ADAC Travelatlas 2006: no good for Albania…what about the rest?

AdaCI still remember the day I bought it. Before the GPS units became widely accessible. I paid 16.90 EUR for the ADAC Travel Atlas Europe 4th edition to manage successfully my road trips. And it worked for the mainstream places. Now I can say it was better to buy something else.

Ok, you might say this is only a minor thing. But why do we bother to buy these maps? Because we want to have an idea where we drive and because in case we get lost we find our way out. Well, the ADAC Travel Atlas was rubbish at doing both when we get lost in Albania. The map shows that there is a wide (marked yellow, like the highway Tirana – Durres) road taking you from Gjirokaster to Berat. These two are the cities you for sure shouldn’t miss in Albania…

So, off we go from Gjirokaster and follow the ADAC map and get terribly lost in the mountains. After 4 hours of hopeless driving, we finally manage to get back to the valley, sleep in Divjake and of course miss Berat. There was in fact no decent road linking Gjirokaster and Berat, only an old military road used mostly by donkeys. To do 60 km it takes you 6 hours. Annoying, but it could have gone much worse. Luckily we had enough gasoline and the tires were OK.

Now, I tried to complain to ADAC, but they actually don’t show the map on their website at all. Equally, there is no contact listed in the Atlas itself. Nothing, nada. I just hope they revised their 5th Edition, if there is one. As for me, I’ll never buy it again. It’s dangerous.

beratP.S.: For those of you that wonder how could we follow blindly the map. There was another piece of information that we had. The consular section of the Slovenian Embassy in Macedonia that covers Albania, advised us to take the road linking Berat with the coast. The road that appears on the ADAC map is the only possibility. I bet that the Slovenian guy in Skopje has the same ADAC map and has actually never been to Albania properly.

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