Thursday, October 25, 2018

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo

Monaco (Monte Carlo and Fontvieille), Albania (Berat and Tirana), Macedonia (Orhid and Skopje) and Kosovo (Prizren and Pristina) weekend adventure 
September 13 to 16, 2018

Schengen 2nd Week-end Solo Trip: Malta and San Marino

My 1st 2018 Schengen visa week-end only adventure following the Summer Trip with my mother focusing in Spain62nd solo backpacking trip, quest to visit all the countries in the world, total of 79 countries visited so far (total of 37 in Europe) and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. The idea of maximizing the Spain Embassy-issued Schengen Visa (Aug. 2018) validity got started when I remember that all of the Southern Europe countries which are not part of the European Union can be visited by using a valid Schengen Visa. Last 2015, I visited Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria. I still have 4 consecutive week-ends before my 2018 Schengen Visa validity expires to fulfill my quest on completing the possible visits in European countries.

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo

timezone - UTC +0200H    capital - Monaco    language - French    currency - Euro (EUR)
visa - Valid Schengen Visa (Philippine passport holders need to apply first before travel)
Although not a member of either the European Union or the European Economic Area, Monaco maintains an open border and customs union with France and is treated as part of the Schengen Area.

1. The Principality of Monaco is the second smallest country in the world
2. Monaco is famous for its casino in Monte Carlo. However, residents of Monaco are not allowed to gamble or even enter the casino!
3. Monaco is the third most expensive real estate in the world.
4. Monaco has the largest police force in the world.
5. Monaco has the largest police force in the world.
6. Monaco’s flag is the same as the flag of Indonesia. The only difference is that the Indonesian flag is wider.

timezone - UTC +0200H    capital - Podgorica    language - Montenegrin    currency - Euro (EUR)
All foreigners who are equipped with a valid, multi entry Schengen visa which has been previously used in one of the countries of the Schengen area, or who are equipped with a valid residence permit in one of the Schengen area countries

1. More Albanians live outside of Albania than within
2. Mother Teresa is the country’s heroine. She is also the only Nobel laureate from Albania.
3. The oldest lake in Europe is found in Albania. The lake, known as Ohrid, is one of the world’s ancient lakes

timezone - UTC +0200H    capital - Skopje    language - Macedonian    currency - Denar (MAD)
Holders of travel documents containing a valid Schengen visamay stay in the Republic of Macedonia for up to 15 (fifteen) days upon every entry to the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, and the total amount of the subsequent stays in the Republic of Macedonia must not be longer than 3 (three) months within a six-months period, starting from the date of the first entry.


1. There are (supposed) parts of the cross on which Jesus was crucified in the foundations of the monasteries of St. Bogodorica Prechista in Kichevo, and St. Jovan Bigorski and St. Georgij Pobedonosec in Debar.
2. According to NASA, Kokino is the fourth oldest astronomic observatory in the world; with the oldest three being Abu Simbel, Egypt; Stonehenge, Great Britain; and Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Kokino is located approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo, and about 6 km from the Serbian border.
3. Ohrid Lake is the oldest and one of the deepest lakes in Europe (max depth 288m or 940ft). It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979.
4. Macedonia is the only country that got independence from Yugoslavia without shedding a single drop of blood.

timezone - UTC +0200H    capital - Pristina    language - Albanian    currency - Euro (EUR)
Holders of Travel documents issued by EU Member States, Schengen zone States, may enter, pass through the territory and stay in the Republic of Kosovo up to 15 days without a visa.


1. The name “Kosovo” derives from the name of a place in Serbia meaning “field of blackbirds”.
2. Kosovo unilaterally declared itself independent from Serbia on 17 February 2008, one of the youngest countries in the world to have attained independence
3. The majority of the country’s population is Albanian and most of the population lives under the poverty line.

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo


Flight tickets for Abu Dhabi to Nice - 421 AED
Flight tickets for Nice to Tirana - 413 AED
Flight tickets for Pristina to Munich - 130 AED
Flight tickets for Munich to Abu Dhabi - 385 AED
Night bus from Tirana to Skopje - 96 AED (21.5 Euro)
Sep13-14 D1 Hostel, Tirana 34 AED (8 EUR) 
Sep15-16 Hostel Kalonis, Skopje 26 AED (6 EUR)
Total: 1,445 AED

Day 1: September 13, 2018 Thursday

0130H ETD Abu Dhabi
1040H ETA Nice; express bus #110 return 33
1115H ETD Nice Airport​​
1215H ETA Monte Carlo Casino; City Walk; Lunch and souvenir 14; Mcdo snacks 8
1640H ETD Plaza de Armes
1730H ETA Nice Airport
1920H ETD Nice; Airport dinner 6
2345H ETA Tirana; exchanger 1 EUR = 122 ALL
Total: 61 Euro

Day 2: September 14, 2018 Friday

Taxi to Hostel 2,000
0030H D1 Hostel check-in 1,000
0700H Hostel Check-out, Shamez bus to South Terminal 40
0745H ETD Tirana; bus to Berat 400
1000H ETA Berat Bus Station; lunch 250; Bus to City Center 30; Hike to Berat Castle 100; Souvenirs 400
1200H Bus back to Berat Bus Station 30
1330H ETD Berat 400
1600H ETA Tirana; Snacks 500; City Walk tour; House of Leaves 700
1900H ETD Tirana
Total: 5,850 Lek (48 Euro)

Day 3: September 15, 2018 Saturday

0400H ETA Skopje; exchanger 1 EUR = 61 MKD
return tickets to Ohrid 700; ticket to Pristina 320; chicken/coffee 160
0530H ETD Skopje Bus Station
0845H ETA Ohrid Bus Station; walk to Center; coffee + cookies 130; souvenirs 300; lunch 420
walk to Ohrid Bus Station; ticket additional 30
1630H ETD Ohrid
2000H ETA Skopje Bus Station; dinner 240; Walk and Check-in to Hostel 370; City Center Walk night shots
Total: 2,640 + 250 = 2,910 Denar (48 Euro)

Day 4: September 16, 2018 Sunday

0630H ETD Hostel; breakfast 250
0800H ETD Skopje
1000H ETA Pristina; snacks 1.5
1020H ETD Pristina Bus Station 4
1210H ETA Prizren; walk to Old Town; refreshments and souvenirs 5.5
1400H ETD Prizren Bus Station 4
1600H ETA Pristine; short walk to City Center; 1630H Taxi to Airport 15
1700H ETA Prishtina Airport; dinner 13
1840H ETD Prishtina
Total: 43 Euro

Grand Total: 61 + 48 + 48 + 43 = 200 EUR (820 AED) + 1,445 AED = 2,265 AED ($616)

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo

Schengen 3rd Week-end Solo Trip: Monaco, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo


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