We can’t say we were glad to leave Greece but we were definitely glad to be back on the road with Old Rusty behaving herself again. This week its been a bit of a whistle stop tour of the Balkan coast…
First stop was Albania, where we decided we’d treat ourselves to a campsite after the stresses of the previous few days!
Crazy 'Blue Eye' thingy on the road to Sarande
Albanian surf with Corfu in the background!
The Southern Albanian coastline is quite like Greece in many ways, currently not very developed but there are new (not so pretty) buildings going up all over the place… Shout out to Denis at Camping Kranea who gave us a great welcome.
The view from Camping Kranea
Making our way North towards Durres and Tirana we passed tonnes of beautiful beaches and saw a few strange sights…we also learned a lot about Albania drivers and roads. The Albanian’s it seems, understand neither the meaning or purpose of a roundabout and seem to embark on each journey with the aim of getting as close to death as possible. There are a lot of memorials by the roadside… fortunately ours won’t be added!
Moped? Wheelbarrow? We're not sure!
Tirana itself was a real surprise. The city centre has some really nice squares and little tree lined pedestrian streets as well as a massive market area and some of the best and cheapest souvlaki we’ve found yet!
One of those nice streets in Tirana
A crazy fountain thingy!
And the Berlin wall... why not!
From Tirana we headed on towards Montenegro eventually making it through the crazy border control queues and finding a nice spot by the beach to park up for the night.
The day after we drove the whole coast of Montenegro (it doesn’t take too long) which is full of really nice seaside towns (perhaps more tastefully developed than Albania) and amazing scenery. Then there was Kotor, set in a fjord, it is pretty spectacular, quite small and very walkable. Unfortunately it was raining so we skipped the walk up to the castle, which must be great in good weather, and walked ourselves straight to a pub for the afternoon – for internet usage purposes of course!
The walls of Kotor
And the setting...
In the end, as the weather was bad we decided to make some more progress and head into Croatia. Here’s a tip, don’t cross a border after you’ve had a beer… we got the major third degree from the border guys who it turned out thought we’d been smoking something illicit. It didn’t help we’d just been through Albania and were driving a very rough looking van I think! The parking spot we found that night made up for the hassle though!
Croatia spot number 1
Dubrovnik was next on the hit list… like Kotor it’s a stunner. The only drawback is the throngs of tourists, can’t imagine what it’s like in peak season. Never the less, we had fun wandering round and trying to spot all the backdrops to Game of Thrones…now we understand why it’s always sunny ‘Dooooon Soooof’ not exactly London is it?!
Kings Landing.... I mean Dubrovnik
The whole coastline of Croatia is breath taking, and we drove pretty much all of it, making a brief stop at Split, which is less touristed than Dubrovnik but is also really interesting with a crazy mish mash of buildings built inside and around the old palace.
The same goes for the northern Croatian coastline above Zadar. There’s no massive hotels here like there is in the south, but some amazing coastline with these barren islands just offshore and mountains rising up from the sea.
Bed with a view!
Till next time x