Dajti Ekspres Cable Car

In terms of tourist activities, mostly all I did in 3 days in Tirana was walk around, look at buildings, and buy books. It was fun. But I’d read about the cable car that goes up Dajti Mountain, and I figured it would be a fun and different thing to do with Siqi in the afternoon after seeing the sights in town. So we got a taxi to the bottom station of the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car and bought tickets (1,400 leke or 14 euros each; a little over US$14), and then up we went! Totally worth it. Lovely scenery (as shown below).

On the way down, we shared a gondola with a young Albanian woman (who spoke English) and her mom. We chatted with her most of the way down. She likes traveling in affordable places in the region and collects cigarette lighters and good food. She gave us a restaurant recommendation for dinner. She also drove us from the bottom station back to the Mariott, which was very kind. I gave her my business card and an American bill and a Chinese bill as souvenirs.

Waiting for a gondola at the bottom station.
The upper station is just below the cleft between the hills, right behind the left-hand cable. It’s a pretty long ride, actually! 4,670 meters, or 2.9 miles.
Looking back at the city outskirts and the bottom station.
An Austrian company makes this equipment.
These little windows open. As we were waiting to go down, I noticed that metal baskets are installed on the outside of the gondola under these windows (for obvious reasons). Genius.
Trees. Rock. Hills.
You think cable cars go up continuously? Not necessarily. This one went up and down and up again. Not sure how many segments, actually. Fascinating, from an engineering standpoint.
Blue and brown.
The city is… over there somewhere to the west.
Higher and higher!
More rocks.
Almost there!
Now we’re at the observation platform. And we can observe… the Adriatic Sea!!!
And the towers in downtown Tirana, and the lines of the cable car, stretching away down the hills.
Looking west and south, that’s Farka, an artificial lake, apparently good to visit—but we didn’t have time.
Looking west and north, another lake.
Distant peak, wrapped in clouds!
My favorite.
Farka Lake again.
With the sun on it, it looks like a sci-fi city.
That’s the sun on the water in the distance.
Time to head back!