Day 155 – EU – Albania [Transit Albania to Greece – Flight]

26th July 2020
Run: 0km

A 5 hours bus trip to Tirana, a shutdown airport and the flight to Athens – day 1 of transit underway

As I have explained in previous blogposts, it is currently not possible to cross into Greece from Albania by foot. The terrestrial border checkpoints are closed. The only way into Greece is by air. I have run as close as possible to the Albania/Greece border – I am now transiting to Greece by air, to then reach the Albania/Greece border, Greece side. 

It has taken me more than 12 hours, door to door, from the village of Sarande in Southern Albania to Athens international airport in Greece. And that’s only day 1 of transit.

The bus journey was a 5 hours trip, on a mix of narrow winding mountain roads and superfast highways. I had planned to arrive at Tirana’s airport with enough spare time to enjoy a meal and chill out before the flight. That was wishful thinking.

I arrived at a shutdown airport! Entry inside the airport was only allowed 2 hours before your flight, all the queuing was outside, no cafe or restaurant open… a bit shambolic! Taxis were lining up outside, too happy to wait for tourists needing a comfortable place to wait – and charging extraordinary fare for the service.

Anyway, tomorrow will see me fly up to Ioannina in Northern Greece, then take a bus ride to Igoumenitsa and hitchhike my way to Sagiada, the closest town to the Albanian border. I foresee another long day of transit. I sure am looking forward to being back on the road again!

Tonight was the opportunity to catch up with good friends in Athens and celebrate around the awesome homecooking of my friend Lisa.