View from our sixth floor apartment patio in Pogradec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Gjyrokaster, Albania on October 6th.

Friday, April 9, 2021

A walk around downtown Vlorë, Albania

Beautiful sunny day yesterday here in Vlorë, Albania, but a bit chilly with a high of only 14C (57F). Still, if you were in the sun it was quite pleasant. A warming trend is in the forecast though, with the sunshine maintaining a presence. We'll take it!

Yesterday, our first day in Vlorë, we went for a walk into the downtown section. There is a grocery chain here in Albania called Conad, and they do some of their own store brand gluten free products, including bread. But not all Conad stores stock all the products, so we wanted to see what selection they had at the Conad store here.

It was about 3.5 kms (2.2 miles) one way to the Conad store from our apartment.

Outside of our building.

Outside of our building, and most of the buildings along the promenade, there are a lot of patio restaurants and cafes. Then there is a wide pedestrian walkway, then a two lane bicycle path. Then the roadway with a single lane in each direction. Then another walkway, then the beach!

I can imagine that this is very busy during the summer season.

We found the Conad store, and sure enough they had the gluten free bread in stock that we were looking for. We bought four loaves. They're a bit pricey by local standards, at 449 lek ($5.40 CA, $4.30 USD) per loaf. In a country where bread is very cheap, this is some expensive bread! Anyhow, we splurged and will likely stock up a little more when we leave here just in case we can't get it at our future destinations. It's sealed, so it keeps fresh for a long time.

We made our way to an old mosque.

Built in the 16th century.

This big building is just sitting unfinished with no work being done.
I always wonder what the story is when I see building like this.
There are probably 4 or 5 larger unfinished buildings in this city, but this is the largest.

The Albania Monument of Independence, from 1912.

Vlorë is one of the oldest cities in the region, dating back to 600 BC. But the most recent claim to fame is from 1912 because the Albanian Declaration of Independence was signed here.

This city park is well kept.

Clock Tower.
There was a big market going on at the base of the building.

The old downtown area has been made into pedestrian streets and coffee shops. 
The Albanians love their coffee shops!

Colorful street.

We walked up a hill to get to this WW2 graves monument.

Large parade area.

Most of these were young men in their twenties.

Then we carried on up another hill to get to the best view of the city.

Yet another bunker.

Views of Vlorë.

On the way home, we stopped in at a local grocery store that has a really great butcher section.

Ruth, doing some meat shopping.

We bought 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, a half a kilo of lean ground beef, 4 pork chops, and 300 grams of sliced ham deli meat. Cost was 1,680 lek ($20 CAD, $16 USD).

Pork chops for dinner.

You might notice that my pork chop has a slight purple look. Ruth had marinated them in red wine and they turned a shade of purple.

Sunset from our balcony.

Another great day in Albania.

We booked our next location. We will be headed further south down the coast to the beach resort town of Sarandë near the border with Greece on April 14th.

Nice deal on this Coleman folding Camp Shovel.

And in Canada...


  1. I love the sunset from your balcony and the view of the beach. I look forward every morning to your post.
    Pam and Pete

    1. We are loving the sunsets from our balcony as well. The last time that we had such good sunsets was when we were at our Airbnb in Fethiye, Turkey.

      We are glad that you guys are still following along and enjoying our posts. We hope that you are both doing well. :-)

  2. Beautiful historic city! And lucky you with that sunset view.

    1. It is a pretty city, small and not a lot to see other than the beach really but we were impressed with their little downtown area.

      We are enjoying the sunsets here. :-)

  3. I gasped when I saw your pork chops...I thought it was rarely cooked LOL. Beautiful sunset and love the colorful street.

    1. Yeah, it does look a little under cooked but it was definitely cooked. Funny the way the wine colored the meat!

      The sunset are really pretty here, we had another good one last night too. :-)

  4. I am enjoying learning more about Albania. That setup of beach, roads, sidewalk, then buildings is reminiscent of Rio (but not as sexy).

    1. We are learning about Albania ourselves. To be honest we didn't know a whole lot about it before coming other than the scenery looked spectacular.

      We love the walking paths and biking paths by the waterfront as well. We found that Turkey did this too. We miss having our bikes when we see so many bicycling opportunities.

  5. Beautiful area and sunset. Enjoy!

    1. Yes, it is a pretty area. Not sure we would want to be here in the summer though, I think it would be far too busy for our liking but at this time of year it is perfect.

      Our sunset views from the balcony are fantastic, looking forward to seeing another one this evening. :-)

  6. Lovely city. I love the perspective of the trees in the city park.

    1. It is a pretty little city. Those trees lead to Ismail Qemali’s tomb, he was Albania's first Prime Minister and the one who lead Albania to it's independence back on November 28, 1912.

  7. That's great that they had Ruth's special bread! I'll bet you will going exploring soon. Hope all is well!
    Kimi Rawn

    1. We were happy to find some gluten free bread, it makes things so much easier for when I am making picnic lunches for the days that we are out and about exploring/hiking. :-)

  8. Wow! Another pretty city! I'm loving Albania more and more! I thought Ruth got really creative with that purple sauce on the porkchop; it must have tasted great. Nice sunsets...hope you'll have more during your stay there. The sunsets here in Edmonton are gorgeous being a prairie city.....and our days are getting longer at 14 hours of daylight now!

    1. Yes, another pretty city. The big draw here though is the huge sandy beach.

      The sunsets really are pretty from our balcony, as long as the sun is out we will have a great sunset each and every night but for some reason we missed the sunset last night!

      We have seen your sunset photos in Edmonton and they sure are pretty. Nice that your days are getting so long already. They are getting longer here too but not as long as Edmonton.

  9. The colorful pedestrian area of the city reminds me a bit of places we have been in Mexico, like the Centro of San Cristobal de las Casas and others. So pretty and not at all what I imagined of Albania. Of course, I don't know that I had a clue what Albania might be like, so your trip insights are educational!

    1. Yes, it does rather remind us San Cristobal as well as Campeche. It also reminds us of the central areas of some towns and cities that we visited in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and a few more over here in Europe. I believe that in Mexico is was the Spanish that brought that type of architecture with them, very European.

      Vlorë has certainly the most colorful downtown that we have seen here in Albania but we haven't really been to many cities yet. We really weren't sure what to expect ourselves, although we did figure on seeing many Soviet styled buildings which we certainly have seen with no color but we are finding that color is really being added to buildings now, even some of the older ones.


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