Sometimes you do not get what you expect. Sometimes you get more than you expect. Today I got a lot more than I expected!
After a nice sleep in a proper clean room ( ) and a nice breakfast in the Hotel Kastoria and after fixing my bikes trunk (broken lock) I left Kastoria on my Indian Roadmaster towards Albania. I was a bit bothered about what would expect me there! Maybe I was even a little bit scared (please do not tell anyone that part! It’s a secret! )!
First I took a part of a brand new highway. Not even my actual Garmin-GPS nor google-maps ony my mobile-device knew about this road. So I was riding somewhere in the nowhere. It saved me about 15 minutes!
On the arrival on the border a saw an unusal short line of cars. There were maybe only 6 or 8 of them in a line. But it was very hot (31 C) already. A border guard made me understand that I should pass to the front. Would I get a VIP-treatment?
…..They checked my bike, made me understand that they have never seen something like that and that they would love it, asked me with a map where I was coming from and where i was intending to go. At the end they said if I would be so kind to show them my passport. After showing them my ID they wished me good luck. Wow! That was the most friendly treatment and probably also one of the fastest treatments I ever got! Thank you guys!
Now the next challenge. I heard terrible things about the conditions of the roads there. But what I saw was just a dream! At least mostly!
After riding the short but really nice to ride Qafë Thana (Thana-Pass),
I arrived in Pogradec.
They were making a new pavement on their mainsteet. The “Enduro-track” was again quite long and the workers on the streets stared at me like I was an alien! It must have been strange to see a cruiser on a street like that! Silly Swiss boy!
But what I saw here again was the same like I saw also in Bulgaria. Closed gaz-stations.
Either very old ones or sometimes even new onces that never opened. That’s why I fill up my tank always when I used half of it. Otherwise I would probably end up pushing my 497 kg-heavy-bike! Too heavy that for!
But at least I could have bought some fish. Because here on the lake Ohrid, there were many (mostly) men who tried to sell their fish! I stopped on one place for taking a picture. The fisherman there knew my Swiss plate and he even knew that the bear on my plate is part of the flag of the canton Berne where I am living in. But he explained me that he does not want to see his picture in the internet. I respect that for sure!
What I also saw very often in Albania were ruins of never finished buildings. Will do some research on it as soon as I am at home.
Another “special” her was the men who are standing on the streets. I have no idea what they were doing there. The just standed there, talked to eachother, sometives the showed me thumbs up while passing them. But I still do not know what they did there. Does anyone of you know the reason that for?
The crusing there, almost without any traffic, was just great and the people were great. I saw a mixture between poverty (donkeys pulling old, small coaches) and luxury (expensive luxury cars). But the people were all very friendly.
A word about payment facilities again. Forget about credit-cards here. The gaz-station and restaurants often have a sign that says that they accept credit-cards, but they don’t. They only accept cash! You need to be aware of that.
Tirana was just a big city with a lot of traffic. I was not really in the mood to stop and to make pictures. I just wanted to escape from the heat (39 C) and the traffic.
Once arrived at the border to Montenegro, I saw a plate from Illinois (what is an American doing here with his car?) and
some plates from Berne, my home. It seems like I’m getting closer back to my home.
In Bar I got what I expected. I booked a cheap hotel and I got something cheap. The shower was great, the night too. The WIFI was a catastrophe, so I decided to write this article the next morning.
I found a great place to write it. A bar called “Le Marc” in a Village called Petrovac. I got great hosts (they are not the bosses but they really do a great job here!) named Jovana & Perica. Thank you very much again!
The brunch was great too!