Elbasan

Europe

Elbasan situated in the south east is now the second largest city in Albania.It is situated on the river Shkumbin and is an industrial city. The Chinese built  a steel factory there in 1974. It was a Roman fortress and part of the fortificatioe basement of the town can still be seen. If you descend fifty steps down into the basement of the tower which was built during the Ottoman occupation you will find an excellent restaurant and lounge bar. It became a Christain city in the fifth century and became famous for its tobacco and alcohol later.

It is a somewhat polluted city because of industries and is the terminus of the railroad from Durres. If you are a visitor you can see the Tower. The Catholic  and the Orthodox churches are well worth a visit. You can see the road which was built over the hills by the Italians during the 1930s and you will be told that they ate all the tortoises while building the road. On the streets or roadsides you can buy excellent olive from vendors.  You can encounter some difficulties in money changing even though there are plenty of banks.  Some places accept the better known credit cards together with pounds and dollars. But you can get better value from many changers on the streets if you bargain with them. You can use Western union also.

Some of the industries here are in tobacco, fruit, grapes, olives, cotton, textiles, cigarettes, leather, flour and handicrafts.

Transport is at a minimum.  I}f you want to know when the bus will pass you need to ask in some of the bars or shops in the city centre. And it may even be nighttime before it comes.

There are plenty hotels here which offer good discounts and you can get excellent travel offers from airlines and tourist operators.