Friday, March 28, 2014

Grand European AdventureTime Part VII FINALLY

Seeing as April is staring us in the face (umm...what. how.), I felt it apropos to take it upon myself to finish that epic adventure that was the holidays.

Yes. I still haven't finished blogging about the holidays. Sorry.

We left off here, as our trip in Prague came to a close. Next stop: Tirana! Unfortunately, Em couldn't get on the same flight as Danielle, Kate, Meg, and I, so she ended up in Athens for the night. That's an entirely different story - involving a greedy cab driver, a grand tour of the Grecian countryside in the night time, and a sunrise on the Mediterranean. But I headed back to pick up Em, and after spending the night in Tirana (traveling after daylight just doesn't happen in this country), we FINALLY landed in Lushnje.

Hey everyone, we made it to Lushnje in one piece!
Also, that's Emily's hand on the left. I'm not a weirdo holding two hand up like life's a rollercoaster.

We spent the next seven days sleeping, talking, eating, cooking, exploring, visiting, taking pictures, snuggling, watching movies, reading, napping, and just generally doing the wonderful and weird things only sisters can do together. It was so fun to see Lushnje through Em's eyes!

"Don't take a picture of me, take a picture of him!"
"Not me! Not me!"

Yum. Chai malli (mountain tea).

Emily had to get a thousand pictures with all the ladies at Lena's favorite coffee stop. 

We also went to the museum here in town (which is actually really cool!) and the guide was all, "Look at this 15th century Turkish sword! Wanna hold it?" UM, YES. (The historian in me cried a bit when I realized that nothing was protected and I could literally pocket ancient greek pots or weaponry from centuries past...)

Part of a mural in the museum painted by the current Prime Minister, Edi Rama.

Moza's office!

Main office!

Emily's flight left at 4am on the 13th, so we spent the day in Tirana on the 12th before taking the bus to airport at 5 pm. (We're cheap and we figured, why waste money on a hotel room and a taxi just to get a few hours of sleep, which would waste the precious little time we had left?) Tirana doesn't have a lot of "sights" to see, so it didn't take us long to cover the big ones:

The city recently put together this little corner showcasing some relics from communism, including part of an old factory, a bunker (above), and a piece of the Berlin Wall (below). 

And of course, no trip to Tirana would be complete without a trek up the pyramid! When Enver Hoxha died, his daughter and son in law built this mausoleum to his "greatness" to be remembered forever...

It's now an abandoned hazard and a fantastic cultural icon. The graffiti is ever-changing, and students are always climbing up the walls to get a birds-eye view of the city.

Emily Anne, I love you. Spending those three weeks with you in Vienna, Prague, and Albania made me so incredibly happy, and I will absolutely treasure that time forever. #ewgrosssappysisterlove

Miss you!

And that, my friends, concludes the marvelous grand European adventure 2013/2014.
(Just in time for Easter)
(I need to work on my timing)

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