaklava on this gent

I love unexpected finds, here we find a street bazaar just before getting back to Skanderberg Square:

We stumbled across a street bazaar on the way back home
We stumbled across a street bazaar on the way back home

Back at Skanderberg Square and the facade in the sunlight inspires me again. I love the underdog, and Albania is certainly one of these that’s pulling itself up by its bootstraps though its natural resources and sweat:

The National Museum and facade in Skanderberg Square in the sunlight
The National Museum and facade in Skanderberg Square in the sunlight
Alice loved this building, it's not your normal rectangle is it
Alice loved this building, it’s not your normal rectangle is it
The cool building Alice liked made way for the little structure below from the early 1800s
The cool building Alice liked made way for the little structure below from the early 1800s
PPP, the Plovdiv Puzzle Police!
PPP, the Plovdiv Puzzle Police!

The next morning came early, our taxi arrived early (they always seem to be early which I like and now plan for) and got us to the airport no worries. The owner of the hotel saw us off so graciously, and we’re grateful to him and to Albania for being so warm and friendly! Do go if you ever get the chance.

The Rae-Flicks ready for takeoff!
The Rae-Flicks ready for takeoff!
The bathroom at the Tirana Hotel Alen Bar
The bathroom at the Tirana Hotel Alen Bar
The bathroom at the Tirana Hotel Alen Bar
The bathroom at the Tirana Hotel Alen Bar

Onward to Florence! Spoiler alert: The Tirana-Rome-Florence flights were uneventful. 🙂

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Nathaniel Flick

American born, Kiwi made. Bass player, black coffee, dark beer. Travelling Europe till 2018.

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