Country No 22 Croatia (again)

Nice surprise in Dubronvic to find a Celtic bar

Ferry crossing in Kotor towards the border

Just found out Croatia is divided into 2 parts by Bosnia on the coast. It’s only a 11 minute crossing (according to google maps) between the 2 borders but there are issues with car insurance and winter tyres so it might be an interesting and expensive 11 minutes. 😁

On our way to Croatia, still lucky with no snow or ice on the roads

Welcome to Montenegro Country No 21.

Very lucky to have avoided snow so far. Lots on mountain tops but roads and lowlands free so far.

What a fascinating country this is. A long and complicated history it only got independence in 2006 and with a population of only 680,000. 72% are in the service industry, tourism is a big pull. Lots of international investment along the coastal resorts.

None of the roads in Montenegro are up to motorway standards but the main roads aren’t that bad

It’s in NATO and at early stages of joining the EU. It’s currency uses the Euro for its currency and they speak Montenegrin, a Serb Croat derivative, although I met two guys in their 30’s who were taught English and Russian at school. Russia has a favourable place here it seems, despite the EU and NATO roles. Remember Putin was in Serbia 2 days ago and got a huge welcome there. Oh and we need to register with local police within 24 hrs but we are going straight to border with Croatia so will give it a run at the border 😁

View from out guest house overlooking Kotor

Kotor is a beautiful setting

Green card car insurance was a bargain at the border. 15€, for 15 days. When I asked for green card outside EU from my UK insurance company was told they only cover EU. Obviously not insured in Albania then!

Prevlaka, a beautiful setting subject of border disputes for centuries, and a drone paradise, which isn’t a surprise when you see it

Causeway to the island

Picture postcard setting of Prevlaka.

Walking tour of Tirana, Capital of Albania and tomorrow onto Country No 21, Montenegro.

Rinia park, the building in the centre is still signed as a casino but all casinos are now closed other than in 5 star hotels

Another view of Rania park

This office building was started 6 years ago!

The only fast food restaurant in the town

Memorial to the countries miners.

There were 175,000 of these pillboxes around the country for defence. Far short of the 750,000 planned.

The perspex is to show you what was below. Many were linked together by underground tunnels.

A new central mosque and cultural centre. The country is very tolerant towards all religions, although many do not practise.

Should have videos this. Albanian bagpipes.

The only US president to ever visit Albania!

Lots of Mercs here, many old but lots of high spec too. There were only 3000 cars in the country before communism collapsed.

Old statues of Lenin and Stalin that were removed about 20 years ago after Albania fell out with Russia.

Nuclear attack shelter showing many of the religious people, from all religions who were executed when ALL religions were banned during the 60’s for about 20 years.

Nuclear shelter now a museum. There are 24 rooms here!

Old mosque,near main square is being renovated but was only religious building to survive the No religion purge.

Natural history museum with communist frontage

View from the main square

Skenderbej statue stands over the main square. Huge hero from 1400,s

Secret police HQ, for monitoring the population during communist times. Albania was at times just like North Korea, completely cut off from the world!

Double parking is everywhere

Famous pyramid building (you can climb to the top if you get passed the guard) has fallen into disrepair after numerous uses. Planned to open as cultural centre in future.

Lovely drive through snow in the south.

Traditional Rakki before I leave Albania.

Things I will remember about Albania. Great tolerance with religions, lots of Mercedes everywhere, loads of petrol stations too. My guide also told me population is around 3 million but 6 million more live all over the world.

Last night in Albania so a traditional meal

Lamb roast with vegetables, delicious.

This is my final kindness post 18.1.19 and of course it belongs to the amazing Julia Albu who made everything here happen. Thank you for three wonderful journey’s, yours and mine and then the unexpected return to UK in my Citroen x

Just listen to Julia’s plans for the future, despite this being the day she came out of hospital xxx

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed all the way from Birmingham to Cape Town.

It was a privilege to be involved and confirms what I have always known. The world is full of wonderful people.

Thank you, to all the 120 plus people who took part.

No-deal Brexit warning for UK drivers

Thank goodness I decided to do my road trip prior to Brexit!

Car Insurance and mobile phone use has been seamless between the UK and Greece.

That’s not been the case in Africa, a yellow card for car insurance covered most but not all countries.

An international driving licence (Easy and cheap to get in UK as long as you remember to get it).

I needed a new simm card for my phone in each country and registering for it varied between easy and bureaucratic.

It will be interesting to see what happens after Brexit. I’m sure of one thing, it will all cost more!

BBC News – No-deal Brexit warning for UK drivers
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46891186