We decided to take a day off and recoup here in Elbasan. We’d planned to spend two days here anyway. Just haven’t expected to arrive a day early. Carrying the extra weight of water and food and the intense heat has taken a toll on our bodies. The difference between the image portrayed by the guide book and reality has lowered our expectations.
Pat has been slaving away trying to sort out our team participation in the MSF walking without borders challenge and that is proving to be a challenge. To clarify though – our team name is “2 WOMEN WALKING”. If you search for us under “Two…” You will not find us. If you search by name – it needs to be Pat Gould. Only the team captain’s name shows up. We aren’t sure how the online donation thing works…. But Pat has sent MSF an email requesting clarification…. Let me know if you have any issues….if you do want to sponsor us it might be easier for me to send you an Email link.
Our day in Elbasan has been pretty relaxed. Very nice breakfast here at the hotel. By far the best so far! We have bought our fruit and veggies for tomorrow and will get bread on our way out of town in the morning. We explored the old town – not much to explore as it turns out -just very high stone walls and gates. No entry for non believers into the mosque. Listened to a bit of the Sunday service at the Orthodox church. Hamam closed up tight behind solid gates. The local market interesting but nothing too exciting. Clothes – lots of poly and glitter. Crazy patterned polly tights. Piles of bras. Most stuff cheaply made – in India and Turkey – but surprisingly pricy. Kitchen stuff – plastic and cheap. Electronics, watches….. The usual. Nothing aimed at the tourist. Not many of us tourists in evidence. We are told a few Italian tourists come here.
Educated young people speak several languages. Albanian, Italian, German top the list with English coming in a close fourth. Older people generally only speak Albanian unless they have lived in the US – we’ve met a few who have. For the most part we’ve managed very well with a mix of English, German, Italian, and mad pantomime.
Of course I can’t caption these pics. Top one is in the old town. Notice we are on the Via Egnatia! Other two are our hotel.