we moved west. West! There is always a better civilization. There must be a better life. Getting out of Tirana was not pleasant. They drive without any rules. Indicators/blinkers are just an option. Red light? What red light? Horns only matter. Honk honk. You let everybody know that you are on the way. Move out my way. Now we are in Durres, and we enjoy the calmness. The town is not packed with tourists yet. We and our ears are on vacation at last!
Durres is the town of dogs. And … shit on the sidewalk.
We booked a quite fancy hotel. A mosque is quite nearby, so we can hear singing several times a day. 5, as a matter of fact – before sunrise (fajr), noon (zuhr), afternoon (asr), after sunset (maghrib), evening (isha). Now it is 21:47 he starts singing. I do not mind it.
After the check-in we went to the waterfront. We found a nice place for lunch. Appetizers were yummy – baked feta and shrimps. Fish and chips were accompanied by cold french fries. I ordered beer and it appeared that at noon they run out of it. Not a problem. I enjoyed a nice glass of bubbles. When we asked for a check a miracle happened. The beer they did not have was on our check! Abracadabra.
We booked a trip to berat, town of 1001 windows, for friday. My friend from work recommended it. I was thinking about renting a car and go there. It would be a challenge to face the albanian drivers. However, no one shared my enthusiasm. We are going by bus, with a belgium couple.
The town is small and neglected. Today in the travel agency I asked why there were so many un-renewed buildings. She said the owners are away and do not care. Well, we had the same problem in poland. However, me managed somehow to overcome that problem. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed for durres. The town is quite pretty, architecture-wise. We talked a bit with the lady from our travel agency. She is a geography teacher in a local high school. Well, either they do not pay well in education system (so she must have a second job) or this is her business she wants to develop and leave teaching eventually.
At the evening while exploring the neighborhood we found sema restaurant. According to google maps it was a place worth visiting. Everything was yummy. I was surprised it was an empty place. Maybe everybody wants to sit outside and breathe in the smell of the cigarettes?
I like this trip so far. We wander around, admire and eat yummy food. Today, quite by accident we visitied olivia’s fish restaurant. Nice and friendly woman ushered us to the table. All of a sudden big guy came out of nowhere and started talking about his catch of the day. So we knew what was fresh. We ordered shrimps (yum), green salad (yum), anchovies (yum), grilled cod (yum yum) and fish cake balls (yum yum i wanna have some). We promised we would return. And we will!
After some shopping in local malls, we decided to go italian tonight. Durres is famous for pizza. That is what they say. So we sat down in la gustosa near our hotel. Hm. I do not recall when the last time was i wanted to flee the restaurant. I asked for my beer twice and nothing. We ordered caprese as an appetizer and we got caprese … pizza. When we refuse to eat that, they served tomatoes with mozzarella. Arugula was missing (in the menu it should be arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil). For pizza we waited like 40 minutes. And the restaurant was not busy. Less than half of the tables were taken.
I think albania is a just state of mind. You have to get used to it.