Kukës – Gjakovë

For breakfast we had a coffee in the bar of a guy who had worked in Germany for 6 years and spoke German quite well. Amongst other things he told us that living costs had increased a lot in Albania over the last years. The average monthly income is approx. 200 Euro. Fuel, for example, costs about 1,50 Euro per litre – almost as much as in Germany. He also told us that there was no boat or ferry service on the Liqeni i Fierzë anymore – maybe 10 years ago there was one.

We left Kukës quite late, almost at noon. Not far from the city we had a short break at the road side. A guy stopped to ask if we needed any help. Turned out he was German and worked for a German NGO called Nehemia in Krumë, a town some 25km down the road. We looked for the office there but it was closed for the day already.

Our planned destination for tomorrow was Bajram Curri, approx. 100km from Kukës. Tonight we wanted to camp somewhere in between. The other option we had discussed was to go to Kosovo. To make a long story short, at the respective junction we flipped a coin. I kind of didn’t like the result (heads – ‘go to Bajram Curri’) and András was ok with overriding it, so we’re now in the city of Gjakovë in Kosovo.
We both opted in to have Kosovar entry stamps put in our passports. This might pose a problem later when we (try to) enter Serbia. As you may or may not know, Serbia considers Kosovo part of its territory, whereas Kosovo has declared indepenence in 2008 and is de facto self-governed, excluding some provinces in the north of Kosovo which are administered by Serbia. Now, Serbia might or might not accept passports with Kosovar stamps. The situation is somewhat unclear to us and the Kosovar border guards could only tell us that for them, Albanians and Kosovars alike, entering Serbia is at least problematic.

Kosovo seems as friendly as Albania. Personally and totally subjectively, I like it a tad better so far.

Cycled: 62km

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