Sunday, 30 October 2011

Three weeks in

We awoke after a cold but comfy enough night to a breakfast of equally the same description- homemade cheeses, suprisingly inedible honey and slightly toasted (or stale?) homemade bread. Then we drove back the glorious way we had come, treated again. to amazing and colourful views with the sun at a different angle. It really does seem to be blue skies that make a great photo!

Back on the tarmac, the other road users were eyebrow raising: a car carrying two full sized soafs on the roof; pony and traps including one that appeared to be racing a horse running alongside it and overtaking cars; cyclists of all ages and in all directions on both sides of the road; tractors; vehicals that look across between a large trolly, a lawn mower and a trike; even a heard of goats being driven towards us on our side of, (had it had road markings), what was probably a duel carriageway. We began to understand why the speed restrictions were all so slow in this country! Apparently the last dictator that ended his rule here about ten years ago decreed that ony party members were allowed cars so on his downfall when everyone started getting them there was not a road system in place to deal with it or the experinced drivers on the road to guide the new ones. Going by the complete lack of agreement between our GPS, road map and reality over the next two days about the roads, the authorities are begining to to catch up but there is still a long way to go.

All along our route new properties were being built- big extravagant ones with the metal spikes left sticking out the roof to provide scope for further expansion, presumably when their purse allowed. The buildings alongside the road just never let up. Whether they were private homes, hotels or places of business, it was hard to tell. There were some really fantastic designs like this ship one.

We arrived at the most reccomended town to visit in Albania, other than the capital,- Berat. It has many Ottoman built homes up in the citadel still in good order and in use. We treated ourselves to a very nice hotel, (which actully cost less than the over priced previous night had) and had lots of hot showers while we were there, washing all our clothes out as well as our bodies. It seemed a fitting indulgence to celebrating three weeks intensively together without annoying each other too much! We had a nice beer in town then, (the out of season curse again), had to return to the hotel for dinner if we wanted anything other than pizza. Alex had offal sausages and I meatballs with a yoghurt sauce, both of which were very tasty.

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