A beautiful day trip from Tirana? It depends.

Albania is the only place I have travelled where I have been asked by locals not to take pictures of the bad things and only highlight the good – it is like everyone here is a personal representative of the Albanian tourism board. For those locals that I call friends, I apologize in advance for what I am about to do. Always a great start to a post right?

This weekend I had the chance to go to Kepi Rodonit a cape north of the city of Durres in Albania. It has all the elements that would usually make adventure tourists swoon. Picture a hike down cliffs covered in lush greenery to a remote isolated beach, complete with the ruins of a castle built circa 1451-1452 by the national albanian hero Skanderbeg, on a point surrounded by blue water of the Adriatic sea. It’s sunny (mostly…), you are laughing with good friends and when you reach the beach you know a cold beer and some snacks await you. Pretty much perfect right?

Let me show you the photos from that version of the trip.

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Start off the hike by exploring the village orthodox church.

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Ok so it wasn’t sunny the whole time but the lovely Séverine was prepared!

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Looks pretty amazing right?

Shume Mire!!

Shume Mire!!

If you just stopped reading right there and took the trip, I guarantee I would most likely get some hate mail as it turns out something really is missing from the above images… That something is mountains of plastic garbage and one other frightening image.

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When I took this picture an albanian friend asked me not to.

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I love this picture, but I can’t get over the trash, it ruins it for me.

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This beach was the “clean” beach as a restaurant owner there tries to keep up.

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The garbage wasn’t the only thing I left out in the first version.

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Genci shows off his baby. Don’t worry, he has earned this picture being online.

Is Kepi Rodonit still worth the trip? Absolutely. It really is an incredible place and one I am glad I visited, but I wish I had been a little more prepared for what to expect.

Let this serve as notice to my readers and friends that I refuse to only show one perspective. Bring on the comments, I can take it.