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.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Koman, Albania

The little village of Koman doesn't really have a lot to offer. However, after wandering around for a day there is more to it than originally meets the eye.

This was a remote mountain village until 1980 when they began construction of the Koman Hydroelectric power station. The dam was completed in 1985, and the reservoir filled in 1986. When the reservoir was filled, they began a ferry service for the locals to be able to access the other villages along the waterway.

The route the ferry ran was very scenic, and over time, people began to come to Koman simply to take the ferry just for the scenery. It's become a bit of a local jewel in Albania. There are now a few tour boats that operate just for the tourists, but you can still ride the original ferry just for the sake of riding the ferry. Two of the ferries actually take cars and small trucks and you can drive to Koman, take the ferry to Fierza, then drive all the way to Valbona in the Albanian Alps. It's become a popular route for backpackers wanting to do the Valbona to Theth hike one way.

So, we are here in order to do the original ferry boat ride.

Thursday, we just explored the village, and did the walk to the ferry dock just so we knew how long it would take us. It's a pretty interesting walk just to get there!

First, we had breakfast, included with our room price.
We were stuffed!

Looking back at the Hotel Vila Franceze in the center of the photo.

Zoomed in on the hotel.

The bridge across the river at Koman.

Too funny. So this surface of the bridge is in pretty rough shape. Lots of big potholes. But it's used by everyone... pedestrians, cement mixers, and cows. The structure looks fairly solid, but of course I'm not an engineer! On the other hand, the sidewalks are not useable any longer... at least not by us! We prefer to walk in the middle of the road like the cows!

The river.

Scenery along the way.

Looking back at the bridge, we laughed when we saw that one of the cows had decided to take a break.

The village is definitely overshadowed by the hydroelectric facility.

To get to the ferry dock, you have to go through a tunnel that leads you to the top of the dam.

Just before the tunnel, you are approached by shysters trying to sell overpriced boat tours. This is really the first time we have encountered this type of thing in Albania. This one guy wanted €35 for a one hour boat tour for the two of us.

To put that in perspective the ferry ride costs about €16 for the two of us, and is almost 5 hours round trip.

One of the private tour boats. It can get quite crowded up here in the summer.

We will be headed this way tomorrow.

Lots of fish, but nobody was fishing!

At this location, they built watchtowers instead of bunkers during the Communist years.

At the top of the dam.

The ferry port end of the tunnel.

The top of the dam.

We walked back down through the tunnel with a pan to continue walking o the other side of the bridge where we could get a better view of the dam itself.

Remember I said that the sidewalks across the bridge weren't in very good shape.

The Koman Dam.

Another angle.

We wondered where do all of these tunnels go?

We had brought a snack with us, but still needed some lunch. On the way back, we stopped in at the same pub that we had enjoyed for our dinner the night before. We ended up ordering some goulash to go. She didn't have typical "to go" containers, so she put it in a pot, and said to bring back the pot the next day. Too funny.

Me, carrying our lunch back to the hotel!

Back at the hotel, we borrowed some dishes from the kitchen, and had lunch on the patio.

Ruth, dishing out our goulash.

We relaxed for the afternoon, and I even had a nap for a hour. Later on, we went back to the same pub for dinner again. So we were sitting there waiting for our meal, when a cow went wandering by...

Cow, wandering by the patio.

Dinner. We each had an identical plate.

So, we are up early this morning to have breakfast and then walk to the ferry port in time for our 9:00am departure!

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And in Canada...


4 comments:

  1. The picture of the watchtower reminded me of our trip to Ireland in 1991. There was actually someone in the watchtower and you could see the guns on the ship nearby.

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    1. Wow, that would have been interesting to see and experience!

      There was no one in these towers. We expect they were used when the dam was being built and perhaps even shortly after, at least until the fall of the communist government but we don't know for sure.

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  2. Very interesting pictures….nice room and location for the hotel.

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    Replies
    1. Again, it was a nice place to visit and most people don't stay more than a night or two here. We could easily park the motorhome here for a week and find different places to hike. :-)

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