Hospitable Albania?

Until now I had only heard from a friend that the Albanian people were extremely hospitable. What this means in reality, I was allowed to experience during my three days stay. I was so surprised by the difference to all the countries I have passed through so far that pictures wouldn´t be enough to describe what happened in this short period of time. Therefore, I would like to tell you in this article about my experiences and encounters with the locals.


Last Sunday, the 3rd of July, I reached the Albanian border in the morning and then drove while temperatures of up to 40°C to the city of Milot, which I reached in early evening. I was quite exhausted from cycling almost 115km today and decided to stop in a bar for a cool drink until sunset. It did not last long that I my journey was the topic of conversation and on top of that I was invited by the neighboring table to a common beer. One of them could speak German and so it was not difficult to tell them what I am doing right now. He also didn't miss the opportunity to go home, get his car and proudly show me his German license plate. After we were having a chat for a while and the beer was gone, it was time for me to go on for a couple of kilometers further and look for a place to sleep.


The next day the temperatures around noon felt even hotter than the day before and so I decided to wait until the temperatures were more pleasant again to be able to continue. In the bar, where I took my break, it was like the previous day. I was asked about my bike trip and then talked to guests and the bartender. They could hardly believe that I had made it so far during the current temperatures and made me the proposal to take me to a creek to cool down. 5 minutes later I was sitting in the car with the bartender and his buddy on the way to mentioned watering hole. But this was not the only thing, I was also donated Greek salad, fries and once again beer. I enjoyed the cooling in the stream and after just under 1.5h we went back to the city of Burrel. On the way to the city, I could not avoid trying the best ice cream in town before we arrived after almost 2.5 hours back in his bar. There I tried to show my appreciation and give him a little more tip on top of my actual bill.  But he explained to me that I was his guest and now also a friend and insisted that I should keep my money and that this is a gift from him.