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A Day in Gjirokastër

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want to visit Albania?


I arrived in Albania on a very hot summers morning, and after wandering around in a sweaty daze for twenty minutes found my hostel where I was greeted with cooked eggs and conversation. The main recommendation for my day was to catch a minibus to the nearby town of Gjirokastër, which boasted a perfectly preserved medieval town centre and castle. In theory it all seemed simple enough, so I trotted down the street to a bus station expecting to see signs everywhere and English-speaking bus conductors. Oh, what a fool I was. The street corner was filled with old, crowded mini-buses and suddenly men started yelling at me in Albanian; gruff, angry questions. I managed to stammer out a poorly pronounced “Gjirocaster” and suddenly I was being directed onto the most crowded and hot mini-bus. It didn’t feel right. I dodged the man and turned to another man.

“Gjirokastër?” I…

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