Albania, sailing - Durres, biggest harbour - Tirana, the capital

Sans Peur
Grete & Fred Vithen
Wed 10 May 2017 18:21
41 18 25 N  19 26 60 E Durres - Moored in the commercial harbour

In this very moment we are having a nice Italien big cappuccino in a bar, 1 Euro. It's raining heavily.
A walk to the bus station this morning and then bus to Tirana bus hub outside the center, ca 1 E person.
Then we caught a another bus towards the very center. Here we are now.
The capital is filled with bars, tavernas, fast food places, restaurant ... and there are friendly helpful people everywhere ... a new era

We are moored in the commercial marina of Durres, the biggest harbour in Albania.
You are treated like a ship when you enter any port. Means you need an agent, cost 40-50 Euro.
In Saranda we payed 50 Euros in total. Moored at the customs quay.
Here we have to pay 40 E (agent), 20 E tax plus 10 E per day. 3 days 100 E in total.

Agents and people are very friendly but the country is not adapted to sailing tourism.
There is only one small marina in Albania, Orikum (joint venture between Italien and Albanien money).
It's been around for a while and has lost all of it's charm (if there was any anytime), looks more like a sad parking lot for abandoned old yachts. 
No service, toilets look like shit, there is electricity and water (not sure you can drink it).
Upon arrival there was nobody there although the agent in Saranda called them in advance.
We moored with help of our anchor the Med way.

This bay (Vlore) is supposed to be a summer paradise for Albaniens. Lots and lots of ugly hotels along the shores and
beaches ... but no people no action at all. Deserted. Strange.
After mooring and a GT we went along the beach to try to find a restaurang and wifi.
There was a camper at a small Taverna, Dutch, plus a "home made" German camper. 
The German family with two small kids and we decided to try the taverna. Yes, there was wifi.
And super fresh grilled fish (father and son went fishing every day), Albanian beer (ok) and nice Italien coffee. 
Plus a liter of luke warm white wine (not so nice). For this we paid ca 25 Euro.
Prices are very low here.

Getting back late after dinner we saw that there was a light in one "office". There this representative sits with a smile on his face.
How long are you going to stay? It will cost you 54 E per night.
Time to leave. Sorry we couldn't leave in the night but ... next morning we left early and anchored in the bay.
DO NOT GO there!!!!

Distances are big, ca 60 Nm, and going between the few places you can stay is tiring and the days very long.
You start at first light, ca 5 local time.
On Friday the 12th we will leave for Bar in Montenegro. 

Albania. Been there done that.

Arriving at Durres after 11 hours, another long day of "sailing" (mostly motoring).

This is what you pay 100 Euros for.

Tirana. We paid a visit to the nuclear bomb safe bunker constructed by the schizophrenic maniacs ruled by the scary dictator Hoxa.