Over the Final Mountains
Trip Start Dec 27, 2011
11Trip End Jan 05, 2012
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Where I stayed
Tirana International Hotel
Back to Tirana today. Only one more night in Albania. We could have done a lot better tour if I'd believed the people who told me things would be closed and NOT believed the people who told me that things would be open. Well, we hear what we want to hear. How true.
We are supposed to visit several places on our trip back to Tirana. One place being along Lake Ohrid which borders Albania and Macedonia is on the other side of the lake. IF ONLY, we had skipped Saranda and just gone over this way and popped into Macedonia. Oh well. Always easier to design a trip after you have done it.
So we are heading towards Pogradec and Drilon
We walk around the lake and over a bridge to where there are a couple of dammed sites and one side of a small bridge has carp and one side has trout. They are supposed to be some kind of big deal fish but they were just trout and carp. Not even koi. Back towards the restaurant for a cup of coffee and then I decide to buy some sunflower seeds from a man sitting outside under a tree. I get two packets of seeds which have very few seeds in them actually but they only cost a few cents. Off to the bank to give to the ducks. Of course, the ducks are down at the far end now
We drive along Lake Ohrid for a while. There are a number of resort hotels and apartments along the lake and most look pretty empty. There are also a number of boats pulled up on the shore waiting for summer. Then we start passing men who are selling fish that they have caught in the lake. A couple of times we pass someone who looks to be selling crabs but can’t really tell because Klodi is not afraid of driving fast today.
We go through another deserted copper mine in one town. Most of the windows are broken out of the main building, as usual. Passing cemeteries, bee hives, hay stacks, sacrificial bears for good luck hanging off of roofs and eves. Passing lovely houses tucked into cliffs, train trestles, and once a whole lot of people standing on a hilltop for no apparent reason. All things that I have tried to take photos of several times and never sure if I have a good one. If I stopped the car for each photo I wanted, we’d never get anywhere
It is all up and down hills all the way to Tirana. Klodi says they are digging a tunnel that will go this way and no more up and down hills. It should be done this year. Finally past some road construction into Tirana and we are telling Klodi we need lunch. It seems pretty certain he just wanted to dump us at the hotel and be done with us because I am sure we have not been the easiest of clients with our fruit and veggie stops and "it’s cold!" but my husband says we need lunch before we go to the hotel. It is well into the afternoon but Klodi swings up a side street and takes us to a restaurant were we have a lunch and then he takes us to the hotel and says he will see us tomorrow to take us to the airport.
Our flight leaves at 2:20 and he said 1:20 would be plenty of time but I asked to be there at 1 to give us a little safety so he agreed
We get rooms on the 10th floor of Tirana International hotel this time and while they still want our passports, they do not make us pay 20 euros per room this time for the mini bar possible usage. We want to go out a bit and see the Christmas market that is down the street and looked to still be in operation. So we walk past the mosque and to the market. A lot of it has already closed up and left. It wasn’t so much of a market left as it was food stalls and bars and some toy stores. We did see a Cobo winery booth, the winery we had visited. Back to our local fruit market where the stall sellers know us by now even though it is only our 4th time there. And as we ate lunch late, we spend another quiet evening in the hotel, our last evening in Albania for this trip.