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Talk:Albania

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Factbook removed Professorbiscuit

Is there a policy on linking to other guide sites? ---Professorbiscuit 10:07, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I answered this on the travellers' pub, but figured I'd do it again here for completeness. We have a style guideline about external links; we generally don't link to other guide sites, since we should have the same information here. External links are mostly for the "definitive" Web site for something, like the tourist board site for a city or the home page for a restaurant or hotel. --Evan 13:45, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Edits by 66.76.207.23[edit]

66.76.207.23 has done a long series of edits to the article, many useful, but many also removing lots of negative-sounding -- but quite possibly accurate -- commentary by previous writers. Hopefully somebody who knows the present situation can strike a balance. Jpatokal 22:30, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)

WTF is "potted water"??? 213.166.84.234 11:01, 26 February 2007 (EST)

No idea, but at a rough guess I imagine that it is water that has been decanted into some kind of large earthen ware pot. Anyway, now you have a good reason to visit Albania: to check out the potted water (don't forget to report back). WindHorse 11:07, 26 February 2007 (EST)

Potted water is water than you can drink safely.

"Potted Water" Actually it's "Potable Water"

The Obsesion with islam and Albania[edit]

In every line and comment it is noticed a strange line of communication. Albania is muslin but people drink etc etc. I would like to note that religion does not matter in any description of other European countries as much as in the case of Albania,. I think that most of the foreigners that speak on Albania as a Muslim country are very ignorant in religion tradition and practices and can not consider them self even Christians.

I am Albanian and I still do not know what Albanians are because there are buildings and ruins from 5000 years old to modern ones and before Christ there were no Christians and the latter Muslims and others. In few words Albania is eternal old and new all mixed up. To make comparisons and labels is wrong unless you stay there for more than three years and understand it properly.

what is sure is this "albanians are one people speaking one language that is heavy like German" surrounded from oceans of slavs, latins and arabs in the south( greece included in arabs).

By any calculations the albanians should have dissapeared but we survived.

Someone should change the information about languages used in Albania.[edit]

First of all, Turkish will not work anywhere in Albania. The most common non albanian language is actually Russian since it was obligatory to learn this language in the communist regime. --83.249.127.60 14:31, 6 September 2009 (EDT)

I speak some Russian and I've lived in Albania for nearly a year. No one under 40 understands Russian, and those who do speak only a few words. More often than not, when people refuse to communicate with me in Albanian it is in Italian, followed by English, and Greek in the south.Sethinthebox 08:46, 3 February 2010 (EST)

So [plunge forward! Globe-trotter 08:14, 7 September 2009 (EDT)

Albanian Bus and Minibus Travel Times[edit]

So I haven't seen any reliable bus or minibus schedule for anywhere in Albania. I went ahead and created one on a blog [1]. If someone wants to fix the html or put it in the article in an appropriate way, please feel free

2009-04-05. I've made my own publicly-editable list of furgon and bus locations and "schedules" -- if anybody can help me to fill in all the missing information, edit away!

Regions[edit]

We need some travel regions for Albania. Any ideas? --Burmesedays 05:26, 16 April 2010 (EDT)

