The beach near Monastery of Saint Nahum, North Macedonia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

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

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Moving day, and possible good news regarding Europe

Let's talk about the possible good news first.

Our maximum three months in Albania will end around June 14th. There is a direct flight from Tirana, Albania to Dortmund, Germany on June 10th, and we want to be on it. That is only three weeks away.

Yesterday, the European Union agreed to increase the number of "safe" countries that can visit the EU as tourists. Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated. This list is expected to be updated by early next week at the latest. Albania's numbers are really low, and we are expecting (hoping?) that Albania will be on that list. 

But even if Albania is on the new EU list, individual EU countries are still able to set their own parameters. But it's promising with regards to Germany because they removed Albania as a risk area a couple of weeks ago.

I never did book our flight the other day, but I am watching the news closely and as soon as I feel confident enough that we will be allowed into Germany, I will be booking it. It might even have to be a last minute thing. I think a lot of the rules will change over the next three weeks as Europe doesn't want to miss out on the economics from another tourist season.

Okay... so, yesterday was moving day! We had a long drive ahead of us, so we were up early and we were actually in the car before 10:00am.

Yesterday's drive, 237 kms (147 miles).

Out to get his propane tank refilled.

We see older men on older bicycles quite frequently. It might have something to do with leftovers from the communist era when most people didn't own cars. It's a little odd because many of them have a suit jacket on.

This is the town of Lin, and the Lin Peninsula that we hiked around the other day.

The small city of Prrenjas.

No idea what these buildings were, but they are now decorated with ladybugs!
Click the photo to make it full screen, then click again to zoom in.

Scenery along the way.

The road follows this river valley for a while.

But, it's a narrow curvy road with not much opportunity for passing and we got stuck behind a couple of big slow trucks. We eventually got by them, but it was slow going for an hour or so.

Just before Elbasan, we stopped and filled up with gas.

Then instead of the busy main highway, we took the scenic route that runs between Elbasan and Tirana. We had done the same thing when we headed south almost two months ago.

Big mosaic.

Mount Tomorr.

Old steel factory in Elbasan.


The village of Petresh is really pretty.

Scenery along the way.

The road follows a ridge with beautiful views off each side.

We stopped near the top and had a snack.

We made our way back through the big city of Tirana. We had spent 10 days there at the beginning of the trip, so we're pretty familiar with it. We made a detour to a Conad grocery superstore where we figured they might have the gluten free bread we enjoyed from there, and sure enough we ended up buying four loaves. They are vacuum sealed so they stay fresh a long time.

Between Tirana and Shkodra there is a lot of industrial scenery.
This military convoy was going the opposite way.

Castle at the town of Lezha.

No time to stop in though.

More scenery.

Shkodra Castle.

Just as we were entering Shkodra, the transmission began making an odd noise. It stopped when I put it in neutral, and it stopped when I put it in 6th gear. It is a six speed manual transmission. But every other gear it was making a grinding noise. It got worse as we got closer to our Airbnb, but it was only 2 more kms, so we continued on. By this point, it was even making the noise in neutral.

We got parked up and met our host who does not speak English. Google translate to the rescue! He got us all set up and asked me to move the car to a different spot. I was a little worried about the transmission, but got in to move it, and the noise was totally gone!

So I will contact the rental company today to see what they suggest.

Here is our accommodation for the next week. It is a two bedroom two bathroom with a big living room and enclosed balcony.

It's not perfect. The seating isn't very comfortable, there aren't enough electrical outlets, and the oven and stove are old and hard to figure out. But the bed is comfortable and the WiFi is fast and for 2,400 lek ($29 CAD, $24 USD, €19.50) per night, it will do fine for the week we are here.

It rained fairly hard at one point overnight, and today is a mixed bag. Supposed to be sunny and warm for the next six days afterwards though!

Record low deal on Samsung Galaxy Earbuds.

And in Canada...


  1. The buildings with the ladybugs look like mine buildings. I've seen similar structures in the western UP of Michigan by mines. And given that they are on a hillside, that might be what they are.

    1. Yes, it looks like it was an old nickel mine that closed down many, many years ago when it didn't meet the European health and safety standards. thanks for the help on that. :-)

  2. Your trip is so exciting to follow. Nice scenery and accommodations look good. Enjoy. Also hope you get into Germany so we can follow your new motor home adventures. Stay safe.

    1. We are glad that you are enjoying our travels here in Albania, I know that we sure are!

      The scenery is amazing and we have had some nice accommodations along the way as well.

      We are really hoping we can get into Germany next month as well. As much as we are enjoying our travels the way we are doing things, it would just be that much better in our motorhome. We have our fingers crossed. :-)

  3. Two bedrooms two baths? We're on our way!

    1. The funny thing is, we don't even need all this room, lol!

  4. Looks like a nice Airbnb, but I guess they don't think about people liking to read in lamps! That is one of the first things I look for in an accommodation. It's a quirky thing, I guess, but I do love to read in bed. Still, great price for such a large place, and the kitchen looks good. Enjoy your stay!

    1. Yep, it is a pretty good Airbnb, the couches aren't all that comfortable though. No, there are no bedside lamps but there is a switch at the side of the bed that will turn off the ceiling light so you can still read in bed and not have to get out of bed to turn the light off which is nice. We both read in bed too, so we know what you mean!


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