Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, 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, June 5, 2021

Lake Komani Ferry. And decision time!

Let's talk about decision time first.

We have to leave Albania by June 13th one way or the other. Our destination of choice would be Germany to pick up our motorhome, but Germany is still closed to most visitors arriving by air. And the European Union (EU) countries are not united when it comes to entry rules for visitors... in fact they are a jumbled mess with all 27 countries making their own rules despite recommendations from the EU itself.

We had some choices though. We could have gone to Kosovo and kept doing what we've been doing here in Albania. We want to be back in Canada for early August though, and if we spent a month in Kosovo, it almost seems pointless trying to get into our motorhome for such a short period. Then, we actually thought about heading back to Canada early, but it's actually too early for our liking.

So, we were waiting to see what happened with the EU and its "white list" of countries that was going to be announced on Friday. It turned out they only made one change, and that was adding Japan (which makes no logical sense, but that's another story). The next revision is to be June 14th, and we can't wait that long to see if Albania is added.

I've asked some questions on some travel forums, and it seems that land borders between EU countries are mostly open. So the plan was to fly to a country that borders Germany, and hope to be able to cross by land. 

France updated its list of countries eligible to enter for tourism. But their new list is only valid for vaccinated travelers, and we are not. Both Austria and Czech Republic are still closed to us. But I learned that Poland has an odd exception for Canadian Citizens. I found this statement on the Polish Border Police website...

As per the Polish Border Guard regulation point nr.14 , "foreigners traveling on an aircraft within the meaning of art. 2(1) of the Act of 3 July 2002 – Aviation Law operating on an international flight, who are citizens of: Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Tunisia, the Australian Union, the State of Israel or have the right to reside in the territory of these countries," are permitted to enter Poland.

So, we have booked a flight to Warsaw, Poland departing next Friday June 11th. Quarantine rules still apply, however we can avoid quarantine by obtaining a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of arriving in Poland. 

We plan to stay in Warsaw for a few days and then take a commuter flight to a city closer to the Germany border. We hope to cross using a ride sharing service, and then rent a car in Germany to travel to the town where our motorhome is located. It's all just a big adventure, isn't it?!

Anyhow, back to our boat ride yesterday.

We had breakfast early and left the hotel at 8:00am. The ferry leaves at 9:00am, and we knew it was a 45 minute walk. So we just got up to the main road when a van passes by with other ferry goers and they stopped and insisted on giving us a ride. So we didn't get our morning walk in!

A German plated motorhome on our ferry.

We will be heading this way.

View from the top deck.


We are on our way!

The ferry takes two and a half hours to get to the town of Fierze. It's a really scenic ride, so the next photos don't need much description.

There are too many great photos... enjoy the trip...















Another ferry coming from the opposite direction.



Rental cottages, Only accessible by water.




Other passengers.

There were two women from Russia. One of them spoke quite good English and we spoke to her quite a lot. There were four people from Geneva, Switzerland who were speaking French. There was a group of eight Albanian men who started drinking raki as soon as they got on the boat. They were definitely in party mode, even at that early hour. And a few motorcyclists and the motorhome people from Germany. We spent the whole trip on the top deck, so didn't speak to everyone.



Scenery along the way.




Just gorgeous.

A few homes along the way.
Again, many are accessible only by boat.


Ruth, enjoying the ride.

We arrived in Fierze right on time at 11:30am. The only problem was that the ferry dock is located about 3 kms from town and we didn't know that. We simply assumed that we would be arriving in the town itself. The return trip departs at 1:00pm, so we only had an hour and a half and we figured we would use that time to have some lunch and wander around town.

There is a pub located at the ferry dock, but we didn't want to just hang around there. So, we took off into town at a fast pace. We did the 6 kms (3.7 miles) round trip in an hour and still had time to grab some food to take back on board the boat for the return trip! It was a bit rushed!

Looking back at our ferry.

At Fierze, there are two different rivers that meet.
You can see the difference in color of the water.

View from the bridge in Fierze.

Cows seem to like hanging out on the bridges!

The village of Fierze.

There's no much to see in Fierze, which was a good thing because we didn't have much time!

Looking back at Fierze.

Back on the ferry and heading back to Koman.




Komani Lake ferry.


Ruth.

Picking up some passengers who had been kayaking.


It was a great trip! 

Total cost per person was 1,400 lek ($16.70 CAD, $13.80 USD), which is the website price. If you pay on the boat in cash, it is 20% more.

We walked the 3 kms (1.8 miles) back to the hotel, so we still managed to get in 9 kms (6 miles) of exercise for the day!

Later on, it was back to our favorite dinner spot (we are regulars there now!) for a meal and a glass of wine. The lady who runs the place said it was our lucky day because the glass of raki to end the meal was free!

