Saranda: Exploring the Town
Over the last few days we have spent some time exploring the local town.
Our first challenge was to get some local currency, the Lek. We went to the cash point and took out 5,000 Lek, we thought this should be enough for our stay. We were keen to see a selection of notes. The machine gave us one 5,000 Lek note, which we worked out was worth about 30 euros. Our next stop was the supermarket, we wanted to buy a bottle of Sprite – it cost 95 Lek. The supermarket cashier was not happy! On the plus side we now had lots of smaller notes and a coin.
We typically went off sightseeing in the morning, then lunch on board followed by a quick siesta (well for Stephen & Lucy). We then spent the afternoon hanging out in the local bar – it had air conditioning, wifi, cold beer and ice cream J. It meant we could use the internet and teach Lucy cribbage in comfort (have we mentioned it’s got hot!). We did feel sorry for Yoyo still on the boat in the heat. She is now sleeping all day but quite active and happy at night when it is cooler.
A view of Saranda town. Some parts are very modern, some only half built. Lots of cars were Mercedes, albeit quite old.
A view of the local fishing harbour, with Lucy and Stephen
Our privilege was to be moored right next to where the hydrofoils arrive. Fortunately they have good manoeuvrability and competent crew so Wanda was not harmed during the daily process of the hydrofoil arriving or leaving.
To add to the excitement the Albanians decided to start dredging today – at a spot fairly close to where our anchor was. We had visions of Wanda been lifted up and dumped in the barge. However they quickly moved to a spot further away and we could relax. However if we did not have to move our anchor from the point we first dropped it and got it caught on the cable, we might be telling a very different story.
Naturally we ate out a few time. The local cuisine is a mixture of Greek, Italian and Turkish. The food was simple but pleasant. The wine we had was very good.
One evening a stage was erected and live Albanian music was playing as we ate in the restaurant almost next to the stage. It turned out to be a political rally. There were plenty of police around but it appeared trouble free while we were there.