August 7, 2019

In and out of Italy Greece to go Castle hunting in Albania

July 28th So pick up again where I left off the night before so I left africa on my way back to Italy via Ferry.  It was a 12hr ferry and I actually had a bed on this ferry this time.  I actually slept pretty well cause I woke up on the 28th around 1pm the latest I have slept all trip so far.  I go outside and I use my little offline map to kinda see where about I am at and from the looks of it I am no where near italy and we were to arrive at 3.  Fast fwd 4hrs past the time we were to arrive and finally we are docking

back in italy this time in sicily

back up in Italy.  Now the ferry dropped me off in sicily and from what I found out I have to take a small 20 min ferry from sicily to mainland italy because the hotel I have booked tonight is about a hour more further away heading north up into italy.  So when I get service I call the bed and breakfast (B&B) im staying at to let them know I will not be getting there till one am at the earliest cause I’m 4 an half hours away and then yeah still got to deal with a ferry.  I get on the bike and start mobbing as fast as I can to the other side of sicily.  Of course for some odd reason my gps was messed up and was not even slightly recognizing the roads.  Luckily there was signs all over on the freeway and did see I was heading east the whole time so I was not real worried. I did

the sicily ferry

manage to get to the ferry port and get a ticket.  I arrive at the ferry think around 11ish it was. I had about a 20 min wait till the ferry boarded and then all the vehicles loaded on.  Why they do not just build a bridge I am not sure cause this boat goes every 30 mins 24hrs a day.  Anyways  now i have not ate a single thing all day besides a muffin so I was starving and thankfully this little 20min ferry actually had food on it.  Now if you haven’t been reading I hate itialian food but this little deep fried cone

this damn thing was so good

thing i got was amazing.  Not sure if its a sicilian thing or what but it was tomato sauce rice cheese and hot dog in this thing and it was fucking delicious.  I wish I would of bought two cause it was the size of a baseball.  Unfortunately the line was to long and they already announced we will be arriving in 5 mins so I said fuck it and went down to my bike cause I needed to unpack my jacket cause it was getting chilly.  Get off the ferry and I actually arrived at my B&B before one am got checked into this beautiful house right at the boat docks.  July 29th I wake up at 9am as I am packing up my bike he tells me he has breakfast waiting for me upstairs. 

Amazing morning breakfast views

Now i very rarely ever eat breakfast but I felt bad this guy had prepared something for me and I was the only guy staying at his B&B so I dove in.  Today I had another 4 and half hour ride to the other side of italy because the following day I am taking a ferry to greece. So after breakfast I said my goodbyes thank him so much for his hospitality and start heading further east I carried on.  I arrive after 5 hrs cause I choose to take some costal road the last hour of the trip and because I had no plans to do anything when I arrive.  I booked another B&B that day so i met up with owner of the house and got all checked in.  He gave me a map of the old town so I decided I was going to go explore.  Now you can drive to old town by going out around this little inlet or you can take a boat for one euro from his place across this little channel to old town. I opted for the boat. The only thing I really knew was there was this big fort castel thing in town so when I got to the dock to take the ferry it was already leaving.  As I waited there at the dock it was tinkling down on me and the clouds

the view of the castle/fort i choose not to see

were looking black.  I said fuck this not sure if that fort is really worth it anyways and just head back to the place.  I am glad I did not stay aroundn cause I found out the damn thing was closed on mondays.  So I hung around for about another hour or so and decided I was hungry again avoiding italian food i search for anything besides that shit with no luck.  So the usa embassy aka mcdonalds it is.  Now this thing is 20mins away but for one its not italian and two i had nothing else going on.  So drove my ass to indulge yet again on the golden arches and make my way back to the place for the night.  July 30 at noon my ferry was heading for greece so I’m up and out that door by 9 cause its a 30 min drive to the port and from my last two

Next country this away

experience (italy to tunisia and tunisia to italy)  its a damn nightmare.  I get to the port and there is no one in line to get checked in so i grab two beers (a liter and half was only 1.50) at the cafe smuggle them in my bag and head to the boat.  Get on the boat grab a seat and just ride out the next 7hrs.  Finally greece arrives and were off that boat nice and smoothly no immigration no customs and my hotel is half a mile from the port.  Come to find out my hotel is actually at the entrance of if you are entering the

