When I say I hate heights, I mean I truly have a pathological fear of being more than a couple of feet from the ground.
This may sound strange for someone who used to go to work by leaping out of functioning aeroplanes, or one who travels extensively by plane (although these days I land in them too) but it’s true, I truly hate heights.
What possessed me then to go on a hideous cable car ride to the highest point of Tirana I’m not quite sure.
The Dajti express is apparently the longest ride in the Balkans at just over 3 miles long, and it goes veeeeeery high, up to the Dajti national park. I hated it. I hated every second of the more than 15 minutes of the ride up. And of the ride down now I come to think of it.
From the city centre we took a taxi, (asked for the Dajti cable car in English, it worked) which cost no more than a few euros, but if you take the bus on the Porcelani line right to the end, there is a free minibus to take you to the start of the torture.
After looking for ages for someone to sell us a ticket we hopped on board. It started calmly enough, no real understanding of the horrors that awaited me. I hate heights. I honestly saw very little of the journey, I just couldnt’ bring myself to lift my eyes from the floor. I’m sure I missed some wonderful views of the countryside just outside of Tirana but I just couldn’t. The one time I did look up, I saw this coming towards me and immediately looked down again, just in case. In case of what … I’m not sure.
To be fair, once we’d arrived to the top, it had been time well spent, a beautiful area with a bar and a restauarant, as well as a couple of hotels that clearly haven’t worked financially but with the opening of Albania’s doors there is no reason in my mind why they couldnt work again in the future.
There actually isn’t a huge amount to do in Tirana, so this is well worth the trip, although if you’re as scared of heights as I am, I would suggest taking a bus right to the top, which I only found out existed after I’d been petrified for over half an hour of my life on the round trip.