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11

I have just been to two Exchange offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. I had banknotes from Serbia, Macedonia and Albania with me. They both offered to buy all three of them. This doesn't mean you find someone who does this in Finland but it proves that both Macedonian denar and Albanian lek are indeed convertible currencies. This is a sign from one of the ...


8

Short answer: Nothing out of the usual. The days of bandits roaming the mountains seem to be long gone. According the US State Department, the main risks are pickpocketing and theft from cars, the same as in Romania and the Ukraine (and pretty much anywhere in Europe). Landmines were laid on the Kosovo-Albania border in the 1990s, but according to the ...


8

Ok, Peter cleared up the more general doubt about exchangeability of the lek anywhere outside Albania. As to my original / more specific question: Is there any place in Helsinki where I can change those back into euros? Seems like no, not in Helsinki. A "Money Change" booth I stumbled upon in Kamppi Centre: no (raising a suspicious eyebrow at the ...


8

Yes tap water is safe in Shkodër, I was born there, grew up drinking that water. I live in New York and I can tell you that the water there has a diff taste regardless if it's tap or from a bottle, but make sure to keep very cold in the fridge so you won't notice the difference. Have fun while you're there. About the tourists, they're all gone by the end of ...


8

OK after a couple of days of hunting I've found three places where I get a WIFI signal and can buy a coffee or a beer, but only one had a sign and with the others I'm not sure whether the signal is from the place or a coincidental open one nearby... "Bar Kafe Real Madrid" on Rruga Studenti right near Shesi Demokracia, the central traffic circle of the ...


6

Hehe, from our conversation on meta: "You should try Tave Kosi in Elbasan - where it's originally from, 1.5 hours SE of Tirana." Of course, if you're not in the area or have been through there already, it could be trickier. One way could be to befriend a local, and get them to help you cook it - it'd be a great cultural experience. Recipe available here ...


6

I used TomTom Route planner to check this out. And it confirms that SH4 is their suggested route, so I'd suspect it's totally fine to travel on.


6

I mostly drank bottled water in Albania this summer but if I don't remember horribly wrong, I did have tap water too while in Saranda (in the very south), and had no problems. (I probably asked the very helpful owner and other guests at Backpackers SR who said it's ok.) That said, Shkodër is at the opposite end of the country, and I guess the water quality ...


6

According to the UK FCO website travel advice for Albania: The tap water in Albania may cause illness - you should drink only bottled water.


5

I wouldn't risk it. There are some authoritative resources that advice to use bottled water: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/europe/albania http://hitchwiki.org/en/Albania http://www.lonelyplanet.com/albania/practical-information/health


5

Can't advise on Kosovo, never been there. I like the northern route: Nis (Serbia) Kopaonik National Park Novi Pazar -- several notable monasteries in the vicinity. Moraca river canyon (Montenegro) -- memorable road, remarkably steep drops Podgorica Either proceed directly to Skhoder, Albania (60km) or take a small detour down the Montenegrin coast down ...


4

There are three that show up on Google Maps, so there are probably plenty. Search for "Shkodër, Albania" in Google Maps, then enter "internet cafe" in the same search field. I'm not sure about the food and drink, though. This is handy (and amazing, to me) looking for odd things all over the world. Facebook Internet Center Rruga Jeronim De Rada, Shkoder, ...


4

This answer is specific for Tiranë but will surely be enlightening for Albania generally. In Tiranë, the capital, the owner of my hostel tells me the tapwater is good for drinking four times per day lasting two hours each time! 7am until 9am 1pm until 3pm 7pm until 9pm 1am until 3am I don't yet know by which standard the water quality is better at these ...


3

I just can add a small piece of information. Again I quote my LonelyPlanet from 2009: Because Serbia doesn't consider Kosovo's entry and exit points to be official international borders, attempts to enter Serbia from Kosovo may be futile unless you initially entered Kosovo from Serbia. Additionally if you plan to hitchhike into Kosovo, I wouldn't ...


1

Generally speaking The CIA World Factbook has a lot of facts about both countries: Albania: Inflation is low and stable. GDP (purchasing power parity): $23.86 billion USD (2010 est.) GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,000 USD (2010 est.) Greece: GDP (purchasing power parity): $318.1 USD billion (2010 est.) GDP - per capita (PPP): $29,600 USD (2010 est.) ...



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