I will start this piece by a quote that I always say : “You really discover a place when you have lived in it” . I have stood by it even when our guests have expressed their approval, pleasure and positive surprise regarding information load that they got when touring with us. Usually, we have a sharing of ideas about how is better to discover a country and how to have some good, relaxing time when doing it. This, of course, at the last day of the tour. And it would result more or less, bitterly sweet, in the same idea of the initial quote here.
The last trip changed everything..
It was a private one. Driver ( one of my best friends ) , me and a couple from Bavaria, Germany.
Thanks to them that I truly managed to see our tour from our guest’s eyes. With a bit of customization , we managed to visit also Kruja and Durres along with cities included in Local Food & Unesco Heritage Tour.
We had our good share of fun, from making “Raki” in a village in Saraqinishte, listening to great questions like “ hmm, you seem surprised. How do you make Raki in Germany?” , to watching Albania – Spain at an all red&black bar in Tirana , to cooking byrek with chef Rita aka : “woman of the house” in the village of Bogove, to trekking in the wild to get to an amazing waterfall close to the same place, just to mention some highlights.
Being only in two, we managed to talk much more and the reason I say that they changed my ideas is that on the last day of the tour they told us that it was like we have been in Albania for weeks. The information, the experiences, the tales, the jokes, the cities, the landscapes, the “raki” drinking, all together told from a local prospective managed to make them see and understand our country and our people on a personal basis. It was, and I quote, a great experience and it really felt more like travelling with friends than anything else (which I guess is the best you could say about a vacation). Idem, always.
Our feedback has been great so far, but we needed this shared thought to reassure us entirely that this is the way to go and that it is true : Locals know best!
Thank you Rob and Franzi for your insights, see you soon!