Dinner!

Today, we are off to climb one of the mountains overlooking Koman. There are supposed to be some archeological sites up there, and some great views so it should be interesting.

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22 comments:

  1. Absolutely fabulous! Gorgeous scenery! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful (and memorable) photos!

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    1. The scenery was definitely stunning, it was hard not to take a good picture. We are glad that you enjoyed the photos today. :-)

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  2. Sometimes it is hard to tell on your dinner plate just what is on it!

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    1. The photo of Kevin's dinner plate was salad, stuffed green pepper, a pork chop and a few fries.

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  3. What a lovely ride. We would enjoy that, and probably do the same hike to town for food and back! Hope you can get all your travel worked out for the next leg. Sounds a bit complicated, but the end result will be worth it if you can get your RV at last!

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    1. It was a lovely ride and the scenery was gorgeous. The walk to town and back was good but it was too rushed.

      Our plans seem to be coming together but yes, it is complicated however it is definitely looking a little more hopeful that we will be able to get to our motorhome at some point this month. We still have some work to do, and getting ourselves organized in order to get the motorhome set up with all the "stuff" that we will need to be able to live in it. One step at a time! :-)

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  4. You ywo may have to bite the bullet and get vaccinated in order to travel around Europe without any hassles or restrictions, quarantine or as you put it "House Arrest". Great shots of the ferry on the lake,

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    1. It is not a matter of biting the bullet, we aren't against getting vaccinated but at the moment we just can't get vaccinated! We realize that being vaccinated would make traveling around Europe easier but it also looks like the only place that we can get vaccinated will be in our own home country. Here in Albania, they haven't done our age group yet and even if they were they are only doing their own citizens and residents. We don't know of any other country here in Europe that is vaccinating people outside of their own citizens and residents.

      Glad you enjoyed our photos of our ride out on the lake, the scenery is beautiful.

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  5. I have no idea if this is useful or not, but two years ago I took a very easy (and cheap) train ride from Kostrzyn, Poland to Berlin (and vice versa). It was on a DB train, no idea how\if that would work in a Covid world for foreigners. That DB train did not continue, as I remember, but you could get to Kostrzyn from Warsaw via Poznan on a Polish train I think.

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    1. We have thought of taking at train to the border as well, and it will be something that we will probably look into. I don't think we would be able to get into Germany on the train though, at least not at the moment but things are changing so we will keep our eye on that.

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  6. What a great trip you had! Beautiful areas! You two take care,Rawn

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    1. It was a great trip, we totally enjoyed our day and the scenery was stunning. :-)

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  7. I know you mentiond tryign to go to gemrany via france. That may not be an option form this article. Your best bet seems to try and get vaccinated somehow https://www.msn.com/en-ca/lifestyle/smart-living/bonjour-france-welcoming-back-vaccinated-tourists/ar-AAKHyrw?ocid=msedgdhp It still looks like the Canada/US border will still be closed, my bet is July for it to reopen, August at latest. I suspect proof of vaccination will become the norm for another year for most border crossings at any rate. Who knows. I just hope this is history by year end.

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    1. We are going to Poland next Friday, then into Germany by land.

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  8. Well at least once in Poland you are in the EU. Where there's a will, a way, I suppose

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    1. Yes, at least we will be in the EU and hopefully that will make things a little easier. If from there we still can't get to Germany then we will just continue doing what we have been doing all winter and explore more of Poland and just wait for the rules to change to get into Germany. At least this way we will be close by when things do change. :-)

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  9. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! Albania is now on our lists of countries to visit when we eventually travel to Europe. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. It is absolutely stunning! We are so happy that we came to Albania. We were pretty sure we were going to like Albania even before we arrived just from the pictures that we had seen of it on the internet. We had no idea that we were going to love it the way we do. We really think it should be on everyone's must visit list. I hope that you will make it here one day. :-)

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  10. So beautiful, wow great photos....3.7 miles in an hour plus lunch, you guys are amazing. 💕

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    1. The scenery was just amazing from the ferry ride, so it isn't hard to get great pictures.

      We were hoofing it on that walk, we certainly didn't want to miss the ferry ride back. :-)

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  11. Not to sound pessimistic…but I’m feeling very fortunate to have read and seen the pictures on your blogs especially this past year……the places you visited are seeming increasingly getting out of reach for us due to various reasons and it’s the next best thing to see the rest of the world through your posts! Thank you again and safe travels!

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    1. We are glad then that we have been able to show you some wonderful parts of the world that you may not see otherwise. I hope that everything thing is alright for you and Paul.

      At least you have your motorhome and can get out in it for trips and explore more places that are near you, Canada has lots to offer.

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