Mandatory coffee breaks
Pogradec Travel Blog› entry 15 of 18 › view all entries
I catch y connecting bus in Elbasin and we drive out of town. The roads are incredible in this part of the country. For a moment I you could think you were on a newly renovated western European road - there is not a single pothole in the road. It feels strange driving on a road with a pothole. It is sort of unnatural for Albania. And the bus is doing incredible speed - it might be going 50k per hour or something like this.
We drive on for 45 minutes but then it happens - the Albanian bus drivers don’t seem to be allowed to drive more than 40k in an hour it would be considered a breach of the union contracts. Hence after 45 minutes we go for a 20 minutes long coffee break. After the coffee break it is time to start driving towards the border at Lake Ohrid. We drive up a road on a small mountain chain and the road change from superb condition to standard Albanian condition and we bump along the road.
in the mountain is quite scenic and I get a bit of a look of the many tiny
bunkers in Albanian as a constant reminder of the communist era.
I find a car - Mercedes of course it is Albania after all - and I wake up the driver asking him how much it is. The driver speaks no English so asking him for the price to go to the border is a bit of a problem. The drive is not very long so I expect to pay something like 3-400 leke or maybe 5€.
The driver tells me a price of 15€ which is much more than I would expect to pay. Hence I give him an answer sounding very surprised - if he really means 15€. He say no no and the he corrects the price from 15€ to 50€. That doesn’t really comfort me all that much - and the driver realizes this. Fortunately the car windows are really dusty and the driver decides to clarify the price by writing it on the dusty window. He write 5€ which is a bit more than it should be but I am almost all out of lekes hence there would not be much of a point trying to haggle about the price given I got no change. So I get in and we drive for a few minutes to the border where I get out of the car and get ready to walk across the border.