Ruth in the premium lounge at Toronto's Pearson Airport.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Greenwich, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on September 1st.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Well that was lucky!

When we flew from Dar es Salaam to Rome, we were forced by Qatar Airways to purchase a flight out of Albania. It's a long story, which you can read here, but essentially it meant that we were out of pocket €120 ($177 CAD, $141 USD) for nothing.

I've registered a formal complaint with Qatar Airways, because I think the manager in charge at the check in desk (not a Qatar Airways employee) was wrong both in his interpretation of the rules, and the way they handled the situation.

The ticket we had been forced to buy was with Wizz Air, a discount European airline based in Hungary. They typically have a "no refund" policy where if you cancel the flight the best you might get is a credit valid towards a future flight. 

Well yesterday, I got an email from Wizz Air saying that the flight I bought had been changed. In this case, because it was them who changed the scheduled flight, I can either accept a 120% credit voucher valid towards a future flight, or a full refund to your original form of purchase.


So we got lucky with that one.

I am still going to follow up with my complaint with Qatar Airways, but I no longer need to be compensated. 

Yesterday was another beautiful spring day here in Albania. We went for a walk around town and up to the church located on the side of the steep hill leading up to the castle.

We had to walk through the back alleys of the old section of town to get to the trail leading up to the church.

Old doors.

Homemade stuff for sale outside this house.

Really neat walking through this area.

Berat is such a pretty city.

The area called Gorica on the opposite side of the river.

We got up to the church, and weren't surprised to find the gate locked.
Actually, we expected the door to the church to be locked, but not the gate.

I poked my camera through the gate.

Berat, Albania.

Partizanit Mountain, 2416 meters (7,900').
Berat is actually close to sea level at 260'.

There is a hiking trail up to the top, but it starts on the other side of the mountain and it's usually done as an overnight hike because it is 13 kms (8 miles) one way. Of course it probably won't be open for another month or two anyhow. We do want to take a drive to the base of the mountain though!

Just above the church is this small cave.

Looking out the cave.

More beautiful views.

Can you see the parking lot beside the river this side of the bridge?
There is a motorhome there.

Zoomed in.
It has plates from France.

We headed back down and across the bridge to the other side.

A lone fisherman.

Can you see the church in the middle?

Zoomed in.

The city of a thousand windows.

These men in the park are watching a chess match.

Our cottage patio.

Our cottage entrance.

While we were out, we stopped at the bank machine again. We are extending our stay for a week, and normally when we extend we do the deal outside of Airbnb. Better for us, and better for the host. Airbnb does not get their cut! So I had to get 17,300 lek (€140, $207 CAD, $164 USD) to pay the rent, and of course the bank machine only spits out 5,000 lek (€40, $60 CAD, $47 USD) notes so we didn't have the right change.

So I sent a note to our host son saying that I had the money, but I had to get change when we go to the dentist. He told me "Do not worry Kevin... you are part of the family now".


So we are back to the dentist today to get my problem fixed.

Record low deal on a 1TB Toshiba External Hard Drive.

And in Canada...


  1. Berat seems like a nice place. It's certainly very pretty. What would the prospects be of a retired expat living there?

    1. Berat is a very nice place, and yes it is very pretty with lots of history and gorgeous scenery.

      I am sure it would be very easy to live here as a retired expat. We haven't looked into what is involved but as we said we bumped into and American guy who has been living here for 15 years. There certainly isn't an expat community here and not a lot of English speakers in the stores but I expect that the bigger restaurants have people who speak English and anything business that is connected to tourism but other than that to really enjoy the area it would be wise to learn the language. I would also expect to live in the old part of town it would be more expensive than in the more residential areas at the edge of town. Costs for most things are much cheaper than in the USA or Canada and probably many parts of western Europe.

  2. "Wizz Air"??? You're passing up the chance to fly on something called "Wizz Air"?

    "Fly Wizz! Our landings almost equal our take offs!"

    1. Lol, Wizz Air is a discount airline in Europe and based in Hungary, that has been around since about 2003 or 2004, so it has been around awhile. And yes, we are passing up the chance at least this time around. :-)

  3. Wizz Air. Sounds like a name from a comedy movie.

    1. Lol, and Leslie Nielsen is the star in it! :-P

  4. You were very lucky on that refund but like you I would lodge a complaint.
    Still lots of beautiful scenery to check out.
    Good Luck on the Dental Work.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, we were very lucky with the refund and Kevin had already lodged the complaint right after the incident. We will wait and see what if anything happens.

      We are headed out in the car today for our first day trip in the area, so we will see some different scenery. There is definitely lots to see and do around this area. :-)

  5. Seeing that motorhome from France, that could by you guys pretty soon!

    1. It will be us one day but not sure how soon that will be! We are thinking that we may be lucky to get to our new motorhome by June, I guess only time will tell.

  6. Are any of the churches open? This Sunday is Easter -- well, my friends from Greece call it "Western Easter." The Eastern Orthodox churches will have Easter later. Maybe the churches in Albania are Eastern Orthodox? Lovely photos.

    1. Yes, all the regular churches and mosques are open it is just the historical ones that are closed up tight! We aren't quite sure why, whether it is to protect the frescoes inside, we just aren't sure. We keep meaning to ask someone about that but when we find someone English speaking we forget to ask.

      Also as Kevin mentioned in an earlier post, Albania is a mix of Christians and Muslims but not many people actually practice their religion, so we aren't sure how much Easter will actually be celebrated here.

  7. So you have been adopted, that's nice of them! They are friendly people!

    1. Lol, it looks like we just might have been. They are very nice people and we are enjoying our stay here. :-)

  8. Berat is such a pretty city, and I think your cottage is adorable. Cute entry and wonderful patio! Glad you were able to extend your time for another week, and hope Kevin's dental work goes/went well!

    1. We really love the city of Berat and the surrounding area, it is so beautiful here.

      Our cottage is lovely. We enjoy sitting out at the patio but we have to be careful not to do so in the middle of the day, there is just no shade, at least until the leaves come out. We were also glad to be able to extend our stay here. It is hard to believe that we are pretty much in the center of town yet it is so quiet here.

      Kevin's dental work is progressing well. He has another appointment on Saturday.


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