The capital of Albania is a very special city. We arrived there at night, but the streets were still full of people, lights, cars and open fast food restaurants.
We had a ridiculous small map to arrive to a previously recommended hostel. First, we stopped to eat something and get some power and ask for the address. Everybody we asked was very helpful but surprisingly no one understood our map. Another interesting thing about Tirane is that they use the streets numbers randomly, it´s like a lottery. Finally we managed to find the other hostel, the “Backpackers” but it was full. Luckily the guy in the reception was very kind, he gave us a map and shown the best way to arrive the Milingona hostel.
It was already 12:30 and we still had to cross half of the town. Tirane is organized in a special way. It has big avenues that start from the city center and all the rest are little streets usually unpaved, not straight at all and with all the electric cables from several blocs hold by a wooden post. We found it really charming.
When we arrived close to the hostel we asked about direction in a grocery shop and it turned out that the guy was studying Spanish on his own (he has quite a good accent), so we were talking for a while. Then we asked again a baker who was already working and he closed his business only to come along with us all the way until the hostel´s door. We finally arrived around 01:30 to the Milingona (that means ant in Albanian) hostel.
Another peculiarity is that at least a third of the cars on the streets of Tirana, a proper Muslim country, are Mercedes Benz. In general they like luxurious cars, which makes a big contrast with the surroundings. A lot of Albanians are working abroad so most of the plates are from other countries, specially Germany and Austria.
The last thing I would like to point out from Tirane is the wealth of markets and little street shops with desirable fruits and vegetables. You can also buy tobacco, clothes and, in fact, everything, everywhere. Great city and helpful people.