Looking more at this, I think we could have four regions. Adriatic Coast, Ionian Coast and then two inland regions, north and south.--Burmesedays 05:58, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
I don't think there is a reason (or a sensible dividing point for that matter) to divide the coast into Adriatic and Ionian. It's essentially one, long coast of Mediterranean, and can simply be one region, though not sure about what the name should be (Albanian Coast?). As far as I can see from this satellite image, there is no other geographical divide in the country other than coast/inland, as all of inland is dominated by seemingly endless chains of mountains, so I suggest we divide inland areas into north and south by Shkumbin River. In addition to being it lying almost in the middle of the country which makes it a convenient dividing line, it is also the dividing line between two distinct dialects of Albanian language, which may substitute the lack of a distinct geographical division. And also that means some material for "talk" sections of region articles. I also suggest we attach the Lake Shkoder/Lake Skadar area (NW of the country) to the Coast, since the lake is surrounded by lowlands and is only slightly higher than sea level (its surface elevation is just 6 metres). This will give us:
  • Coast - 5 linked cities (Durres, Shkoder, Fier (though slightly inland, this one is close enough to the coast), Vlore, Lezhe (again, slightly inland)), 2 ODs with articles (Butrint, Dhermi)
  • North inland - 3 linked cities (Tirane, Kruje, Librazhd), an OD with an article (Albanian Alps)
  • South inland - 4 linked cities (Berat, Gjirokaster, Pogradec, Korça/Korçe)
However, I am not sure how we should call these north and south inland regions. – Vidimian 08:59, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
On the inland regions, it will probably have to be boring old Northeastern and Southeastern terminology. The Shkumbin River is a sensible divide. On the coast, I am happy either way. Reading around, the tourist board try to position the Adriatic Coast and the Ionian Coast as separate destinations. It can though just as easily be one travel region.--Burmesedays 10:14, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
Hmmm, seperating Adriatic and Ionian will look like this, given the dividing line is the mouth of Shkumbin River here as well:
  • Adriatic Coast (+Lake Skadar) - 3 cities (Durres, Shkoder, Lezhe)
  • Ionian Coast - 3 cities (Fier, Vlore, Sarande), 2 ODs (Butrint, Dhermi) (please note that I have somehow forgotten to mention Sarande in my initial post, so the number of cities of the Coast region proposed there should be 6).
Dividing at the Strait of Otranto (the usual dividing line between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas) instead of Shkumbin would give the horrible result of having only Sarande and Butrint (and possibly Dhermi) on Ionian while having all of the rest of the coast on Adriatic.
Though this division will provide room for further expansion and avoid the need for a further (sub)regionalization in the future as it will take much longer to reach the magic number of 9, I am not sure a country in size of Albania really needs 4 regions. Compared with the recent regionalization of Bulgaria, a country almost 3.5 times larger than Albania, we've managed to come up with 5 regions for the whole country. I don't mean here that the number of regions in each country should only be based on their (and their neighbours') relative size, just I don't know... So I'll let you (or anybody else) to decide on this. – Vidimian 13:58, 18 April 2010 (EDT)
Although currently listed as an OD, Dhermi is a village according to Wikipedia, so that should really be counted as a "city", which makes 4 cities for Ionian Coast, or 7 cities for the Coast in total. – Vidimian 14:55, 18 April 2010 (EDT)

Map done. Comments welcome of course. I have also done the regionalisation which bar the unholy mess caused by diacritics in place names, (double re-directs, re-directs to nowhere etc) was quite straightforward.--Burmesedays 11:05, 20 April 2010 (EDT)

Also the cities list is way too long. All are included on the region pages. I will leave that to someone else to sort out :). --Burmesedays 11:15, 20 April 2010 (EDT)
I trimmed the cities list down to 9, and tried to pick as much relevant ones to the travellers as possible—they are either the ones I've heard of, or those with descriptions that sounded fine to list on the country page. I also tried to come up with a list that is as geographically spread as possible. I'll also work a bit on redirects for cities with a diacritic in their name, it seems a feature of Albanian language causes all the mess, as cities can, for example, both be called Shkodër and Shkodra, I am not sure there is an English name for most of these. – Vidimian 12:18, 20 April 2010 (EDT)
If I have not missed the odd one, all sorts of redirects Wikipedia gives and I can think of (with diacritics → diacriticless, diacriticless → with diacritics, and anywhere inbetween) for all Albanian locations have now been set. – Vidimian 16:06, 20 April 2010 (EDT)
I'm sorry but this map does not represent Albanian's cultural, linguistic, and transportation divide. People in Shkoder and Sarrande speak very different dialects, practice different religions, and travel times on a bus between them are over 10 hours! In both towns, they share much more culture with their inland neighbors than with their seaside partners, and this is true of the other coastal cities as well. Ideally Albania would be split into four regions, inland and coastal of north and south, but even just a north-south divide would more accurately describe reality! -- Sethinthebox 03:40, 10 May 2010 (EDT)
Don't be sorry - this is precisely why we open these sort of debates. I think then you would prefer to see my original proposal: 2 inland regions (north and south, using the Shkumbin as the divide) and two coastal regions (Adriatic and Ionian)? That's an easy amendment as all the work to create the map is done.--Burmesedays 03:49, 10 May 2010 (EDT)
Where would you propose as a dividing line between the coastal regions and what should their names be? Also, please note that the traveller comes first around here, so if the traveller would think the coast as a single coherent region, then we should not necessarily follow local cultural divides. (I am not saying this should be the case, however. Whenever possible, we try to use regions that are OK for both the travellers and cultural sensibilities of the area.) – Vidimian 04:56, 10 May 2010 (EDT)
I would think that diving Albania between north and south would probably be best unless there's a consensus to use four regions. Vidimian, I believe that the the traveller comes first concept would be better upheld if we were to at least split the country into two: north-south wise. For travel it is nearly impossible to take a train, bus, or minibus from the north to the south or vise versa without switching in Tirana, or somewhat less often in Durres. This almost always requires then a change of vehicle, if not a trip to another transit station. I think dividing along the Shkumbin (but perhaps keeping Librazhd, Elbasan etc in the southern section) as Burmesedays mentioned would be ideal. Sethinthebox 03:38, 13 July 2010 (EDT)
While I have no travel experience in the country, it seems the coast is substantially different from mountainous inland, so I'm in favour of keeping the coastal region. If you feel so strongly about dividing the coastal region in north and south, that may be OK, but what names would you propose for those regions? As discussed above, "Ionian Coast" and "Adriatic Coast" are a little problematic, since those coasts are geographically not divided on Shkumbin and that means making a very little fraction of southern Albanian coast a region on its own ("Ionian Coast"), while leaving elsewhere on the coast to another region ("Adriatic Coast"). – Vidimian 05:05, 13 July 2010 (EDT)
Topographically the coasts are a bit different from the mountainous inland, I'd agree. But they're also quite different from each other: the north's are often along a flat plain and sandy while those in the south are rocky and on the slopes of mountains and hills. Further, many travel itineraries will lead a traveler to explore cities by a north/south divide (Shkodra with Kruja, Thethi or Sarande with Gjirokaster and Butrint) and the transportation infrastructure demands it. Given the Netherlands, perhaps only 35% larger in area and much smaller in terms of transport times, is divided into four regions, I will still suggest it's possible for Albania. Otherwise, north and south Albania regions (is there something wrong with those names?) still look better than the current setup. Sethinthebox 04:09, 21 July 2010 (EDT)
The Netherlands is divided into four, but those are divided in its 12 provinces and those are divided in a couple of regions per province. The Netherlands has a lot more content than Albania. It's hard for me having an opinion on the Albanian coast regions, having never been there, but 2 coastal regions does seem a stretch since there is little content for it. On the map, the Northern Coast would have Dürres and Lezhe and for the rest be empty? --globe-trotter 07:13, 21 July 2010 (EDT)

