So, we left Drymades on Friday and headed back down the coast to the south-western tip of Albania at a place called Ksamil, for a little culture and some more beach time. Ksamil was beautiful enough, its bay dotted with small islands and the considerably bigger island of Corfu close enough on the horizon to see individual houses on its shores. However, it proved not to be our favourite of the beaches we visited on the Albanian riviera.
Our hearts sank a bit when we first glimpsed the beach - it was packed with sunloungers, full of noisy children, and seemed to consist of a thin layer of sand over a strip of concrete jutting out towards the water. After the beautiful beaches of Himare and Drymsdes, it was a bit of a letdown. However, we walked a bit further around the coast away from the town centre and managed to find some private beaches that were a lot less crowded and artificial.
The main problem with beaches - and many other places - in Albania is that they seem to think relaxing on the beach is best done with a background of pumping dance music. This is not a sentiment I share. Every little individual beach in Ksamil (separated by man-made rock formations) played its own horrible Wagnerian-length dance compositions over tinny loudspeakers. We even went past a fricking children's playground at around 10 pm which was still blasting out the tunes. Drymades beach did have music as well, but where we were it was quieter and it was 90s music, which at least is "my era". And yes, that does make me sound like a grumpy old person complaining about that racket the young people are in to these days. I refuse to believe anyone can enjoy dance music without copious amounts of drink or drugs though. Ugh, I sound like my Dad complaining about me playing Radiohead in the house ;)
Ksamil beach with Corfu in the background
View from the private beach we were on
We ended up leaving Ksamil a day earlier than planned and heading to Gjirokastra. We have been booking hotels a day at a time, leaving us the flexibility to move from Himare to Drymades and cut our Ksamil leg short. It's worked out pretty well. First though, we visited the ancient city of Butrint, next time on Gwan's Albanian Adventures...