Albania Sarandë Albania

Sunny Days

We’ve had a couple rainy, gloomy days but today is brilliantly sunny and clear, with a projected high of 70°. Nice weather is forecast for the next six days, yay! I have realized the weather becomes a lot more important when you can’t just run out and jump in your car to go shopping, you have to walk in it, carrying all your purchases. Right now the temps are around 72/55, which is pretty perfect. I’ve noticed that the indoor temperature doesn’t change much between day and night, which makes me hopeful that the apartment will be easy to heat in winter. I’m surrounded by other apartments on all sides plus above & below; with only one wall exposed to the outdoors. That one wall is nearly all glass, but I do have the storm/blackout shades that can add an extra layer of insulation, I hope. I have to pay for my electric usage but the wifi , TV and other utilities are included in the rent.

It’s so clear today, I can see those two tiny Greek islands, which are Othonoí and Erikoússa. (Slight humps off in the center distance) Corfu is on the far left. Qqq

I had a nice time with my visitors on Monday but they have opted to go on to Kosovo instead of returning here. Sarandë and the coast are not really their favorite places; they really love the mountains. At any rate, I’m glad they came for a visit.

I finally found a bathroom scale! It was at a store I’ve been in before but I guess I just missed them the first time. It was about $20 US so I guess that’s about in line, as it’s a fancy electronic one that also measures body fat percentage and BMI, though I’m not at all sure I want to know those things! And….I’m back to stricter eating for awhile. I needed to lose about 8#. I was afraid of that; I gained a few pounds in Ecuador and another couple in Michigan. And here I’ve been snacking on too much cheese and nuts. I’ve been getting really hungry in the evenings. I tried drinking water to fill me up but that resulted in a LOT of trips to the bathroom all night long! So now I just try to tough it out, and I’m pretty much back to that famous “If it tastes good, spit it out” diet. But on a brighter note, I have lost 2# already.

The choices here for keto-friendly snacks here are really slim, unless I want to snack on veggies (I don’t!) I haven’t found any almond or coconut flour here, or any natural sweeteners except stevia. So baking snacks is out, and that’s what I crave most. I brought a small amount of almond flour with me but I’m hoarding it, along with the sugar-free chocolate chips. I’m now down to three chips a day with my paltry amount of daily walnuts or almonds.

Check out my sweet potato! I’ve only had it for two weeks, stored in a nice dark place. It not only has sprouts, it’s got leaves! I wish I could plant it but since we’re going into winter and my balcony doesn’t get much sun, I guess it wouldn’t do any good. It would be nice to have a plant though. I need to check and see, can’t you grow sweet potatoes just in water??

Downtown near the bus stop is Friendship Park, which I use as a landmark. It’s the starting point for all my Google Maps inquiries. It’s quite nice….a resting place for people, with some sidewalk vendors and old men gathering to chat. Yes, we have palm trees!

I think I’ve mentioned that during the Communist Era here, the dictator Hoxha was extremely paranoid about the country being invaded, so he commissioned about 170,000 cement bunkers everywhere. That’s about one for every square mile! A lot of them have been dismantled but about half are still here. Some are just big enough for two people but some are quite large, with underground tunnels connecting them. I just noticed this small one in downtown Sarandë the other day. I know I’ve walked right past it at least four times before this!

There are some really old ruins near the park but I can’t find any information about them. t looks like some of the local stray dogs like to nap there!