Since we have little info about Albania it took a bit of investigation to find out about buses/transport and get on with seeing some sights. Quite a bit of walking and asking questions best we could not knowing Albanian. People are very helpful and tho outwardly stern, once you attempt to communicate with a smile they too usually open up with a smile and do their best with lots of hand signs and body language. We got to the center of town where we encountered the 'taxis' - vans for 8-9 people. Soon we were headed to Berat which took two taxis and traveled over the roughest, most potholed main road I've ridden on in many years! I think we all found Albania much different than expected. This part of the country is heavy into agriculture, in fact, so much so that many if not most of the homes we saw in urban settings/towns, had yards fully planted with fruit trees, grape vines, row crops, even farm animals - chickens, sheep, a cow, etc. It appears that a generation away from the rural life isn't enough to let them forget their 'roots' so to speak.
On our way back from Berat, we struck up a conversation in English w/ a gal coming home to parents in Vlore from 5 yr course of study in geoplaning, never heard of it but apparently when she graduates she will be trained to decide what buildings can be constructed where. She taught us some Albanian words and told us about her older sister living in Winston Salem N. Carolina and brother in Italy.
In addition to a very prosperous looking counryside, we also noticed in an area near Fier that a it of oil drilling is going on, perhaps another reason for all the new construction going on. Environmentally, Albania doesn't have a grip on it!! A lot of litter, especially in waterways, the oil business has created a lot of spills, and in general urban sprawl is creeping over the landscape with apparently little thought as to planning or zoning.