Well, our Air B and B experience here was even worse than in Zagreb. We finally arrived in Tirana, Albania at about 9 in the evening, after a one hour wait at the border, and then getting stuck in traffic behind a herd of cows, then a flock of sheep, and then a very slow moving truck. We had to follow that bastard for about 30 kilometers of solid no passing zone.
Still, that should have been plenty of time. We had booked the accommodation, but couldn’t reach the host by phone, and there were no e-mail messages from him, either. About 11 p.m., we started looking for a hotel. The first 3 we tried were all full and the 4th couldn’t fit us all into one room, and it’s a really nice hotel so this is setting us back 160 euros. We’ve contacted booking.com, and we hope we don’t get charged, but still, it pisses me off. If someone is offering their room (and making a pretty penny off it), they should at least answer the damned phone and show up with a key.
I don’t expect everybody to leave biscuits in the room and provide us with detailed tourist information on the town, the way our last hostess did, but answering the phone is sort of a minimum.
Outside of that, I am quite surprised at Tirana. The rest of the country looks 3rd world, with sheep in the streets, geese in the garbage, and half built buildings everywhere, but Tirana is a modern city of bright lights and outdoor cafes. A bit on the garish side, actually. Something between Paris and Las Vegas.
I’d heard there is crime here, but plenty of people are out walking around late at night and even though we felt inconvenienced, we never felt endangered. All the people we asked for directions or information were helpful and friendly, and even the hotels which couldn’t fit us in were polite and sounded genuinely remorseful.
But the guy hosting that Air B and B room is a dick, and he will get a scathing review.