How to coordinate between us?[edit]

Hello to all of you, This page is about Albania. Please, feel free to add your comments. Albania has great touristic values, but due to lack of money, organization and information, they are not used. This is especially for the Albanians working abroad - promote your country to your colleague, friends and neighbors. For you that have come in Albania, please add information. At the end, its of course our - people that live in Albania - duty to fullfill all the neccessary information for all the cities in our country. We, Albanians, have a habit of constantly disparaging the government. Yes, it is true, especially for tourism, they do nothing to help tourism. So swearing at the government is fine; however, it is even better if you do something ourselves. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AM-TR (talkcontribs) 20:00, 25 August 2010

Blackouts[edit]

There has been a small scale edit war in the article on whether blackouts are common or not in the country lately. Amanda says here and presumably here that there are not blackouts anymore, and Seth, another Wikitraveller living in Albania, reports here otherwise. Sure, blackouts can happen anytime and anywhere, but if they are common enough to keep in mind while taking the elevator, then we should note that in the article. Having not visited Albania, I can't say anything for sure, but these are some of what I have come across after googling "Albania blackout":

  • "Power cuts have been endemic in Albania for many years." [2]
  • "They’ve had plenty of blackouts before, but this was the first one to talke the whole country down. ... Albania has problems with electricity, and has had since… well, pretty much always." [3]
  • "However, the game was not to resume for another hour and a half, as a power outage saw the electricity in the city of Tirana unexpectedly go out." [4]
  • "Albania’s electricity supply returned to normal on Wednesday afternoon after the grid collapsed for 45 minutes, producing a near-total blackout." [5]
  • "Post-communist Albania has suffered regular reliability problems ..." [6]

These all are fairly new reports, with the oldest one dating back to 2007.

Besides, selling electricity to abroad, as mentioned throughout edit summaries and comments by Amanda, doesn't necessarily mean blackouts are impossible. Blackouts are usually a result of transmission problems, not generation. Even then, this Wikipedia article says, at least as of 2007, Albania exports no energy, and imports some.

