Albania Furgon Ride

The Albania Furgon Experience

My first furgon ride in Albania was a trip! A furgon is a minibus, similar to a Turkish dolmuş, the latter of which means “stuffed”. Furgon should mean “packed to the gills” because that’s exactly how they roll.

Albanian Furgon


I was taking the furgon from Berat to Gjirokastra, about a three hour ride. Furgons don’t always leave until the bus is full, so you may be waiting five minutes or twenty, depending. I made it there early to make sure I got a seat and took one on the right side of the bus. (The right side has single seats, the left has double seats and there were about 16 seats in total).

Two girls just made it on time with big backpacks. The driver couldn’t fit them in the back trunk area, so he told the girls to get in and slid their enormous packs into the aisle. Then, since the furgon was full (meaning all actual seats all filled), we were off.

Somehow, at some point, a cardboard box in the aisle slid into the side of my foot. I looked down and took a peek inside and saw a plastic bag with chicken feathers hanging out. I flashed back to one of my dolmuş rides in Turkey and couldn’t believe my luck! This is the second time I’ve taken a bus ride with a freshly killed chicken!

I tried to inconspicuously move it away from me, pushing the box quietly with the side of my foot. I wasn’t trying to smell or see that the entire time and I definitely wasn’t looking for a seat mate.

As we drove, the driver began picking up more and more people. I was wondering where exactly were they going to sit…?

Well, what I learned is, just when you think there is too much stuff in the aisle for them to let anyone else on, you are wrong! This is when they break out the ottomans and stools for the newcomers to sit in the aisle itself, along with the luggage.

Albania Furgon

This is how we roll!

People were passing the dead chicken in a box forward and then backwards, trying to make room for everything. At one point it ended up on some man’s lap. I hope it was his chicken!

Inside of an Albanian Furgon

A random man’s ass also landed in my lap as he tried to navigate the luggage, backpacks and chicken in a box as he exited the bus. The entire situation was pretty comical.

Out of nowhere, our driver decided to cut clear across the road and pulled all the way over on the left to stop in front of a restaurant where we had a twenty minute break. All I could think was, “We just broke so many laws in America.” Lol.

Albania furgon experience


Inside an Albanian furgon
I went to take some photos of inside the bus to show the beautiful chaos of this ride and these two girls (see photo) kept saying to me and pointing, “Chicken! Chicken!”

I laughed.

I said, “I know!”

One exclaimed, “It’s crazy!”

I laughed some more and replied, “It’s Albania!”

I love this country.

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