Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

A few things to talk about today!

In no particular order of importance though, so we'll start with email notifications. Many of you (almost 400 of you!) are signed up to receive an email notification whenever we make a new post. Unfortunately, the powers that be at Google have decided to discontinue this service as of June, so we have made some changes so that you can continue to receive email notifications. 

I am manually transferring all the old subscriptions to the new service, but just in case, it would be a good idea to do it yourself.

Those of you reading on the desktop version will see a box on the right side that says Receive notification of new Travel with Kevin and Ruth posts by email: and a place to enter your email address. You can then hit "Subscribe", and the system will send you an email right away which you need to then confirm. 

Those of you reading the mobile version on a smartphone can visit the following link to subscribe to email notifications... https://follow.it/travelwithkevinandruth?action=followPub

Okay, next item...

The possibility of travel in Europe continues to change, almost daily. And it's very confusing. And as with many decisions that have been made regarding Covid, some of it makes no sense. While the European Union (EU) makes recommendations and suggestions that many of the EU countries follow, each individual country still makes their own rules. The EU was about to update their recommended "white list" of countries they consider safe to accept visitors from, but they announced yesterday that they are going to take two more weeks to decide. 

And while Germany considers Albania a safe country to enter Germany from, you still can't enter as a tourist.

But, we have to be out of Albania by June 13th. At this time (and things will change two weeks from now), Switzerland and Italy will accept us with very few restrictions. As Canadian citizens, we can also go to Poland, although we have to quarantine when we get there. We could then easily cross the land border into Germany. But all of those countries are still considered countries of risk to Germany which in itself is country of risk based on their own standards! Arggghh! It's enough to make you bang your head against the wall.

So, it looks like where we go and when is going to be a last minute decision.

Let's move on to our day yesterday.

Our Airbnb host Ylvi had offered to drive us up the shore of Shkodra Lake. It turns out that he was driving his sister home, and thought we might want to just go along for the ride. Which we did.

Lake Shkodra.

The border of Albania and Montenegro crosses right through the middle of Lake Shkodra. The Montenegro side of the lake is a National Park. This might have something to do with why we don't see any pleasure boats on the lake at all, however fishing is obviously allowed as you'll see further down. 

Looking across the lake to the mountains where we will be going next Wednesday.

Zoomed in on the mountains in Theth National Park.

You'll notice that it was a beautiful day!

Ylvi and Ruth on the lakeshore.

Looking north towards Montenegro.

We were less than 1 km from the Montenegro border.

This small island belongs to Montenegro.

Somebody had a grand plan once upon a time.

There are very few private homes on this side of the lake, but a lot of restaurants and cafes.

This mom has a passenger on her back.

So on the way back, Ylvi stops beside a big tree and climbs up a wall to pick some of these white flower things off the tree. He brings a bunch of them down and eats one, gesturing for us to do the same. They are actually kind of fruity tasting, something like a raspberry but without any seeds. Interesting! They were good enough that we ate them all! Later research tells us this is a white mulberry tree. We've never had mulberries before. Learn something new every day!

Then, we stopped at the fish guy, where Ylvi bought a whole fish.

Live fish.

The fish are lake carp. But the Albanian word for them is krap. Too funny.

Picking out a fish for Ylvi.

I watched the guy who prepares it. Nasty stuff. I like eating fish, but the preparation from live fish to ready to cook is not for me!

The killing station.

And then he dropped us back at the apartment.

I did some planning into our next stop. We want to go up into the mountains of the Albanian Alps and do some hiking. The problem is, there aren't many places that are suitable for us to stay. Most of them are guest houses where they prepare your meals, and that gets expensive. They are also more frequented by the younger backpacker hostel crowds, and while that would normally be okay we are still trying to be Covid cautious when it makes sense to us.

So I ended up booking a week in a two bedroom apartment at a mountain resort. At €30 ($44 CAD, $36.50 USD) per night, it will be the most expensive place we have stayed in Albania.

Anyhow, things continue to go well. We are quite happy staying in Albania until our time here is up. But we really do want to get to our motorhome after that!

Today, we are off to hike up to Shkodra Castle!


And in Canada...


  1. It’s been tough not being able to travel this year. But in reading your blog, I am travelling vicariously! And it really helps my spirits! Thanks for sharing your travels and experiences - I love reading everything!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We are glad that we can help lift your spirits with our travel adventures and we hope that you will soon be able to travel again too. :-)

  2. What a treat to have you taken along for a ride to that lovely lake on a beautiful day! Good to learn something new as regards the fish and the mulberries! Thanks again for sharing. Hope you’ll get better news about COVID-19 travel requirements in a few weeks.

    1. It was very nice of our host to invite us along for the ride, we enjoyed it along with his and his sister's company. Despite the language issue we still learned more about the country and a few new things as well.

      Our fingers are crossed that the COVID news will only get better and that we will be able to get into Germany and pick up our new motorhome next month. :-)

  3. Well, I've eaten (and seen) carp, and I believe the Albanians knew what they were doing with their naming.

    1. Lol, I think we agree with you. We have definitely heard enough people at home talk about carp and it isn't a fish that we want to try to eat. Kevin was reading up about it and apparently it is all about the way you cook it, it needs to be prepared a and cooked a certain way in order to taste good!

  4. Would you mind sharing information on you replacement for Blogger's "Follow by email" feature that is going away? I need to do something for my blog too and I have been coming up empty.


    1. No problem. I am using follow.it It was fairly easy to set up, and if you email Marina at [email protected] she will help you. It is free, but they also have paid packages that are very inexpensive.

  5. I have to do the same thing with my blog (thanx to Google) -- which service are you going to use to keep people updated on blogging posts? (what a pain, eh?)

    1. It was actually not that difficult. I am using follow.it It was fairly easy to set up, and if you email Marina at [email protected] she will help you. It is free, but they also have paid packages that are very inexpensive.

    2. Thanks. It's about time to give it a try.

  6. My guess is that rules are changing so seemingly randomly because everyone is nervous about the variants; trying to protect themselves against a very changeable virus.
    I think Switzerland would be a very costly choice. Their prices for everything are very high.
    I can understand your frustrations, we feel them here too. People are getting fed up and we don't even have to deal with border crossings in our life plans.
    Fingers crossed for you, stay well!

    1. You are correct, things are changing constantly and it is very difficult to plan. Yes, Switzerland is expensive and we would definitely rather do Switzerland in our motorhome rather than doing it in Airbnbs but if it can get us into Germany then we will do it.

      We honesty feel for you guys and everyone else in Canada, it must be so frustrating there at the moment!

  7. I have just subscribed by email as with this latest batch of posts, my reader (theoldreader.com) can no longer get to your posts. I guess this is due to the change Google has made with Blogger? (The error I get is: Feed Address: https://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TravelWithKevinAndRuth/~3/jStZpZ56KoI/views-of-lake-ohrid-nice-hike-and.html
    HTTP Error (Code) and Message: (404) null)

    Anywho, the email should solve this problem.

    Looks like a very pretty area! I look forward to hearing where you end up going when your time in Albania is up. I hope you can get to your motorhome before too long!

    1. Yes, it is due to the changes that google is making with regards to feedburner. However I made a mistake and inadvertently deleted the feedburner feed, which I was not supposed to do. I have since reinstated it. Not sure if your oldreader will still pick it up.

    2. Thanks Kevin, it is working now!

    3. Glad to hear that! :-)


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