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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Albania - Saranda, Butrint, Ksamil, Gjirokaster & Tirana - Beer, Beaches & Bunkers

ALBANIA | Monday, 15 August 2016 | Views [241]

Saranda

Saranda

Albania - Saranda, Butrint, Ksamil, Gjirokaster & Tirana - Beer, Beaches & Bunkers

After 2 weeks, we say goodbye to Marathias, Corfu. Our friend Prokopios drives us to Corfu Town where we take a ferry to Saranda, Albania. The ferry ride last 45minutes and then we take a taxi to the Kent Hotel (30 Euros including breakfast), in Saranda where we are going to stay for a week. We arrive early in the morning and during the taxi ride we already are enjoying this place, ocean side promenade for long walks, lots of restaurants, bars and little shops to check out and almost everything is a third of the price of Greece, what is not to like?

The hotel is really nice and the staff are very friendly, it’s very close to the beach and facing the long, nice promenade. There is sort of a nostalgic feel about this place, like the places we used to see in Italian movies from the 50’s and 60’s. We go out and find very nice places to eat such as the Limani at the port where we have amazing pizza and The Beer House where the cold beer for 50 cents is unbeatable and they also come up with some nice, simple dishes. Well, talking about beer, here most beers are excellent, always cold, cold glasses and great brands like Korca and Tirana etc recommended!

On the first day we just walk around and get to know the place, On the second day we visit the archaeological site of Butrint, a very interesting settlement inhabited since prehistoric times and on the way back, we stop at the resort town of Ksamil, where the beaches are so small and so crowded, making us rush back to the lovely Saranda. On the third day we visit the town of Gjirokaster , an ancient village with a majestic castle perched on the top. After climbing up to the castle, we chill out having lunch and a couple of Korca beers at a family owned taverna. The tavern owner told us his father migrated to Brasil and disappeared over there in 1964, can’t really help him with this, sorry!

All these local trips we’ve been taking are riding the incredibly hot and crowded vans (furgons), but somehow it is good to get back on the backpacking trail. On the way back from the castle, we are all already sitting in the van when an argument ensues between two mothers with many kids and the driver. We kind of guess that they can’t pay for all the kids and want them to travel on their laps. The driver gets pissed off and decides not go anymore. A pretty girl, who speaks English very well comes to the rescue and explains to us he is not going anymore. I asked her what to do and she said we can share a taxi for almost the same price. And so off we go, the driver is a lunatic and Papa wants to kill him but we make it in one piece back to our beloved Saranda in record time.

During our travels around Albania we see the famous bunkers which are a relic of the cold war.

Sightseeing done, we take the rest of the days to chill and enjoy the local beach (beautiful clear water but pebbled) and long walks on the promenade exploring the beer and restaurant scene. We definitely had a fabulous time in Sarande, very chilled, lovely hospitable locals and very affordable, we’ll be back!

 

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