Thursday, February 27, 2014

SUMMER RECAP 2013: Traveling through the Balkans

August 2013:

After my stay at the pink palace and my visit to the Greek Mountains, I decided to Travel the Balkans. I had to get to Croatia for a hostel job and my options were to travel to through Albania and Montenegro to get to Croatia, or to take a ferry to Italy (either Rimini or Bari) and then take another ferry from there to Croatia.

The cost of the ferries to italy were about 60$ each way and would mean spending 24 hours in transit. If I traveled through the Balkans I got to see 2 other gorgeous countries which sounded incredible to me! My biggest concern was logistics and safety. After consulting with multiple people who told me that it would be safe and fine, I decided to go for it. The biggest logistical problem would be the transportation out of the country since transportation is not reliable in Albania and crossing the border into Montenegro can be tough, but I figured I could cross that bridge when I got there. It was off to Albania for me!

I left from Corfu on an evening ferry to Saranda, Albania. The ferry took about 45 minutes, cost $17 and was absolutely stunning!!

I went through customs before getting on board, and then it was an easy journey. Very casual as you can see. I got a lot of looks like I was slightly crazy for traveling there alone as a young white female but just took it all in stride.

When I arrived I stepped off the ferry, through customs again, and then I was in Saranda. The first thing I did was go to find my hostel which was less than 50 yards from the ferry terminal! It was called Tomy's hostel and was fantastic! It was an apartment with a kitchen and 3 bunk rooms in which Tomy took care of us. People had signed all the walls telling him how much they loved their stay there and the memories they had had.

After I got settled in, I sat on the porch for the night overlooking the harbor and chatted with fellow travels. It was hot, but the place was beautiful, bustling and nice.

The next day would be my first, and only, full day in Albania.

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