Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slochteren, Netherlands.

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

Friday, April 16, 2021

Well that was stupid!

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day here in Saranda, Albania, but still a bit cool with a forecast high of 17C (63F). Not quite shorts and t-shirt weather, but it's getting close!

Our first day in town, we like to walk around and get to know the city. So we set off mid morning to see what there is to see.

Saranda is a popular summer getaway town. We're not quite sure why, because the beach is not really fantastic, it's just okay in our opinion. But then we are not typically beach people. Also a lot of restaurants and clubs and nightlife. The population is listed at around 35,000, but the city seems much bigger than that because of the number of holiday and seasonal apartments that are vacant at this time of year. I'm sure the population doubles or triples during busy season.

It's also located close to quite a few attractions which is why we are here. We will definitely be getting out to explore the area!

Waterfront in Saranda.

They have a nice waterfront walkway that is undergoing renovation in some areas.

Beach at Saranda.

Looking across to Corfu.

Scenery along the way.

There is a small ferry terminal with boats that run to Corfu.

In a couple of months these umbrellas will be busy.

We walked along the beach pretty much as far as we could and then turned around walked back through town. Not much to see other than apartment buildings, although the old downtown area has a ruins site and actually quite a nice central park.

We came across a small market and a lady was quick to usher us to her stall where she had all kinds of homemade stuff. She spoke quite good English. She had homemade wine and raki (the local hooch) and insisted we try some raki, that she proceeded to pour out of a half liter water bottle. It was actually really good, so we asked how much.

"200 lek", which is about $2.40 CAD, $2.00 USD!

For that price, we walked away with a small bottle of Raki. We will probably go back for more before we leave here!

Ruth, buying some apples.

Not much left of this 5th to 6th century church.

Park in downtown Saranda.

Across from the park I spotted a Credins Bank. This bank doesn't appear to charge any extra fees to use the ATM, although I notice when I check my statement that the foreign exchange is a dollar or two higher than what it should be. Not enough that I'm worried about it.

So we went to the ATM to get some more cash. I've been taking out 30,000 lek at at time because that is the maximum. This time, I couldn't see the screen very well because of the sun. I don't know why, but I ended up hitting the 5,000 lek button, and I think I was expecting 50,000. I felt a little bit stupid for not being more careful. Anyhow, when it spit out the 5,000, I knew I had done something wrong and so I did another transaction for 30,000 more.

But when I checked my balance online to see the foreign exchange, I realized that I was more than just a little bit stupid.

I had mistakenly used my Visa credit card instead of my debit card to take out the cash!

I've never done that. Just not thinking. It's not even like I could get the cards mixed up... one is charcoal grey, and one is bright red! Stupid.

So then, to avoid the ridiculously high credit card cash advance interest rates I paid off the balance in full, including the pending payments. We always pay it off in full every month anyhow, but this time I had to do it early. Not a big deal really, because it's not like we're earning interest on the money sitting in the chequing account anyhow.

And of course there is a $7.50 cash advance fee, and I had done it twice! So I had to phone Scotiabank and explain the problem and they were quick to reverse the charges.

Waterfront walkway in Saranda.

So, got that all sorted out. But I'm still shaking my head at myself. 

Today is starting off a little warmer, but also cloudier. I think we're going to walk up to the castle.

Nice price drop on the Sun Joe Electric Roto Tiller.

And in Canada...

Record low deal on the Fire HD8 Tablet.


  1. Well, as my daddy used to say when something like that happened, “If that’s the worst thing that happens on this trip then we’ll be in pretty good shape.”

    1. I like what your daddy used to say, it really is so true! I have to keep telling Kevin not to beat himself up over it.

  2. Ah, senior moments! Not to worry, we all have them. I am enjoying reading your posts every morning with my coffee. So envious that you can still travel!

    1. Yep, we sure do and I definitely get my fair share of them. It just goes to show that Kevin is human and makes mistakes, just like the rest of us. I am sure that he will get over it. :-)

  3. Lol, blame it on the raki! Must be good stuff.
    Enjoying your posts of Albanian Riviera. We actually enjoyed viewing that coast from the sea when we sailed out of Corfu in 2018.
    Stay well!

    1. blame it on the raki!

      Bah! Too funny. That's a great excuse!

  4. Hope you can forgive your self, Kevin! I'm 67, and this happens every other day! Where you 2 are staying looks cool. How is it? We have never been too Turkey, but you 2 have perked an interest in Turkey, take care, Rawn & Joann & Peanut Joy!

    1. I am sure that he will, he is just mad at himself for making a mistake like that!

      Where we are is pretty nice but we are really looking forward to getting into the mountains. The weather is very spring like and people are friendly. We are certainly enjoying ourselves. Just so you know, we are in Albania not Turkey!

  5. Kevin, this may make you feel a bit better: A couple of years ago I received my new ATM card in the mail while visiting my folks (while we were traveling full-time). The new card looked exactly like the old card, so the expiration date and the fact that it was super shiny were the only differences. I managed to mix them up and shred the NEW card in my step-dad's shredder!!!! UGHHHHH! Because I was only there briefly before returning to Mexico, I couldn't get a replacement card in time so had to return to Mexico without it. Fortunately, my husband had one that hadn't expired, and we were able to use it for the rest of our time there in Mex. Still, it was a stupid thing to do and made me nervous only having one ATM card between the two of us outside of the US. D'oh!

    1. Lol, it does make him feel a little better!

      Gosh, you must have been just as mad at yourself for that as Kevin was for his mistake. That would have been frustrating. Could you not have gotten a new card sent to your address in the US and then have someone mail/courier it to you in Mexico? Glad that you didn't need that second card while you were there.

    2. I actually considered doing that, but it would have had to go from our mail-forwarding service to a trusted person and then probably fedexed down, as the mail service in Mexico is very unreliable. I didn't know anything about receiving a fedex down there, and I was worried about trying it for the first time with something as important as an ATM card, so I just skipped it and got the new one sent to my folks on my next visit back to the US.

    3. Yesh, we can understand your hesitation. Good think you didn't need it but it is always reassuring that you have that backup card should you need it when you are out of country.


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