Shengjin – Friday 29 June 2018

We had to sleep under the duvet last night it was that cold.  When we got up the weather was not at all encouraging.  It was drizzling and very grey.  The weather forecast showed that if we set out for Durres the wind would be on the nose.  Tomorrow looked better so we decided to stay here.

The arrangement with out agent Frrok was that we would meet him between 8 and 9am and tell him what we had decided to do.  So after breakfast we put on warmish crummy clothes and went to find Frrok.  He was driving up to us as we got off the boat.  We told him we were staying and he asked what we wanted to do.  We asked for suggestions with a view to perhaps hiring a car and going inland. Then he asked if we would like to go up to “the village” to a very nice restaurant for lunch.  We agreed and he said he would make a reservation and mentioned 12 o’clock.  We thought this meant he would collect us as 12, but we soon discovered we were wrong when he drove off with us then and there.

Next thing we were taken by him to the town of Luxhe.  There was supposed to be some ancient ruins of a cathedral there.  But although we could see some of it, it was covered in scaffolding and closed for restoration.  So instead we sat in a café and drank something that was supposed to be hot chocolate, but was more like heated up chocolate pudding.

It was still quite early but that didn’t deter Frrok from driving us to the restaurant.  It was way out in the country and for a minute or two I wondered if we were being kidnapped.  But we did arrive at this delightful spot in the hills.  It was newly restored and had a lovely garden where in better weather they serve meals.  In the light of the on and off rain we chose to sit in a lovely large conservatory.

One of the nuclear war shelters that used to be everywhere in Albania

We had a fabulous meal.  Our only complaint was there was far too much of it.  After an amuse bouche of cheese with sundried tomato and a Girolle, they brought out about three or four huge plates of different cheeses, grilled vegetables, cold meats and fresh sautéed porcini mushrooms.  All this came with a basket of several different kinds of bread.  It was all local produce and delicious and we gorged ourselves only to be horrified when the next course of pork kebab and roasted goat came to the table!  All of this was washed down with a litre of local red wine.  When we thought we would explode they took away the last uneaten bits and brought us fresh fruit and a sort of home made ice lolly.  The most extraordinary part of this is that this huge meal for three came to 45 euros!

After this all Richard and I were good for was to sleep.  So Frrok took us back to the boat and we collapsed for a couple of hours. We did manage a trip into town to find a café to download some internet.  Now back on the boat.  We will leave tomorrow as the weather is supposed to improve.


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