The Amateur Traveler talks to Francis Tapon from WanderLearn.com about Albania which has gone from a totally closed society 20 years ago to a destination that Lonely Planet ranked as the #1 destination for travel this year (that was before some of the recent protests). Francis says the because it was isolated for so long it created an exotic and unique culture. Abandoned bunkers still line the country from back when their fear of invasion had nothing to do with tourists. He recommends we start in the capital of Tirana and from there go to Krujë and its legendary Skanderbeg castle. Albania is a budget destination which offers some of the cheapest (and slowest) train rides in Europe. Frances rates one of the most beautiful places as the Ionian coastline. Albania also boasts Unesco sites like Berat, the city of a thousand windows and the archaeological city of Butrint which was founded by the Greeks and then later ruled by the Romans, Venetians and Ottomans.
Hike Your Own Hike
The Hidden Europe
Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries for 2011
BootsnAll’s Top 10 Destinations for Independent Travelers in 2011
Archaeological city of Butrint
Lonely Planet Eastern Europe (Multi Country Guide)
Erick Smith recommends when you Travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota (Episode 252) you visit Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
Mary recommends when you Travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Episode 259) you also visit:
- The Mattress Factory – Museum of Contemporary Art, including James Turrell’s play on light.
- The National Aviary - “America’s Bird Zoo”, featuring 600 species of birds and interactive programs, including some that are geared towards children
Carrie from NYC says if you http://southamerica.amateurtraveler.com/2007/05/05/episode-89-the-galapagos-islands/#comments you should check out la Isla de la Plata. They call it the Poor Man’s Galapagos because it has most of the same animals as the Galapagos but it isn’t as touristy/expensive. They also offer super cheap scuba diving classes there (I think $300/one week instruction + PADI certified).