We arrived in Shkodra, Albania, after coming out of the mountains of Montenegro. What we noticed immediately was the number of people riding bicycles. They were everywhere, despite the lack of bike lanes or any kind of cycling infrastructure.
It’s always a bit of a shock riding into a large city after having been in small towns or riding along quiet mountain roads like we had in Montenegro. There is a kind of sensory overload that happens and you have to really concentrate on everything that is going on around you. Making this even more challenging is the fact that just about all the grates have been removed from the storm drains, leaving large square holes in the road that would ruin your day if you were to ride into one.
The traffic is a bit mad. It’s cars, trucks, buses, mopeds, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and guys riding donkeys all mixed up together. The rules of the road and the lines on the road, if there are any, are only a kind of suggestion that people loosely follow. But somehow it all seems to work.
As we’re riding into the centre of this city of 100,000 people, a car slows down beside us and the driver asks if we need accommodation. Turns out he has a hostel and it’s 12 euros per person, including breakfast. Not having arranged anything, we follow him to the Unit Hostel right in downtown Shkodra. The place is 2 months old and lovely. We take it. The guys running it are very nice and accommodate us in every way.
We spent two days and nights in Shkodra. Here are some more images from bike city.