Rows of motorhomes at the dealer where we met Max in Dulmen, Germany.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dulmen, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

We can't seem to get to where we want to go!

And I'm not just talking about Germany!

Although, while we're on the subject I'll give you an update on that problem. I had applied through the German Border Police for special permission to enter the country for 72 hours (the official "transit" time allowed) in order to pick up our motorhome and then drive directly to Poland where Canadian citizens are welcome.

Surprisingly, they got back to me within a couple of days. Unsurprisingly, it was denied. Going to pick up our motorhome in Germany is not an "essential" reason for entering the country, even though I would be coming from a country (Albania) that is not considered a country of risk by Germany.

But I am still confident that we will get there soon. There are a lot of changes coming over the next two weeks. Good thing, because we have to be out of Albania by June 13th. 

The European Union (EU) has said they are drafting a "white list" of countries that have low enough Covid statistics that people traveling from those countries will be able to enter the EU without restrictions provided they are either vaccinated, have had a past positive test, or can supply a 48 hour negative test.

That list is scheduled to be released this coming Friday June 4th.

Also a positive sign is that France has said they are opening up to tourism from most countries on June 9th. Of course we need to wait until then to find out if it actually happens. So once again, whatever we end up doing is going to be a last minute decision. If so, we could go to France and easily cross a land border into Germany from there.

Here in Albania, the numbers are really low. There were actually zero deaths due to Covid the other day, for the first time since last September. They have shut down the Covid hospital wards because they were underutilized. As a result of the low numbers, as of June 1st they have removed the need to wear masks outside (by this point, nobody is anyhow) and the curfew will be moved to 11pm - 6am. Nobody wears masks in the stores either. The last time we were in one of the larger grocery stores, Ruth and I were the only people wearing masks.

Okay, so back to our regular programming...

We've been going for hikes here in the mountains, but are having a difficult time following the trails. We can't seem to get to where we want to go! They put signs near the main roads, but then once you are on the trail, the trail is mostly unmarked. Or, the markings have become overgrown and you can't follow the path.

Catholic Church in Boga.

It started off as a beautiful sunny day.
Got cloudier as the day went on though. A little cooler, but still comfortable.

Hiking signs on the road.

But once you get off the road, there are no more signs! Don't get me wrong, we are still totally enjoying it. The scenery is fantastic and we mostly have no problem making our own way, except that we don't end up where we want to be.

A man and his cows.

Heading higher.

Scenery along the way.

The five little pigs!

Ruth, trying to say hello.

Looking back at the village of Boga.

Ruins.

Where we sat and took a break.

Heading higher.

We were trying to get up there!

We think there would have been a great view of the other side from the top of that ridge. But the path just disappeared, despite being clearly marked on my maps.me app. Plus, it was quite steep and the terrain was a little rough for going cross country. As it was, I figured that if we turned around then we would still have completed 12 kms (7.5miles), so not a bad day.

We decided to turn around.

I spotted this pretty spider.

It's called a ladybird spider. 
Not poisonous.

And this pretty Balkan green lizard sat and posed for us.

So, another good day in the mountains of Albania. Today is starting off overcast, and it even spit with rain for a little while. Not a problem though, we are due for a relax day.

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Nice price drop on the latest model of the Echo Dot.

And in Canada...

22 comments:

  1. Still making the most of your days. Patience will pay off on picking up your motorhome.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the beautiful scenery.

    It's about time.

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    Replies
    1. We always like to try to make the most of our days and it certainly isn't hard to do that here. :-)

      Yes, we are being very patient on getting to our motorhome. At least we are still able to do things we enjoy without it, it just would be so much better to be able to travel in it. Hopefully that will happen next month at some point.

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  2. Maybe they don't get many hikers if the signs aren't accurate. Perhaps they don't want strangers!

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    1. They do get hikers around but more in the summertime. Some of the hikes are lead by guides though which would make a difference. We just think that some of the trails we have been on maybe aren't as popular and just get overgrown. They really have only been working more on tourism in the area in the past few years so the infrastructure just isn't quite up to par yet. As Albert, one of guys working here told us, it costs money to send people out on the trails to keep them marked and cleared and they just don't have that money available but we are sure that in time that will change.

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  3. Just curious...have you two been vaccinated?

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    Replies
    1. No. We are not yet eligible in Albania, and even then we are not citizens so it might not happen anyhow.

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    2. Thanks...by the way I love the pigs!

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    3. You are welcome, and we loved the pigs too! They were cute and inquisitive. :-)

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  4. Have you looked into getting vaccinated in Albania? That might make it easier to travel in the future.

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    Replies
    1. They are only doing 60 and up right now (we are 59) and we are not citizens so it might not happen anyhow. So far, yes it would make it easier to travel, but only in the regard that we would not have to constantly pay for testing when we want to cross a border.

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  5. It's too bad the trails don't seem to be kept up at all, but WOW! I've been enjoying all of Albania with you (and southern Turkey too). The mountains are just magnificent. Even if you never make it to a particular goal place, the getting there is truly awe inspiring. Thanks for taking us along!

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    Replies
    1. It is a shame but they lack the money to pay people to do that work, I am sure as tourism picks up more in the area that the money will come in and they can pay to have trails cleared and marked better.

      Yep, we really don't mind that we haven't made it to any of our goals while hiking on the trails, we have been totally enjoying our hikes all the same and can still see all the beautiful views and get our exercise so we are happy campers. :-)

      So happy that you have been enjoying our adventures both in Albania and in southern Turkey, both countries have been amazing and have totally surprised us with how much they have to offer.

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  6. Very beautiful scenery! Too bad about the hiking trails, but in a way it's nice not to have to deal with crowded tracks like most other places in Europe.
    That spider is amazing!

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    Replies
    1. The scenery is amazing, we are definitely in our element here.

      It is nice to not have all the crowds like many of the hiking areas in Europe but we have a feeling that in another ten years or so that might just change as more and more people look for less traveled to areas. Albania is certainly working on becoming the new and upcoming country to visit. We are glad to be traveling here now, even if all the infrastructure isn't in place.

      The spider was so bright and beautiful!

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  7. The spider and lizard are so exotic and beautiful. Best of luck getting to Germany to pick up your RV!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they certainly were! Now if only we could get a picture of some of the snakes that we have seen but they seem too shy and very fast for us.

      Thanks, we are really hoping that we will be able to get to it at some point next month. Our fingers are crossed! :-)

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  8. If you can go to France but can’t go to Germany can the motor home company drive it to the border? Obviously not ideal since you can’t do a walk through....

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    1. We have thought about that but we aren't sure what paperwork will need to be done and that we may need to be there as we have to do the registration, licensing and insurance on it and I would think that we would need to be present to get that stuff done. It is a possible option though and one that we may look into but ideally we would rather go to the dealership in person to pick up the motorhome.

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  9. Why can’t Germany deliver the MH across the Border to you.

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    Replies
    1. We have thought about that but as I mentioned in my reply to the comment above, we still have to do the registration, licensing and insurance on the motorhome and we may need to be there in person to get that done. It is something that we may look into though, if it doesn't look like we can get into Germany sooner than later.

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  10. Here in Nova Scotia we cant travel outside of our community without risking a ticket. On a plus point we are vaccinating age 12 and up now so all my family will have first dose by June 11th. I am hopeful that this is truly the darkest hour and the dawn is right there.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully things will change for the better soon!

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