Driving through Albania

Albania used to be the poorest country in Europe. Now it’s turn for Moldova.

It has a population of almost 3 million people, and it covers an area of 28.748 km2 (so a bit smaller than Catalonia).

There were no cars some years ago (it was forbidden until 1991!). Now it’s full of Mercedes Benz… really! Old or new, but Mercedes Benz. I was trying to find some information about it, but I can find only references like this (in Spanish, 1996. It’s old but I guess the situation remains more or less the same…)

“El 90% de ellos han sido robados en Alemania, Italia u otras partes. Se falsifica la documentación y entran en Albania pagando aduanas. Un modelo 230 o 240 con cinco o seis anos puede costar, alrededor de 2.500 dólares”.

http://elpais.com/diario/1996/05/26/internacional/833061605_850215.html

It was not pleasant at all driving through Albania. We found crazy drivers (I would say at the same level as in Russia…), traffic jams in both roads and highways and even the new highways are a real barrier for Albanian citizens. Sometimes there are houses in both sides of the roads but no way to cross, And you see pedestrians, cyclists, trying to cross in really dangerous situations. Bus users are also suffering dangerous situations while waiting the bus (no lighting, no safe place to wait…). Urban planning is a disaster as well as, once more, waste management. Albania needs ‘organisation’!!

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