Friday, July 03, 2015

Beach bums

On Tuesday, we set out from Berat for the drive to Himare. This involved crossing over the Llogara Pass, a pass over 1000 metres high in the Ceraunian Mountains. Apparently Julius Caesar landed nearby and chased Pompey through the mountains here at a neighbouring pass that still bears his name. It's twisty and turney, but speaking for my non-driving self, less harrowing than the road to Berat, as the road itself is pretty well-maintained. 

Navigating obstacles in rural Albania

View from atop the Pass

Mount Çika, I think



Looking back up at the road we came down from Drymades


In Himarë, our hotel was on the main road, just a hop skip and a jump away from the hotel's private beach. I don't entirely agree with the concept of having private beaches everywhere and having to pay to use loungers and umbrellas, but it's undeniably quite nice to have these facilities once you're there - some places, waiters will even bring drinks right to your deckchair, although the concept of cocktails doesn't seem to have saturated the Albanian market yet, unfortunately. People often wander past selling things too, most commonly popcorn, which seems a very odd choice of beach food. 

View from our hotel in Himare

We bummed about in Himare for a day and a half, and then drove back up the way we came to Drymades, and bummed around there. Himare is a nice little town, smaller than it looks in the way in, and pretty uncrowded, with a good selection of restaurants, bars and small shops. Drymades is even more picturesque and tranquil, but with relatively little in the way of shops and resturants. We ran out of money and had to wait until we drove back through Himare because there are no ATMs in Drymades or nearby Dhermi. Both are really nice, it depends whether or not you want things slightly livelier in Himare or more peaceful (we were also not right on the beach or road in Drymades).  

I have so many gorgeous photos from the three days, hard to pick! We had a great time swimming, sunbathing and eating fresh fish. 

Himare

Himare





This was the view at sunset from our waterfront restaurant where, due to a misunderstanding, we ended up with an entree and three mains between the two of us, including a plate of squid and two whole sea bass. With drinks as well and a tip, the bill came to about 23.50€ - unbelievable. 


We found some cocktails!


One of the best things about Drymades beach was the crystal clear water. I was hypnotised watching the small waves crash and recede over the pebbles like a pulse. The bad part was that it was soooo difficult to get in and out of the sea. The pebbles were fairly sharp and your feet tended to sink into them, and I kept getting knocked off balance by the waves. At points, I literally had to crawl up the beach to try and escape. Not good 

Drymades beach


The amazing clear water and treacherous rocks 


I could post a billion more photos, it's so pretty, but I'm not sure decrepit Albanian wifi can even cope with this many, so I'll leave it there. 


















4 comments:

  1. Both the mountains and the beaches look amazing. I think you could be right about Albania being the next hot new tourist destination!

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    1. It's very pretty, I haven't changed my predictions :)

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  2. Looks so so beautiful there! Love the photos! I've been enjoying all your posts (and photos) from your trip, but it's been quite hard to reply as I've been on my phone using dodgy hotel wifi.

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    1. Thank you! Looking forward to your Budapest posts ;) and yeah, tell me about dodgy hotel wifi :( We bought cheap Albanian SIM cards for the trip though, so that has helped a lot

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