Arriving into Greece

port so it was perfect cause we arrived at 930 at night.  I grabbed some street food and called it a night.  July 31 on my way to country 98 so out the door in the morning and making the drive 4hrs up the coast to the city of Vlore Albania.  Get to the border and I’m across in matter of minutes.  I had plans to stop at this little castle about 30 mins across and when I arrive i have to cross

first castle of albania

another little river on this wooden platform.  It is so close to the other side that they don’t even have a motor on this thing they use two wenches to pull it from one side to the other.  When we arrive on the other side boom right there is the castle.  I do some exploring as the sun starts getting warm.  Hit up the small museum attached to it (no photos were allowed) and captured the amazing views and also where you can see the river meat the salt water as the blue ocean water and green river water kinda

from the top of the castle

twisted itself around each other.  (my photo i took you can’t even see shit sorry)  After that I get down and carry way north.  Now albania is known for having all these beach gems all up the coast and it was pretty cool anytime there was a beach there was actually a sign for it on the road.  I was about a hour and half away when I decided okay I’m close enough I am going to stop at this beach get some rays and take a dip.  Of course the beach I decided to choose was a pebble beach but either way the water was

i think this beach looks good enough to kill some time at

incredibly clear so I dived right in.  Had myself some fruity cocktail and passed out for about a hour.  Woke up grab another dip got me a water and decided to make my to Vlore but not before another stop at a little castle along the way.  After the castle which had this really creepy church in it it was time to make my climb up into the mtns.  Now Albanias coast is literally all mtns so the drive to Vlore was amazing it was 94 degrees and sunny as hell on the ocean side and when i switched over to the other side of the mtn at 6000 ft in elevation is gloomy and only 78 degrees.  Eventually when I go to the bottom of the mtn i was near the ocean again and the weather spiked right back

before i cross over to the other side of the mtn to hit the cloudy weather

up to the 90s.  I finally get to the city of vlore sound 6 I think it was and grab some food on there ocean walk.  Now there ocean walk is truly beautiful with the typical restaurant after restaurant lined up on one side of the street and nothing but sand and umbrellas and sky blue ocean.  After dinner i head further up the coast to a spot to catch the sunset and finally set up camp for the night.  As soon as that sun goes it drops like 20 degrees so i figured i can try camping.  I was about 40 mins from the main road back this stone path i guess used by a farmer or something.  About 20-30 mins  back there was this tiny little town that i saw a

cant beat this sunset

market at.  So i went back there to grab some fruits snacks and water.  When I was there a older guy started to talk to me where i am from and about my bike well didn’t take long till i realized he is the owner so he offer to buy me a beer.  Well I took him up on the offer and back to camp I went.  I set up my tent airmatrress and un rolled my sleeping bag for the first time.  Thankfully it was easy to set up cause it was pitch black and called it a early night.  Aug 1st  Around 7am i was woke up by the sun I tried to sleep it off but by 8 i was like ok fuck it sun you win as the heat was getting the best of me in that thing anyways.  There was nothing around me and thought I would be able to kill the day here but there was not even shade.  So i headed back to the village grabbed me some more fruit saw the owner again we chatted it up for a bit and ask where I stay now.  I said try to find another camp and he suggest a place down the road about 10 more mins is a camp ground with restaurant on the beach.  So after that i made my way to the camp ground.  Paid my 8 euro for the night and set up shop again.  This campsite was nice it was all shaded in with a bunch of pine trees so it felt great.  I grab myself a beach chair and honk back out for a bit woke up took a dip in the ocean to cool off and continue to catch some sun while i looked up a motorcycle shop near by.  My regular driving light on bernard has been out now for probably two weeks and really didn’t mind it but when i was in italy driving at night it sucked cause i could only use my high beams so i was blinding people and they were flashing lights back at me which was blinding me.  So i head into town found a shop and luckily they had a light for me.  Paid him the 4 euros and then figured i head back to the ocean drive to grab some food again.  Got me some bomb ass dead animals for only 5 euro and then started my way

camp set up

back to camp but not before i stop at the market again.  Now the camp I am staying at did have beer but I knew it be cheaper if I bought it at the store.  I didn’t see the owner this time it was just his daughter working soo I grab another one of those liter and half beers and went back to camp.  It was probably like 8 at this time sun just went down had my beer and was like kinda want snacks again so I made a trip yet again to the market.  This time the owner was there so he again bought me another beer but instead of leaving i choose to sit down on the sidewalk with him and talk  He would have his daughter come in and out of the store as she help translate some things if he did not know how to ask me.  While sitting there another guy and his son swing by the market and this guy buys me a beer but this guy does not even drink.  So he bought me a beer while i chatted up with his son who was probably 13yrs old and had that fuck t shirt on that says – “fuck you you fucking fuck” and spoke perfect english and kept referring to me as bro and using all this usa slang.  It was pretty funny and kept saying pound it as they try to leave a few times but ended up getting caught back up into another conversation.  Right before they left a kid

and my new friend Deni

owner of the store

rolled by who was all tattooed up as well.  He had both arms fully covered his name was Deni.  He sat on the sidewalk with us i told the owner now i have to buy him a beer (Deni did not drink) so we all chilled out front till about ten.  When the owners wife said she was going to close up shop I grabbed one more liter and half beer said good bye to everyone and back to camp I went.  I finished my last beer while I finish writing my blog about tunisia and called it a night. Aug 2nd now I been outside in nothing but heat and sunlight for over 72hrs so i was going to make my way to the capital city called Tirana.  Deni the kid from the night before hit me up and said if I leave to stop by the market one last time.  So first stop to tirana hit up the market grab a cold water to fill up my camel back talk with maybe meeting Deni in his town of Korce (because he was just in vlore visiting family).  I was bummed didnt see the owner but said good bye and got onto the road.  Next stop hitting up another castle in a city called Berat.  Berat is known as the city of 1000 windows i read because all the houses on the hillside all have windows.  It was actually kinda weird to see now that i was told about it.  otherwise i don’t think i would of even dawned on me.  Now the castle or fort walls are still up but inside the place is just a bunch of homes and a old church.  Again no pictures were allowed in this place but it was

