The hotel that we found in the middle of the night is preparing for a wedding and we have breakfast in a restaurant across the street. This is at least as pretty as the hotel. We expect more information about our rental car, but answers and clear statements are still a long time coming.

Two motorcyclists also enter the restaurant for their breakfast; Of course they are also from Germany. As we talk about our travels, Rovena whispers to me if I could ask one of them if she could ride a bike on the back for a lap.

No problem, says one of the two drivers. Rovena squeals with delight as she takes a seat on the pillion and the driver steps on the gas. We collect our friend a few kilometers later.

In the meantime there is also news for our new vehicle. A few people are on the road now and will meet us somewhere on the street with the new car. I’m curious how this will work.

A little later, on a bumpy country road, a car flashes a few times. Apparently it’s the guy from the rental company. He and two other rather tall people, presumably his cousins, come towards us in a tiny Peugeot C106. I don’t think they can be serious. The gentlemen don’t speak a word of English either. Luckily Rovena is with us, so at least someone can translate my curses. One of the guys takes a closer look at the Dacia while the others stand side by side as useful as two meters of dirt road.

We should have the tires changed, we would get the bill refunded immediately when the car was returned. The tire pressure sensor magically stopped flashing and the fact that we couldn’t lock the car is fixed by vigorously pressing on the tailgate’s sheet metal near the lock. The light in the dashboard still showed that a door was open, but now all the problems have theoretically been resolved and we definitely didn’t want the Peugeot.

There’s a car repair shop right in the next town, I quickly found a new tire and it only takes fifteen minutes, then we’ll drive on with it.

Our map suffered a bit and can be made into one piece again with band-aids and, thanks to the mechanics, some scotch tape.

We visited an orthodox monastery on the way; however, unclear Albanian directions lead us to constantly wrong roads, so that we find ourselves driving in brambles or washed out and dried streams before we just walked the last stretch. Thanks to the bushes, the paintwork on our car is now behind it too.

The monastery is old and historically important in the Orthodox Church according to the description.

Uwe is very happy because there is a salesman standing in front of the church who seems to have spent a long time in East Friesland, his homeland.

Next we cross a nature reserve. The roads also seem to be protected by nature: there are exemplary pothole slopes and mud holes and bridges whose ramps are so steep and washed out that they can only be conquered with a lot of momentum and the hope not to hit the subsoil.

We arrive at a magnificent lagoon lined with a lovely smelling pine forest. The beach is gigantic. We see a long jetty that leads to an island in front of the beach. There we find many abandoned loungers and umbrellas that have been torn apart by the wind. The sun is setting, bathing everything in orange light and illuminating a small sandstorm over the beach.

After we have had our fun we leave. An abandoned beach bar provides information about the fact that the finest beer from Augsburg is served here.

How could it be otherwise, of course we also run into another wedding party.

We arrive late at our accommodation in Tirana, Rovena’s apartment. The girls cook for us while we take turns showering. Now let’s celebrate our farewell to each other.

Rovena has to go back to work and Gaby wants to continue her individual journey, which will now take her to Montenegro. At the end of our journey we meet Rovena again. Gaby will visit us years later in Germany.



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