Durres – Sunday 1 June 2018
We spoke to the agent in the morning who said we were OK to leave the boat here all day and go into Tirana. We got rough directions on where to find the bus to Tirana and after asking a few people we found a square with the bus waiting. The journey took just over half an hour. The only problem was that the bus station it went to was way out of town. There was apparently another bus that would take us into the centre, but for less than £5 we decided to take a taxi. Well, he said he was a taxi, but he was just a freelance driver of a wreck.
Despite that we got into town promptly and when the driver couldn’t understand where Richard was telling him he wanted to go, he phoned his daughter who spoke English to help!
We really had no idea where to go. Richard remembered that the hotel he stayed in when he worked here 20 years ago was on the main street, so we went to that hotel. There we had a nice iced coffee and got a map which helped a tiny bit, but not much. So we just walked up what Richard remembered at the main street. It was a wide avenue with a lot of large official looking buildings and a lovely park running down the centre. We went off a side street when we saw a sign to Tirana castle, which turned out to be a ruin and not very old - early 1800’s.
It was now getting to noon and was very hot. We really had no idea what there was to see. So we decided to find a taxi to take us back to the bus station. I got a lovely lady in the hotel to write directions down in Albanian that I could use. This time we found a proper taxi with a meter. On the way to the bus station the driver phoned his boss and offered to take us back to Durres for 25 euro. It was hot and we were tired so we agreed.
The rest of the day has been taken up finding food to eat out (I can’t be bothered to find food on the boat) and to keep cool. In the meantime by the end of the day there are 7 sailboats here!
The weather is not cooperating. We have a 60 mile journey to the next stop and the wind is predicted to be a force 4-5 on the nose! We have persuaded the agent to come at 6am with the necessary paper work so we can make an early start.