Monica Axelsson in Albania

Monica continues her solo journey from Sweden with a little luggage and a big motorcycle.

I could stay in Greece forever, if it only was hot in the winter. When the cold came crawling at the end of September, I felt it was time to go on and discover other parts of the world.

As usual, I didn’t have a certain plan, but some places attracted me more than others. Croatia and Sicily for example and perhaps northern Italy to visit a friend before the winter. These countries are not in a logical itinerary, but it doesn’t matter in my world. So I simply drove to Albania on my way north. I loved to explore the exotic Albania! It’s strange that there can be such a big difference between two countries just by crossing a border. Nature, landscape, people and buildings, everything was different.

Albania is like a mix of Balkans with a touch of India. The mountains look the same as in northern Greece, but naked. The people are serious but friendly like in Slovakia and the traffic is chaotic as in Macedonia. The major roads are good, but most of the roads are small with decimeter-deep holes here and there and plenty of goats, dogs and cows in the middle of the roads, like in India.

It was tough for the old V-max in Albania. Some roads were even steeper than in Greece. It was dangerous and it made me think that I needed to take a look at my insurance. I was in the middle of nowhere and needed internet. In addition, there was bad weather in the north, so I simply decided to take a ferry to Italy instead of crossing Albania so that I could get better internet and where the bike wouldn’t have to work so hard.

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I quit a well-paid job as a planning architect, sold my car and went away to travel solo with my old veteran motorbike.