Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slochteren, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Papenburg, Germany.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Good news, bad news, and a dull grey day in Saranda, Albania

Well, lets get the bad news out of the way first. 

The entire province of Ontario just extended a four week stay at home order to six weeks, and instituted border controls between the provinces. This will last until May 20th, but it should not surprise anyone if it's extended. So to remove any doubt, the estate auction at Ruth's father's house originally planned for May 30th has been rescheduled to August 21st. 

So, we now have no real reason to come back to Canada until August and have put off any intention of doing so until then. Hopefully some sort of normalcy will have returned to Ontario by August, but I wouldn't bet on it.

On to the good news... our new motorhome is ready to go and all of the options that we asked for have been installed. The oven, the upgraded house batteries, the 200 watts of solar panels, the radio, and the bicycle rack. 

It is ready to go, as soon as Germany allows us in. 

Unfortunately, that might be sometime in June the way things are looking right now. All we can do is wait. Germany is supposed to provide an update on that tomorrow, but again, it's not looking good.

In the meantime, we are quite happy to finish out our three month maximum stay here in somewhat normal Albania. That will bring us to approximately June 15th, and if we can't get into Germany by then, we will continue exploring the Balkans by car and Airbnb. Kosovo is open to us, as is Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia. 

Yesterday was a dull grey day, and it even spit with rain occasionally. Not enough to stop us from going out and doing a 9.5 km (5.9 mile) hike to a castle and a monastery.

Looking inland from the road leading up to Lekuresi Castle.

A ruined church (?) on the way up to the castle.

Another ruins looking across the Ionian Sea towards Corfu.

Lighthouse and the view back towards Saranda.

Looking south towards Greece.

Ruth, and another bunker.

Exploring ruins around the castle.

Interesting clouds.

Me, with some kind of military artillery.

Old paintings.

The original castle walls built in 1537 are still standing, but the interior has been modernized, with a restaurant and event center. There was hardly anybody around except for a few employees, and no entrance fee of any kind.

Interior of the castle.

View looking south.

Looking down on Saranda.

Ruth, giving some attention to a friendly cat.

Red poppy flowers.

We then made our way to the ruins of the Monastery of Forty Saints, located about 2.5 kms from the castle. This monastery, originally built in the 6th century, was a popular pilgrimage site for over 1,000 years. It fell into ruin in the 16th century, and was mostly destroyed during World War ll.

I poked the camera lens through some bars to get this shot.

This is what they think the monastery used to look like.

We made a detour to a butcher on the way back home and bought some meat to last us for another week. 4 big pork chops, a fairly large whole chicken, and a couple of pounds of ground beef. 

Pork chops for dinner!

And no, we don't have any proper wine glasses here.

Speaking of "here", we haven't shown you our accommodation yet. It's just a basic apartment, nothing special...


Living room. Not very comfortable couches!

Ruth, inspecting the kitchen.



Those pictures were taken the day we arrived. It's pretty basic, but for $25 CAD ($20 USD) per night, it'll do for the one week we are here.

Today, the weather is about the same as yesterday. We are taking a drive south to Ksamil, close to the Greek border to see another popular summer beach area.

Gillette Fusion 5 Refills 10 Pack. Record low price, time to stock up!

And in Canada...


  1. You can't beat the price on the Airbnb. What's the rush getting back to Canada, you guys are having the time of your lives. The auction can always wait.

    1. You are right, it is hard to beat that price! :-)

      We were wanting to get back to Canada to help my brother and sister sort out the rest of the stuff at my Dad's house and to help with the auction as well as visit our families but that is now going to have to wait. The auction has already been rescheduled so hopefully we can make it there in August.

  2. Does it hold wine without leaking? It is a proper wine glass.

    1. Yep, it sure does, I guess these must be those "new" stemless styled wine glasses, lol!

  3. Ummm you have a shot of the exterior of the monastery but you have it titled 'interior.' Just thought I should mention that...nice area you're in.

    1. Nope Kevin is correct, it is the interior of the castle because it is inside the castle walls.

      It is a nice area but we still like the area around Berat better.

  4. Great area steeped in history. Great Pictures.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, there is lots of history here but then again, Europe is full of great history. :-)

  5. Couldn't the German RV Dealer deliver the motorhome to you at some mutually acceptable (available)location? I'm sure he'd love to get his money as much as you would love to get the motorhome. Or could you get vaccinated in order to go get it yourself?
    On another note, based on most of the architecture you've shown us, Albania has been building bunkers for centuries! ;P

    1. We had thought of that too but we aren't sure if we have to be there to get all the registration stuff done on it and many of the surrounding countries have quite a few restrictions themselves. The dealer already has just about all the money so he doesn't mind it sitting there on his big lot, he totally understands the situation.

      Even if we were vaccinated, it wouldn't make a difference at the moment. Germany is closed to all but essential workers. We will see what the news report is like today when they come out with their updates. We aren't expecting it to change other than to be extended for at least another month.

      The bunkers were built when Enver Hoxha was in power and were built between the years of the 1960's to the 1980's. By 1983 there were 173,371 bunkers around the entire country which worked out to be about 5.7 bunkers for every square kilometre (14.7 per square mile), so yep there are a lot of bunkers here but they didn't that centuries to build. Apparently Hoxha just about crippled the economy building these bunkers that were never needed! :-(


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