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 8, 2021

Things are good here in Albania!

A news report out yesterday from the Ministry of Health here in Albania says that the country is now officially out of "the red zone" regarding Covid, and now has the lowest numbers of any of the surrounding countries as well as Europe, at only 26 cases per 100,000 residents. For perspective, the province of Ontario has 250 cases per 100,000 residents.

Yesterday, they did 2,728 tests and 67 residents tested positive. There were 2 deaths.

So, things are pretty normal here. We were in a grocery store the other day and Ruth and I were the only ones wearing masks. When we are outside, we never wear masks. We do see the occasional person wearing a mask even outside.

Albania is continuing its vaccination campaign which includes anyone over the age of 60, and anyone in health care or essential services. Starting now, and throughout the month of May, they are also vaccinating anyone employed in tourism so that they can have as normal a tourism season as possible. 

Our apartment is facing one of the busiest streets in the city. We are right downtown and only two blocks from the cathedral. Yesterday was Friday, and in the evening it sounded pretty busy out there. Cafes, restaurants and bars are all open, and Ruth mentioned that we might be in for a noisy night. Then later on, when things were really quiet, I all of a sudden remembered that the 10pm to 6am curfew is still being applied. It doesn't affect us at all, so we had forgotten all about it.

During the day, we went for a walk in the hills behind the city. We started off at a WWII memorial.

Red rooftops of Korca.

A church in the distance.

Heading up the steps to the WWII memorial.

Looking down on the city.

War graves.
Almost all of them were in their 20's.

We continued on up the hill in behind the city. There is a cross and chapel at the top of one of the highest hills, but it was pretty cloudy and we wanted to go up there when the sky is clear and blue. Maybe today.

Zoomed in on the Korca Brewery.

Korca beer has been made here since 1928. They have a highly recommended restaurant on site that has cheap food and even cheaper beer! So we are planning to go there for lunch today and then do the brewery tour afterwards.

Mountains in the distance.

Say what?

I used google translate on the phone to find out what was so important. Essentially, the sign says that lighting any kind of a fire in this area is punishable by jail.

Nice property!

Albania has an abundance of natural spring water.

Ruth went up to see the interior of this little chapel.

These are both hotels overlooking the city.

We did a circular route heading down through a village.


Some kind of old factory ruins.

Old church in the village.

Mom and her little one.

So cute.

You have to wonder what the story is.
Looks like it was quite a nice place at one time.

In the evening, I did some research about our onward travels and I booked a week in the lakeside town of Pogradic and then a week in the small northern city of Shkoder. That will bring us to May 26th. From there, the plan will depend on whether or not it looks like we will be able to get into Germany by June 15th. If yes, we will spend time hiking in the Albanian Alps. If no, we will be going to Kosovo.

Friday was cloudy, but the sun is shining so far today. Calling for a pleasant high of 23C (73F) so we are off to climb to the cross on the highest hill overlooking the city, then to the brewery for lunch and a cold cheap beer or two!

Record low deal o the new Thermacell Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller. Probably a good idea to buy the 40 Hour Refill Pack at the same time.

And in Canada...


  1. Kind of funny how curfew works in your favour and makes the nights quieter ! Guessing you will enjoy your brewery tour.

    1. Lol, it sure is, especially when your bedroom window faces the main street through town and we the fact that we aren't far away from the pubs/bars and nightclubs which have to be closed at 10pm. Not sure how much longer they will keep the curfews going now that the numbers here are so much better and they are getting into tourist season but we don't mind the 10pm curfew time at all. :-)

  2. Masks outside? How about people who wear them in cars when they are the only passenger. Still seeing that and laughing. This is in NC, USA.

    1. It was a mandate here to wear masks outside your house/accommodation, the same as it was in Turkey but here in Albania, it doesn't seem to be in effect anymore.

      We also chuckle when we see people wearing a mask when they are in a car by themselves as well. ;-)

    2. I Do it to show the example in the car or on my scooter, event if i look foolish. Last year un march, i was the only une to wear a mask, peuple taught then that i was infected, but i'm still around😅

    3. We are glad that you are still around! :-)

      We have no problem with people wanting to wear masks. We wore them in the car when we were in Turkey because it was a rule but we just don't understand the rule when there is only one person in the vehicle, there is no one around to infect you or for you to infect. We can understand it if you are in the vehicle with other people that aren't in your home family unit though.

  3. I love that photo of the church at the beginning of your post.

    1. Thanks! We were going to pop in and see it on our way back from our hike but we ended up taking a different route back so we missed it. Maybe another day we will stop in and see it. :-)

  4. The brewery looks amazing! That should be a really neat tour. Have fun.

    1. We stopped in there yesterday for lunch but ended up not doing the tour, guess we were just tired after our long hike. Perhaps we will do it another day, we will see.

  5. Such a beautiful country! So glad you are enjoying your visit and sharing it with us. Enjoy that brew!

    1. It really is a beautiful country and we are so happy that we have three whole months to explore it in. Even then, we are still missing out on seeing some of neat places to visit.

  6. I still see people wearing masks outside here in NC, though fewer than a couple of months ago. We wear them at the farmer's market since they do request that we do, but not on our walks or bike rides. We are fully vaccinated, I should add. Inside, like at grocery stores, masks are still required, so we wear them religiously. Sounds like that mandate may be lifted soon, but only if the state reaches the governor's vaccination goals.

    1. Unless we are in a crowded area outside, like a farmer's market then we would wear our masks, but for general walking around we don't and the majority of other people don't either. We will wear them when we are indoors doing our shopping whether other people are wearing them or not. Glad to hear that things are really starting to improve where you are, we know that it was pretty bad not too long ago.

  7. I use Lens an app on the phone for translations and what something is, like bird. It's a super great app. You sign says Cutting forest is punished by law. Close enough. lol


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