Churchill, Canada;Todos Santos, MX;Goa, India; Maldives, Indonesia, Greece, Albania, Italy travel blog

Inside our bus

Inside our bus - that's Mare

Views along our way to Tirania - lots of container ships

Views along our way to Tirania - lots of container ships

Views along our way to Tirania Oil storage and power stations

Views along our way to Tirania Power generating stations

Lots of shipping - loading/unloading

Picking up passenger -my guess she's bringing things from countryside to relatives/friends...

This whole shopping strip empty, abandoned

Empty store fronts turn into grafitti boards

Notice the castle-like ruins on top of mountain

Kind of our location on bus this point

Close up of ruins -- better view different angle

Close up of ruins

Lots of vinyards

Olive groves and vinyards

Olive groves and vinyards

Citrus orchards - notice irrigation pond

Solar panel fields

Greek countryside is neat and tidy

Every village seems to have its prominent church

There are always less fortunate - or a workers hut?

Beautiful scenery - notice the solar hot water heaters, they're everywhere

With so many mountains ya gotta have tunnels

More Beautiful scenery

Wind energy

Again and again, churches prominent

Beautiful bridge - last time we were here we had to take...

Impressive going over it this time

Old fort and lighthouse as we approach the other side

Looking back - mystical

Along rocky bluffs

And more tunnelling...we saw a lot of infrastructure buildingl

Still further away the mystical bridge

Our bus company...very good!

Cross over into wide open agricultural valley

Different type of agriculture

More infrastructure building - we saw lots

A rest/lunch stop

Mare biologizing at our stop - wind blew her hat off, had...

Lots of little stand alongside the road

Our approximate location this point

Thru a mountain gorge

And another beautiful valley

Grazing beneath snowcapped mountains

Unfortunately, waste buildup is difficult to hide

Can't deny the beauty of it all though

At a rest stop Mare couldn't resist provoking this guy

Into showing off, ha!

Another rocky pass

River valley

Tidy agricultural plots in the mtns.

Villages on the hillsides, saving rich bottom land for growing

And grazing

Hillsides for olives?

Selling hubcaps...Ron where are you?

Atomic energy plant?

End of the day, road, bus station...


3/31

Woke up after 12 hour + 'nap' to Mare complaining about the Greek passport stamp being close to invisible. Bon looked at her and made the very astute observation, "Well, they've used up all their red ink on more important things!" The stamp was using a red ink pad, ha! Love it!

Bus left right on time, 8:30 a.m.. The route out of Athens was accompanied by lots of road construction/expansion. In fact, all the way to, and some miles past the huge, beautiful Rion-Antirion bridge Info on Rio-Antirion Bridge......

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crossing the Rio Antirrio flowing from the Gulf of Corinth. almost to our lunch stop. After lunch we changed drivers and, whereas the first driver was very conscious of maintaining a comfortable temp.(AC on & off when necessary), the second driver smoked! Consequently, he did not have AC on sufficiently to keep the bus comfortable since he had to have his window open to vent the smoke! Being a chain smoker, the AC was off most of the time he drove...

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The countryside was at first rocky hillsides and valleys with oranges, grapes,& olives as main crops. Once we crossed into Albania (easy, no visa fees) we entered a long valley after traversing a curvy, mountainous, narrow road. Roads in Albania were distinctly narrower and somewhat unmaintained ie. rough. Greek roads even where there was construction were in much better repair.

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The valley was strictly field agriculture - hay mostly, but also lots of sheep. See photos. The towns and villages were all built along the edges of the valley (foothills) until we got closer to Tirana. We arrived at 8:30 p.m. Athens time, 7:30 here, a 12 hour long ride. No clue where to go from where the bus stopped a block from city center with opera house and university close by. We walked back to where the Albanian Tourist office was near the Opera House...it was all lit up but had just closed. Luckily, right net to it was a bookstore, still open and eventually we ended up buying a Lonely Planeyt Guide for 42 Euros+. A big expense but it covers all of the countries we expect to enter plus others during the next 30+ days. Will be handy knowing something about the area we're travelling through very rapidly!

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There were lots of people out and about - possibly due to the proximity to the university. After talking with the gal in the bookstore and consulting the L.P. we decided to hunt down Freddy's Hotel which was nearby and supposedly low cost. Back past the bus drop stop, I ended up asking a store worker where Freddy's was. He, in turn, called the Hotel and one thing led to another (all in Albanian) resulting in the fellow from the Hotel coming and taking us to Freddy's...a bit off the beaten track and back towards the university a couple blocks.

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So we ended up at Freddy's kind of by default since he was so nice to rescue us. Bon was a bit peeved, it turned out to be 50 Euros with breakfast for 3 of us and in 2013 the LP showed it to be 12 Euros pp. To her mind dDI should have bargained, but here we are...nice room, TV, 2 beds, toilet, very clean! To me the lateness (past 8:30 their time) and our own unfamiliarity with the place made the decision for us. Besides, other than the gal at the bookstore and the young fellow who called the Hotel, we've encountered NO others who speak any English at all!

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