Albanian Highlights Bike Tour
Albanian Highlights Bike Tour
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Robyn Yong
Having been a self-employed real estate entrepreneur and investor enabled me opportunities to indulge my avid interest in traveling and cycling. I’m 70 years old, married with 3 children and 8 grandchildren, and have cycled in 80+ countries.
Additional pastimes such as music (listening and playing), books, puzzles, fine dining, friend and family time, rounds out a pretty fulfilling and satisfying life.
Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
My wife’s and my travels have opened our eyes and increased our appreciation for the wonder of this planet and its people. Wherever we go becomes our favorite place, and right now, that favored spot goes to ALBANIA!
Our interest was initially sparked some years ago by a quick pass-through on a backpacking journey through the Balkans. Albania’s outstanding natural beauty and friendly people prompted our desire to return one day. That dream materialized upon our discovery that Albania allowed Americans’ entry during this Covid Pandemic, and Tripsite offered a fantastic tour. We signed up!
The lure of Albania? Stunning geography. It’s crazy beautiful: steep, sometimes rocky, sometimes forest-covered mountains, narrow and deep canyons, and gorges, verdant valleys, sparkling rivers, undulating plateaus, breathtaking mountainous coastlines on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Yes, simply amazing. And to top off the cinematic scenery, there are historic architecture and the UNESCO World Heritage sites that drew us in as well. We were prepared for the dramatic beauty of the landforms, had seen photographs of the turquoise waters of its rivers and seas, read about historic ruins and monasteries, charming towns, but we were simply blown away by our favorite part of this fascinating destination—the food.
Albania’s cuisine is a mixture of Mediterranean, Turkish, Balkan, and Italian. Fresh, tasty, colorful dishes such as byrek—spinach pies enveloped in layers of fillo and feta, kackavallo—baked cheese with tomatoes, tave mishi—a mix of lamb, eggs, and yogurt, grilled veggies. Oh, did I forget to mention the fresh fish along the coasts? Our engaging guide, Dmitri, selected the dishes, always varied, always delicious. We anticipated every lunch and dinner encounter!
What’s next? We’ve set our hearts on the Berlin to Malchin bike/barge trip. The eastern Germany and Poland itinerary sounds delightful, and we’ve not been in that part of Germany. The bike and boat trips in Greece interest us as well. Pedaling to new places is infectious. Biking is in our blood. It’s like the Chinese proverb—
“Don’t listen to what I say, Go see!” We shall.
Looking for more travel blogs about bike tours and hiking tours? Check out our Tripsite Traveler blog series with more first-hand experiences from clients about their travels.