Friday 22 November 2019

Balkan Travel Pt 10: [Albania] Walking Tour Of Tirana

I've had enough of lamenting to myself the fact that I didn't get to see much of Tirana and decided to add 2 hours of sightseeing on my own. 
I arrived at Albania's capital city rather late the day before and had time just enough to stand on Skanderbeg Square and rode the cable car up Dajti Viewpoint. To quell that feeling of unfulfillment I decided to do my own walking tour of the city two hours before checking out the hotel the next morning.
By 6 am that morning, I was already at the reception counter of Senator Hotel. The staff on night duty has dozed off on a couch nearby. He woke up when he heard my greetings and I asked him how best I could see some prominent landmarks of the city if I were to take a walk from the hotel. He took out a city map, gave me some useful advice and just with that I was off on a pre-dawn walking tour.  

I was very vigilant when I started walking as the streets were quiet but 15 minutes into the walk, the local residents have started to stream in and it felt really safe then. 
Somehow I ended at Skanderbeg Square again but proceeded on for as long as time permitted before walking all the way back to the hotel.

The photos I am posting here are highlights of my walking tour. I have inserted some description of the things I saw to the best of my knowledge.
Albanian University - not a highly rated university and housed in an ordinary looking building. It was the first prominent landmark seen that morning.
An illuminated signage of 'You Are A SunFlower" Foundation, an active non-profit organisation in Tirana which help children in need seen at the edge of Skanderbeg Square.
Clock Tower At Skanderbeg Square - I saw this the day before and I am seeing it again in a totally different lighting.
Monument Of Skanderbeg - Gjergj Kastrioti, known as Skanderbeg is hailed a hero in Albania as he was the military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. A monument of him on a horse is placed at Skanderbeg Square, Tirana'a largest square which is also named after him.
Et'hem Bej Mosque - This mosque which is located in Skanderbeg Square was completed in 1823. It was closed during the Communist Rule and reopened as a place of worship in 1991.
 Government Building
 Buildings that houses various Government Ministries
Buildings that houses various Government Ministries
Colourful Government Buildings - There are a few blocks of colorful buildings slightly beyond the Skanderbeg Square. The red building in the posterior is the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism while the yellow building in front is the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development.
Municipality Of Tirana - I got a police officer to help me with this snapshot.
Municipality Of Tirana Building
Government Buildings
Government Buildings
Park near Skanderbeg Square
Modern Orthodox Resurrection Cathedral, the fourth largest Orthodox church in the Balkan Peninsula and the unfinished Archaea Tower.
The Presidential Office - houses the Office of the President of Albania and is the principal workplace of the President. 
Modern sculpture In front of The Presidential Office 
The Palace of Congresses -  is a venue where numerous festivals and events are held.
The Prime Minister's Office -  is the official office and residence of the Prime Minister of Albania.
House Parliament Building on Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard
Air Albania Stadium -  is multi-purpose football stadium with a seating capacity of 22,500 constituting the largest stadium in Albania. 
Piramid Of Tirana - An unused stadium built during the harsh Communist Rule, a landmark that recalls the dark days of Albania.
A very unique craft made of twigs along a boulevard.
The Lana River - a small river that flows through the centre of the city.
An interesting art form made out of scrap metal 
Statue of Ismail Qemali, first President of Albania in a city park.
The ‘PostBlloku’ Memorial - commemorates the country’s political prisoners who suffered under the Communist regime. It features a bunker, concrete pillars from a forced labour camp, and a fragment of the Berlin wall.
During the Communist rule 173,000 bunkers were built. Many are left behind and can still be seen all over the country. 
Academy Of Arts - the main institution that offers higher education in arts in Albania
Polytechnic University of Tirana - stands on Mother Teresa Square. After seeing this I started to walk back to the hotel.

I walked approximately 6.5 km that morning arriving at the hotel soaking in sweat. I missed having a hearty breakfast, just took a cup of coffee and boarded the bus. I left for Montenegro soon after feeling a little hungry but a lot happier.

Related Posts: Click To View
Balkan Travel Pt 1: [ Romania] Bucharest Sightseeing
Balkan Travel Pt 2: [Romania] Bucharest Walking Tour
Balkan Travel Pt 3: [Romania] Peles Castle , Dracula's Castle & Romanian Scenery
Balkan Travel Pt 4: Bulgaria Attractions
Balkan Travel Pt 5: [Bulgaria] Sofia Attractions
Balkan Travel Pt 6: [North Macedonia] Skopje A City Of Mutifarious Statues
Balkan Travel Pt 7: [North Macedonia] Memorable Moments In Skopje
Balkan Travel Pt 8: [North Macedonia] Ohrid Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Pt 9: [Albania] Glimpses Of Albania and Its Capital City Tirana
Balkan Travel Pt 10: [Albania] Walking Tour Of Tirana
Balkan Travel Pt 11: Montenegro Scenic Drive
Balkan Travel Pt 12: The Charms Of Koto Montenegro
Balkan Travel Pt 13: [Montenegro] The Old Town Of Kotor Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Part 14: [Croatia] The Charms Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Pt 15: [Croatia] The Old Town Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Part 16: [Croatia] The Elaphiti Islands Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Part 17: [Croatia] Plitvice National Park Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Part 18: [Croatia] Rastoke Villagel

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