Monday, 31 October 2011

A Country in Flux

What a great morning- hot shower, wifi, breakfast buffet which included home made yognurt and 'bacon' and eggs then a tour around the citadel, (nice but not amazing). We even bumped into our Dutch fellow overlanders again. I bought stamps, cakes and an Albanian pop cd then we were off.

The unmarked roads took a little guessing but we found our way. Our route took us through Durres, a sea port that was full to the gunnels of tower block after tower block of new, attractively built flats, both in the centre and spreading out along the coast, Many were still under construction and many more just begun. When we got to the more area of Vlore, a resort area it ws just the same. They look like chearfuly painted holiday flats but many looked like occupied year 'round and they were so many that many can't have all been for seasonal use.

Albania seems to me the very oposite to Montenagro- like someone has just handed a very poor farmer a milion dollars and, understandably he goes out and spend it, getting rid of all his old tatty things and wanting to replace it all with shiny new stuff with no consideration as to whether it's a good or sustainable idea. Albania ia a country in a huge time of flux, development and expansion just now. I have no idea how it will look in a few years time- whether all the new facilities will be bustling with tourists and the economy entirely reliant on these visitors or whether many of the things will just have seemed like a good idea at the time. Either way, I worry that there will be very little left of Albanian identity, but we will see.

We found an absolutely gorgeous deserted beach to camp on a wee way south of here. Mountains behind us, sea in front and white grainy sand with large white stones, not unlike 'Davy Jones Locker' in pirates of the Carabian with the addition of small bunkers along the front! We had a fire and played music to the stars.

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