Blogs from Sarandë, South, Albania, Europe

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Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë June 2nd 2018

In Albania under for Communists everything was under state control. Factories that had manufactured parts for farm equipment were closed and farmers had to buy from the Soviet Union. That industry has never recovered. Agricultural production was determined the state and products were exported with little left for the population. The main allies for Albania were Mao’s Red China and the Soviets. When the dictator died there were tears. Our tour guide remembers her grandparents and parents sobbing, and so she did too. It wasn’t until later that she understood that they were tears of joy. Life is still not easy in Albania but in one little corner of the country, the town of Sarenda has boomed. Located on the Adriatic with beaches, cafes and nightclubs, it is a holiday of choice for Greeks. New hotels ... read more
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Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë May 26th 2018

Albania Day 9. Saturday 26th May. Resting in Sarande Most of the rest of the group have gone off cycling, or by bus, to visit the nearby ruins at Butrint whilst I languish on our balcony reading in the sun under a cloudless sky and listening to the three tenors and other chosen music on my pocket computer. My leg is little better at weight bearing and am suspecting damaged muscle. The thigh bruising is worse, as expected, but the swelling is down. However, there are much worse places to recover and non much better. The temperature is around 30 degrees so just a little warmer than NW England. Busy on the promenade tonight and nice and warm for our evening meal of chicken soup and fish plus lemon sorbet. On the roads again tomorrow, but ... read more
coastal sculpture
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The pebble beach

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë May 25th 2018

Albania Day 8. Friday 28 June. Gjirokaster to Sarande. Last night saw my hip improving and able to hobble across the room without crutches. Therefore looking forward to riding the bike again before too long. We went to a restaurant up the hill from our hotel for another excellent meal followed by yet another red wine at a nearby bar in the moonlight. I am of the opinion that red wine has a healing effect on my hip. Correct me if I am deluded in this matter. The crutches were a godsend and I never fell over once on the way down the hill. Nearly 11pm by the time we got back, I must remember to keep better company from now on. I am being lead astray. The breakfast today was on the top floor with ... read more
The road up the mountain.
Do you want a lift?
More wine madam?

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë October 13th 2016

Day 21 - Wed. Oct. 12 - Port of call: Sarandë, Albania. Weather: Chance of heavy rain in morning, sunny with scattered clouds in afternoon, temperatures of 64°F/18°C NOTE: I chose not to write a blog yesterday as we were at sea sailing around the end of the Greek mainland from the island of Limnos to Sarandë, Albania. Sarandë, Albania has turned out to be a wonderful surprise to everyone, including the Captain. He was fully expecting that we would have to anchor in the harbour and that the tenders would be deployed to take passengers ashore. Yesterday he received word from the HAL agent in Albania that the port actually had a pier large enough to accommodate the Prinsendam. Unfortunately the ship did not have up-to-date charts of the pier area so a request was ... read more
Lecture in the rain
Site diagram
Reality

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë September 30th 2016

We wake up this morning with the ship in the process of anchoring off Sarande, Albania. Our first port of call was supposed to be Ephesus, Turkey, but the political unrest in that country prompted Holland America to switch to Sarande. Sarande is actually just across the bay from Corfu, Greece. The town (and Albania as a whole) is still transitioning to a democracy from the tight-fisted communist rule that ended in 1990. Sarande would dearly love to become the next Corfu. It boasts a rich cultural history and beautiful beaches and natural settings. What is lacking are the facilities and culture shift needed to support rich North American tourists such as ourselves in the style to which we are accustomed. We have selected a tour that focuses on the archeological history of the area. After ... read more
Greek/Roman ruins
Greek/Roman amphitheatre
Intrepid explorers

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë August 13th 2016

The time had finally come. I've been needing a break from travelling for some time now - I just needed to stop for a while. And so I rented out my own apartment for seven days in the beachside town of Ksamil in Albania's deep south. I had been getting more and more snappy every day; every little thing - if it was annoying, then it was pissing me off. This included the bus down to Saranda from Berat. For a start, I found out that the journey would take six hours rather than the four hours Google Maps said it would take and I soon discovered why. It literally stopped everywhere for everyone and the driver seemed to be a transporter of goods as well as one of people as one dude put an entire ... read more
Roman Baths, Butrint
Water From The Blue Eye Spring
View From The Hostel, Sarande

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë June 8th 2016

Woensdag 8/06/2016 – Sarandë Vandaag welgekomen rustdag. Wat luieren en boekenlees in de schaduw, want in de zon is het te heet voor ons. Morgen om 8:00u vertrekt de bus. Dan is het hier ook al behoorlijk warm. Zelfde tijdszone als de onze, maar uiterst oostelijk. Om 20.30u is het hier al donker. Wat betreft de Albanese keuken. Dat valt zeer mee. Lijkt op Italiaans en Grieks. Pizza is overal verkrijgbaar. Meestal vis. Forel, zeebaars,....Frisse slaatjes met feta kaas, tatziki, olijven, etc. Byrek, een soort bladerdeeg gevuld met allerlei, spinazie, aubergine, lams. Zeemzoet gebak met noten overgoten met honing. Gelateria's genoeg. Weten nooit wat kiezen. Wel allemaal lekker. Geen McDonald's, want kwaliteit lokaal vlees voldoet niet aan hun standards. Maar dat zal ons worst wezen.... read more
Rustdag in Sarandë

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë June 7th 2016

Dinsdag 7/06/2016 – Verplaatsing naar Sarandë (83km) Stevige mooie bergrit langs de kust. De afdaling van de Llogara-pas tot zeeniveau is spectaculair en deed ons denken aan de Trollstigen in Noorwegen. Daarna gaat het konstant op en af door het kustgebergte. Gelukkig bijna geen verkeer. Een loslopend varken en een solitaire ezel waren wel even te ontwijken. Alsook een kudde geiten geleid door een hond. Alles letterlijk dan. Sarandë is de meest toeristische stad van Albanië aan de Ionische zee in het uiterste zuiden. Veel hoogbouw hotels staan in de steiger. Hopelijk gaan ze niet de zelfde kant op als de Spaanse Costa's. We staan hier voor een paar dagen op de parking van Mediterrane Hotel.... read more
Tussenstop in Himarë
Onderweg in de bergen
parking van Mediterrane Hotel - Sarandë

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë December 27th 2014

Day 2: Durres to Sarande Wow what a road trip! The country side beautiful, the scenery breathtaking, the views spectacular, the road....... the shits. There are no major roads or highways through Albinia, no bypasses of every city and town. They have started some, but none completed so it makes for a very interesting drive. There are people along the roads everywhere, selling everything from live animals to fruit and vegatables and shoes and clothing. You can buy almost anything as you drive, Turkeys, goats, chickens, rabbits, donkeys, and people do stop, right there on the road. A four lane road they just stop, and buy or visit or cross over to the other side. Also watch for horse and carts, or donkeys on the road, or scooters and bikes going the wrong way, or people ... read more
Road side
heading back to the coast
Sarande

Europe » Albania » South » Sarandë July 13th 2014

We arrived in Saranda late yesterday evening, and I didn't have a place to stay. They dropped me off, and I found a guy with a sign, so went back to his hotel with him. It was ok so I decided to stay, though it was about 20 minutes walk out of town. And back from town was all uphill. Saranda is in the south and has some things I wanted to see, but I had been hoping for more from the actual town itself. It is a very tacky touristy beach resort, not really my kind of place. But it was ok. I went the next day one more time with the Norwegians to Butrint, a ruin I really wanted to see and the main reason for coming to Saranda. Really cool that they took ... read more
Butrint National Park
Butrint National Park
Butrint National Park




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