Breath taking. Stunning. A beautiful surprise around almost every corner. We have been blessed.
We took a few days off work to explore Southern Albania and Corfu Island, Greece. We stuffed our backpacks with clothes, a tent, roll up pillows, and a book for each of us. No hotel bookings, we wanted to be free – not bound to itineraries or schedules. It was a good idea, assuming we’d be healthy the entire trip. A luxury neither one of us were afforded long.
From Vlora to Dhermi beach in Southern Albania we enjoyed the most crystal clear turquoise waters we had ever experienced in our lives. Surrounded by mountains, the stoney beaches were perfectly calm – a few cute families to watch and a cool sea to jump in when you needed to be refreshed from reading in the 100 degree sun – Phil under the umbrella, Mel sun bathing. Perfect until about 2am when the techno music started blaring. Deafening. Not stopping until 7am. Seriously. We thought, there is no way this will happen two days in a row, so we camped on the beach another night only to be tormented again after which we rushed off to Corfu Island, Greece for some peace.
Before catching the ferry, we ate some pizza. We eat pizza a lot in Albania because it only costs $3 – $5 / pie. Once on the ferry, Phil started to get a little wooosie. But he doesn’t get sea sick? But he did. Poor guy – rough ride. We hit the port, no place to stay — we were winging it, you know. Mel grabbed a taxi to the center of Corfu town. Absolutely no idea where we are (but it was beautiful, by the way.) There was a McDonalds straight ahead so Phil rested there while Mel ran around looking for a hotel. After conveniently booking the cute place just above McDonalds, we took turns being sick for the rest of the night. Food poisoning. Stupid pizza.
We were determined to have a good time, so the next morning we showered up and hit the town. We felt like really old tourists, 80-90 years old maybe. Walking really slowly. Taking lots of breaks. Forcing water upon each other. Sharing a fruit salad because we could hardly eat but also because it was so expensive. We loved the Old City – it was full of character, charm, beautiful architecture, rich history, and the loveliest oversized lanterns hanging from the arch ways of cute cafes.
The same day we decided to ride off to the other side of the island and to finally find something peaceful. We found a place on Expedia during the morning located in a small seaside village called Agios Gordios. We hopped the green bus and 40 mins later we arrive at a stunning village with rock formations, cliffs, mountains, navy blue and light green waters … “wow, it would be awesome to stay here someday” Mel says. Phil laughs because this was our stop, our village. For the next three days we were in heaven. Swimming, hiking, snorkeling, riding a scooter around the island to find another cute beach with boat rides into caves, and eating at the best authentic restaurant on the entire island — grape vines draping over the canape above the tables, ripe green grapes hanging down almost within reach, live Greek music, bulbed lights giving off golden rays all night long — perfect and so much fun.
So yeah, we can hardly describe the amazing time we had – there are so many more details but you get the picture and you have lots of pictures up there to tell you more. God blessed us. We are so grateful. But you know … it feels good to come back to our home in Tirana. We love it here too. God has been so gracious.