Albania Vlore

Vlorë  Day 2

I forgot to include this photo yesterday.  It’s a place along the roadside between Sarandë and Vlorë where you can fill your containers with spring water. There were at least a dozen free-flowing artesian wells, with several little booths selling honey,  olive oil and snacks. I wish I’d bought some of that honey.

And here’s an Albanian license plate. They sure are a lot easier to read than our US plates!

This morning the rental agent came over and showed me how to unlock the stove. You have to press two locations at once and hold them. I had tried that but I guess I just didn’t hold them long enough. She couldn’t get the wifi to work but she hooked me up on her office network,  which is right across the street.  It’s not very strong but it’s better than nothing! I am using data on my Albanian phone plan but the US phone won’t work at all without a wifi connection.  If I run out of data I can get an additional 5gb for $5.

Whoops! I just discovered this guy on my bed! Nope nope nope, little feller! I was able to scoop him up and take him outside.

The kitchen here is not well stocked. There’s only one bowl, one spoon and this huge Dutch oven is the only saucepan. There are two huge frypans, both with most of the nonstick coating scraped off. No spatulas, no salt & pepper, dishtowels or paper towels. And there’s only about 1/3 of a roll of t.p. in the bathroom so I’d better be frugal with it!

I am just a half block from the beach here and there’s a bit of a side view from the balcony. The beach here is sand, not pebbles like in Sarandë.  I saw a few hardy souls swimming yesterday! There’s a really nice wide promenade along the beach that goes for a couple miles.

View from my balcony

Later….I just got back from the city. I love it! I definitely want to live here! It’s much bigger than Sarandë and feels nicer and newer. The sidewalks are wide, without holes to fall into or trip over, and there’s a two lane bike path all along the road. The streets are tree-lined and there are places to sit and rest about every 50′.

I learned how to take the city bus! I just went out to the main drag and flagged down a bus as it came along. I gave the money guy a 100 Lek coin but he didn’t want to take it. I had to dig out a 50 Lek coin for the 40 Lek fare. ($.34) That’s way cheaper than the Sarandë bus; that one is 100 Lek each way. I was aiming for the Remax office but missed the nearest stop, and the driver refused to let me off before the next bus stop, so I had to walk back more than 1/4 mile. I thought that was kind of mean of him.

When I got there the office was closed! The agent had told me to just stop in anytime and someone would show me the apartment I’m interested in.  I texted the agent but got no reply so I wandered around a bit and found the Jumbo store. I felt like I won the lottery! It’s the biggest store I’ve seen yet here in Albania, and the prices seemed decent. It has all kinds of home goods and decor, and even some hardware items!  I was able to find a  small saucepan and small frypan, small bowls, a dishtowel, and even most of the items on my Most Wanted list! Measuring cups in cups, not  milliliters! Rubber bands and binder clips to close food bags after they’re opened! A thingy to help open bottles caps and jar lids! What a bonanza! (It takes so little to make me happy!)

Then I returned to the Remax office but it was still locked, so I just came home. I put my destination into Google Maps so I could follow along where the bus was going and that way I was able to get off in the right place. I’m so proud of myself! Here the buses run every 15 minutes too, instead of just once an hour like Sarandë. That is so much more convenient! I’ll try to get a definite appointment time with Remax before I go back to the city. The agent for this apartment is supposed to let me know tomorrow what she has available but I don’t think she has anything actually IN the city.

So in spite of not getting to view the apartment, it felt like a really good day, and so far except for one mean bus driver, I love Vlorë!

Downtown Main Street