And lastly, please don't take this as some sort of Albania-bashing. In fact, as a part ethnic Albanian myself (some of my maternal ancestors were ethnic Albanians from Kumanovë) I would like Albania to be represented in a good light here, but this, nor any kind of nationalism/patriotism/ethnocentrism shouldn't prevent us from fulfilling our primary goal here — serving the travellers. – Vidimian 10:05, 30 August 2010 (EDT)

I just want no wrong information. Since I work at KESH myself, as assistant for human resources, I can tell you that we DO export energy nowadays. Yes, blackouts have happened, but that happens everywhere. Just Albania has no problem with lack of electric energy. Please remember that the Albanian most important politicans and businessmen live in the highest floors. So travelling with an elevator is safe (I live in the 3rd floor and I always get the elevator, and I was never blocked). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AM-TR (talkcontribs) 22:01, 30 August 2010

So you are basically saying that the reports linked above are incorrect? I'm sure you are acting on good faith here, but I can't find your argument persuasive, sorry. Sometimes being in the centre of something may lead to a distorted view of reality of the periphery — everything may seem bright and well in the headquarters of KESH, but it's a whole different matter in the neighbourhood. Yes, the blackouts can happen everywhere but I have a hard time believing that Real Madrid players (one of the leading soccer teams in the continent) would be trapped in the dressing room of a national stadium for an hour and twenty minutes until they find a generator and turn it on because of a blackout in anywhere else in Europe or in wider western/industrialized world (and this happened in January 2010) [7].
Maybe blackouts are common to certain parts of the country and/or certain parts of the year? If so, let's note that in the article.
In the meantime, I've notified Seth of this discussion to see what he's got to say. – Vidimian 05:15, 31 August 2010 (EDT)


Hi, I am not pretending that Albania is an normal, European country. It is part of Balkan, and that means a lot of things. I want to explain something. First, I have to apology. I didn't understand your point at the beginning. You were saying blackouts are not rare. Yes, that is truwe. But I got confused with the problems we had before 2007. Sometimes, we had no capacity to produce enough power for the country, and because of that, there were power cuts for some hours a day. Nowadays, that problem doesn't exist - right now, the problem is that - since Albania uses mainly water to produce energy - we have too many water, so we had to open the doors of the main high-drop-power-plant and endure mini-floodings in the Northern part of Albania. I am sorry that I got confused. You are talking about deffects, and I was talking about the former problem. So - to clear it out - blackouts in Albania happen more often than in the rest of Balkan. Yet, me all use the elevator. What does that mean? That means that most of buildings in Tirana, as well as hotels, restaurants and all the rest have generators. Thats all. Dont be afraid to use the elevator. However, blackouts ARE more common than in the rest of the continent. Yet - we are a country in development, not a developed one. Once again, I apology for the confusion above. Thank you —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AM-TR (talkcontribs)

Ah, OK, maybe I should have chosen a different wording in the first place, sorry for causing a misunderstanding. So is the following acceptable to add to the article:
Unexpected power outages without prior warnings are common in Albania, even more so than the rest of Balkans. This is largely dependent on the amount of rainfall the country receives in any given year, as virtually all of electricity is generated from hydro plants in Albania. Most hotels and restaurants in Tirana have back-up generators, however it is best to err on the side of the caution and ask—both in the capital and elsewhere—whether the place has a generator or not beforehand in order not to, say, stuck in an elevator.
And as an off-topic aside note, kudos to KESH for producing more than 97% of the electricity out of hydro plants—while dams have unique environmental problems, they contribute relatively little to global warming. ;) – Vidimian 19:20, 31 August 2010 (EDT)

Totally OK. Thank ytou for the understanding and sympathy. Hahahahaa you're totally right. Come on, power cuts have its own good sides :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AM-TR (talkcontribs)

The above paragraph has been added to Albania#Electricity. – Vidimian 14:04, 2 September 2010 (EDT)

road tax[edit]

There seems to be some confusion about the fees you have to pay when entering Albania. The €10 entrance fee has been abolished. It is nevertheless possible for some nationals who need a visa for entering Albania to buy a visa at the border. This has nevertheless nothing to do with the former €10 fee. On the other hand there is a €1 road tax. According to the German Foreign Office it is €1 for the first 60 days and then another €1 for every single additional day. http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Laenderinformationen/00-SiHi/AlbanienSicherheit.html?nn=380754#doc380706bodyText3

Apparently it is also possible to pay the fee when leaving the country. But paying the fee twice has no legal basis. --77.10.16.206 17:40, 17 June 2011 (EDT)

Camping[edit]

I'm wondering how common campgrounds are in Albania, and is free/wild camping allowed anywhere? — Hippietrail 06:30, 31 August 2011 (EDT) Dont worry evry 30 km you have one!!!!--92.60.22.127 02:22, 6 August 2013 (EDT)

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