The hostels here, there are two in town, are apartments with the rooms filled with beds. There are two sets of bunk beds in three bedrooms, and there are three bunks on each set. I’m on the very top, which is kind of tricky to get down from in the morning.
In the morning, I have been getting up around 8:00 or 9:00. My jobs are to sweep the floors and clean the bathroom. Then if there was anyone who left the night before, do a load of laundry to get the sheets cleaned and put laundry out on the line and fold the dry laundry. After that, there’s not much else to do.
Yesterday, went to Butrint. We went on the bus and it took about an hour. A very dusty and bumpy ride; this is definitely not a first world/completely developed country!
How could you not love that bus ride? I particularly liked the water that was inexplicably in the window!
It’s an archeological site where you can just wander around. The picture above is of the Theatre of Asclepius. He was the son of Apollo and a god of healing. So people would come to the temple to ask for healing.
You can climb on and around the ruins, which I don’t think you’d be able to do in America. Felt a bit like Indiana Jones. There was a baptistery, a basilica (what makes a basilica a basilica? I don’t know!) and generally cool ruins about. There were lots of trees and interesting sounding birds along with lots of little turtles darting about in the little ponds around.
Waiting for the bus from Butrint, we were approached by a kid selling jewelry. A lot of the little bracelets, reportedly made by his mother, featured “evil eye” beads meant to protect the wearer from the evil eye. We decided not to get any. He was on the bus back with us; he had to go to English school in the afternoon. He asked us if we liked Bush or Obama best. He said he liked Obama best because “he has dark skin like me.”
After that, we went to the beach in Tsamil, which is a sandy beach (it’s a rocky beach here) and just sat outside for a few hours. There are little islands that you could swim to, but the water was a bit too cold for me, and I’m still working on coming to terms with the idea that I’d better be able to swim all the way to wherever I’m going, because after about 2 yards, there is no bottom beneath your feet to walk on.
In Tsamil, there were a lot of developers who just put up houses but they didn’t consult anyone or get permits or anything and so the government just went around and bombed/demolished the houses, but didn’t clear away the rubble. So it looks a bit weird getting off the bus and just seeing rubble on the way to a really nice beach. There were also some random cows wandering around and rooting through the garbage. That didn’t seem like the best diet for a cow.
Last night, I finally tried what is on the menu everywhere as spaghetti with fruits of the sea. What are fruits of the sea?! Well, they are little shrimp, mussels, and tiny little squid. As in you can see the little squid legs and the little squid head all together. Was pretty good, though I only ate one of the little squid! It was a little bit chewy!
There is a lot of construction going on here in Saranda, it is done, apparently, without any planning whatsoever. So I wonder if the buildings will suffer the same fate as the ones in Tsamil? It seems odd though, the apartment buildings that are here definitely don’t seem to be full, and that seems to be the only things that’s being constructed.
Here’s some of the ride back; it’s a bit long and the “exciting” part where the bus shuts off is near the beginning. There were three other Americans on the bus in front of us.