From Berat we took a minibus to Sarande. The minibus leaves twice a day from Berat, one at 8am and one at 2pm. The journey takes 6 to 7 hours so we opted for the earlier one.
To catch the minibus, we had to stand on the side of the road and look for a passing minibus with a small sign that said “Sarande” (thank goodness Albania uses the Latin alphabet and not Cyrillic), after which one has to wave vigorously to make sure the bus driver stops. To add to the confusion, in Albania nodding the had up and down means ‘no’ and shaking the head left and right means ‘yes’; the opposite of western countries. So when the bus driver shook his head, we thought the bus was full and was very disappointed, until he stopped and picked us up. Confusing.
It was a very bumpy ride but we met 3 travellers also going to Sarande so we had a good time chatting with them. The distance from Berat to Sarande is only 210km but the ride took us 7 hours due to the general terrible state of the road and massive potholes. I really don’t understand why everyone needs to driver a Mercedes sedan in Albania, the cars are so low that I would think their suspension were shot or something. If I was to own a car in Albania it would be a Jeep Wrangler so I could fly through the potholes.
This is the highway, it is supposed to be 2 lanes:
We also met an Albanian who decided to help us navigate to the Hairy Lemon Hostel. Along the way, a very angry, bald and fat Albanian yelled at him for helping the “Irish Prostitute” or something. Turns out he is the competitor to the Harry Lemon hostel and an old love interest to the old Irish owner of the Harry Lemon hostel. He was extremely aggressive and I don’t quite understand how he gets travellers into his hostel but Hostel World has a very high rating for his hostel.
An old Hoxha era bunker built on top of a mountain next to a ruined castle where no one lives. In the distance is Corfu island:
Anyways we walked around the beach and went up the fortifications . It seems like lately everything we have seen requires a hike up a mountain, our legs are getting sore! The view was magnificent! Very pretty city.