Friday, 12 October 2012

Elbasan and onwards to Tirane, Albania (12 Oct 2012)

We spent the whole morning walking round Elbasan. Elbasan is more well to do than all the other cities we have been through in Albania. However, like the other cities, there are still a lot of street vendors selling everything from veg, fruits to used clothes and shoes.

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  Elbasan Castle, right in the centre of town.

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Elbasan Castle

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Clock tower

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A street vendor selling tobacco leaves that have been grounded.

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Busy bakery

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Here we are walking in the same direction as the crowd. This road takes us to the market. Here we can see the stark difference between the old and the new just from walking a few metres in.

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(Note: The exchange rate was about 1 Euro = 139 Lek.)

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More cheese, honey and preserved veg.

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Walking around the market, we bought some tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and salad. These were very cheap.

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Walking in the park on the way back to Our Sorento.

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Ali Pasha statue at the park

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Excavation in progress in this corner of the park opposite Elbasan Castle.

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Lunch – pork and chips in pita sandwich (150 Lek each). So yummy after the very long walk around town this morning. The iced coffee is to die for!! we went back for seconds. They were 70 Lek a glass and it tasted so much like Malaysia.

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Dad sending back the empty glass to the restaurant.

Today is our 5th day in Albania and we had only just realised that we had forgotten to adjust our watches to Albanian time! Now that we are in sync with local time, we left Elbasan and headed for Tirane using SH3.

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Making our way out of Elbasan towards Tirane on SH3
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Train track

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Here I am buying persimmons from the ladies selling them at the roadside along SH3.

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A bagful of persimmons for 100 Lek (less than 1 Euro!!). They do not look that great but tasted quite good.

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SH3 roads are good but windy when we went through the hills. It also started to drizzle at about 1.30pm. We stopped at a layby restaurant for a rest. The road was heavy with vehicles but everyone was driving carefully, even the tour buses. Then two minivan buses from opposite direction stopped in the middle of the road and started chatting. The others cars behind them, maneuvered around them and went on their way. No honking. Just shows how tolerant and patient Albanian drivers are. Another unusual thing that we have not seen in other countries.

Here’s a short video taken as we went through one of the stretch of SH3:
                                                         SH3–Road from Elbasan to Tirane (12 Oct 2012)

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On SH3, near Krrabe village.

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Monument at Mullet

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Looks like a castle on the hill. This is at Mullet.

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Not far now to Tirane, we are only 14km away.

We stayed the night just outside of Tirane. Here’s our dinner for tonight:

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Simple salad with the fresh veg we bought at the market earlier today

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Pork curry with potatoes, carrot and leek cooked by mum, which we wiped clean with bread.

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