Two touring cyclists blog: Two touring cyclists blogHotel Pavarsia
is a hotel located close to the centre of the city and the sea. It is a hotel that offers a very good opportunity to visit the historic city, independence museum and some of the shopping centres built close by. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. The windows are double glassed and with external shades offering extra protection from the elements. It is a hotel suitable not only for the individual traveller but also groups.
There are a total of 30 rooms in this hotel, of which 6 are twins, 12 are double and 10 are triple and 2 are suites.
When we got off the ferry we found this hotel very close by and their price was a very reasonable $30 euros for 3 bed room w/ breakfast. Once settled we headed downstairs and were surprised that they offered us breakfast first thing! It was only 8am since the ferry docked at 7 and customs, walk to hotel, etc. was easy we had the whole day! Great breakfast smorgasbord incl cereal.
Since we have little info about Albania it took a bit of investigation to find out about buses/transport and get on with seeing some sights. Quite a bit of walking and asking questions best we could not knowing Albanian. People are very helpful and tho outwardly stern, once you attempt to communicate with a smile they too usually open up with a smile and do their best with lots of hand signs and body language. We got to the center of town where we encountered the 'taxis' - vans for 8-9 people. Soon we were headed to Berat Wiki Info Berat
which took two taxis and traveled over the roughest, most potholed main road I've ridden on in many years! I think we all found Albania much different than expected. This part of the country is heavy into agriculture, in fact, so much so that many if not most of the homes we saw in urban settings/towns, had yards fully planted with fruit trees, grape vines, row crops, even farm animals - chickens, sheep, a cow, etc. It appears that a generation away from the rural life isn't enough to let them forget their 'roots' so to speak.
On our way back from Berat, we struck up a conversation in English w/ a gal coming home to parents in Vlore from 5 yr course of study in geo-planning. Never heard of it but apparently when she graduates she will be trained to decide what buildings can be constructed where. She taught us some Albanian words and told us about her older sister living in Winston Salem N. Carolina and brother in Italy.
In addition to a very prosperous looking countryside, we also noticed in an area near Fier that a lot of oil drilling is going on, perhaps another reason for all the new construction going on. Environmentally, Albania doesn't have a grip on it!! A lot of litter, especially in waterways, the oil business has created a lot of spills, and in general urban sprawl is creeping over the landscape with apparently little thought as to planning or zoning.
A work day...washing clothes, internet, just relaxing, ha! I must say this country is quite reasonable, even affordable on our budget. The Albanians are really happy when you attempt to learn some of their words - thank you, good morning, hot water, good bye.... The big difference (between US &) I see everywhere we have been so far is that smoking is rampant, guys/men especially although in Italy a lot of women smoke as well.
We are anxious to see warmer weather come, it has been mostly cold and rainy for over half our travels so far, especially cold. Many of the accommodations we've been in lacked real heating, but always provided blankets.