|Albania's location in Europe|
Albania is a small country in south eastern Europe that shares a border with Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece. It has coastlines on the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the east. If you've never heard of the Ionian Sea before, that would make 2 of us.
Due to a hectic first 2 weeks, I was not able to get out of Tirana and see much of the countryside. Normally this is how a trip goes for me. I get to see a lot of the airport, office and the inside of my hotel room.
I am happy to report though, that the people of Albania were warm and friendly. I was told that they like Americans so for once I didn't mind identifying myself as American while I was there. The IT Specialist, Iris, recently had surgery to remove her entire stomach but managed to soldier on at work despite the obvious discomfort she was in. I'd be out of work for 3 months if that was me.
|Moldova's location in Europe|
To get to Moldova from Albania, my teammate Graham and I had to fly via Vienna, Austria thanks to the Fly America Act, so instead of a 2 hour flight between countries, it took us 18 hours to get from A to B. Normally I would complain about something like this except Vienna is a world class city that I have only read about and seen in movies so I was happy to use the layover to tour the city.
I will be returning home in a week and I am looking forward to rejoining Rach and Maddy who I miss terribly. Next up is Mongolia and China in October.
|St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria|
|At the entrance to the Old Orhei cave monastery|
|Here we go down and into the mountain|
|The caves emerge on the cliff face overlooking a river 200 feet below|
|A functioning chapel in the caves|
|I can tell you Samoans would never have survived living in caves this small|
|People trek to the top of the mountain to pray and leave money at the base of this cross|
|I couldn't go further than this because I was wearing shorts|
|My gracious host and tour guide, Andrei Rusu|
|By a water well in a small Moldovan village near Orhei|
|Not an uncommon sight in the rural Moldovan villages, a horse drawn cart|