While in the Balkans recently, the final stop on my journey was Shkodra, a town bordering Montenegro. With a castle above and lake below it prides itself as being a little more Balkan-esque than the rest of Albania. Certainly, it has its fair share of al fresco restaurants, tourist-oriented ‘lodges’ and fresh food stalls; Shkodra was a cosmopolitan surprise. One of my favourite moments happened just as I was leaving town and looking to spend the last of my LEK on some meaningful souvenirs. An old woman at the bus stop dangled some woollen socks in my face in the hope that this foreigner would buy them - despite me sweltering in the 35 degree heat. I followed her back to her knitting, and after much hand gesticulation I gave her cash, she gave me some socks, and topped it off with an Albanian ‘smile’.