city of 1000 windows

next castle

tiny so did my looking at more pics depicting jesus and decided to move on to the city.  I get checked in to my hotel and instantly turn on that ac and jump in that shower.  Man did it feel so good i stood in that bad boy for some time before I hopped out and choose to go find me some indian or thai food.  Was not in luck with thai but there was a indian restaurant so rode the bike to go get some food.  Afterwards head back to my room and decided to see if there was any rock or metal bars in the town and low and behold there was and it was only half a mile away..  I go too the bar around ten cause i read it closed at one and first thing that happens when i walk in was the bartender chatting me up on where i am from what i am doing and all that small talk stuff.  Now only about 10 mins into all this i probably had one sip out of my beer he said i am going to get fucked up tonight you want a shot with me.  Well shit can not turn that down but I have not done a shot since running of the bulls almost exactly a month.  Well needless to say the shots did not stop there I do not know how many that guy bought me but I do think it was more than my beers and I only had 8 beers.  I did not end up leaving that bar till 3 and somehow manage to get home and into my bed.  Aug 3rd woke up at noon and was like hmm do i really want to even go sight seeing today or just relax.  Around 4 I thought fuck it i am going to hate myself if i just lay around all day so i head

Bunk Art 2

into town to see bunk art a old mosque and the castle of tirana.  Now bunkart is a history museum actually made out of a old bunker right in the city center.  It was  actually pretty amazing how long this thing went for and all the rooms and what not.  There is two bunk arts in the city of tirana.  This one was dedicated to all the people who died during one of the communist dictators.  Who did kinda what hitler did and wacked you if you thought a certain way.  it was literally probably the most i ever read at a museum in all my life.  Not sure why but i was  really fascinated by it all.  After that go to the mosque but it was being restored so grabbed some photos and went to check out the castle.  Which again was just the walls inside was nothing but fancy looking restaurants.  I head back to my hotel and did some googling of food choices saw a mexican place and i was like okay fuck it Ill give it a try.  Well like usual with mexican food in europe it fucking SUCKED. So go back to my hotel stop at a market grab some water and they had ready to eat advocado.  I grabbed 3 of those and had one as desert for the night. Aug 4th I wake up to head to the other bunk art  the original bunk art museum which was insane.  It was built in 4 years I do not

bunk art 1

know the total length of it but it was built inside a mtn and was 5 stories.  So first off I was amazed it was built in 4yrs and then just how big it was inside.  This one was more dedicated to the wars that albania went through and literature about the use and safety of the bunker.  It had5 doors at the entrances 2 6in think concrete doors against the explosion and 2 doors against radio and chemical warfare and one more door as a like a neutral in case a person did get in contact with radiology or the chemicals.  Again just read a bunch of info for like 3hrs on the history of this thing the different room usage and everything.  I am not a history person at all actually i fucking hate history but for some reason i was completely interested in this all.  After that I decided to take a cable car up the mtn to see the views

view looking down on Tirana

that over look all of tirana.  While up there did some walking around into the mtns and grab some lunch.  Afterwards decided to go to one more castle in the city of Kruje.  This castle was way up at the top of a mtn that overlooked a small town.  There was a museum here that was dedicated to the Alexander the Great which is from Albania.  So had a lot of info on this guy which i never knew anything about in the first

alexander great museum

place besides the name.  After that little history lesson that i gave no fucks about i decided to keep the day going and head to Lake Ohrid.  Lake Ohrid is a a lake that is split between macedonia and albania.  The following day i was going to cross over to macedonia.  The ride to the lake was amazing it followed this river in the middle of these two mtns with easy bends the whole way on this nicely paved road.  It was a perfect cruise while the sun was setting.  About 1 hour away from where I was planning on camping the sun set and it got dark.  I arrived at this campsite on the lake at 9 the owners were just about to leave for the night when i arrived.  Since they told me that i asked if there is a place to buy food cause i figured they are not making anything.  The guy and his wife said no problem at all we make you food quick.  So as i am setting up my tent they call over and say food is done and they make me this huge ass plate of french fries and pasta with bread and 3 big slices of some cheese and they gave me a beer and asked if i want anything else.  I said just a large water and they said ok we are leaving for tonight the other guy here is security.  After they left there was a group of 4 guys near me playing cards so i asked if they wanted the fries they def agreed and the took that off of my hands while I finished up the pasta (didn’t have a choice to order anything so felt obligated to eat it) set up my tent and called it a night.

last night camping in Albania

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