10. September Skopje

Today started really early for Kristian who was up before seven, and I think, enjoying the peace and quiet before Saya and I woke up about an hour later. We had breakfast, did some washing in the washing machine! and headed out around 10.
We took the pushchair for the first time since during the trip, but quite quickly realized that even though it is flat here, the pavements are really bad and in many placed non existent. After a quick walk to find a supermarket we went back to the flat and got the chair for Saya instead.
We decided to walk to the old part of town and to see the big bazar that supposedly is the biggest on in the Balkans. The walk to the bazar was hot and humid and uphill and took us past the fortress. Unlike the the other fortresses we have seen this one had big advertising banners on them. We decided that we didn't have a big need to go in a see the fortress since we have seen one in every place we have visited on this trip. The bazar was nice however, though we didn't spend that long inside as both Kristian and Saya were feeling really hot. Afterwards we went to have some lunch in the old town area. The food wasn't great, but it was ok and we enjoyed resting our feet for a bit.
after lunch we went looking for the Sveti Spas church - a Christian church built partially underground, since the Turks didn't allow churches to be taller than mosques during the Ottoman rule. Inside was an amazing hand carved iconostasis (a new word I have just learnt) - basically a hand carved wooden wall depicting tales from the bible.
We then started to walk towards the park in the search of a playground for Saya. To her great disappointment though the playground was a really sad looking one with only a few things that were all so worn down that they were falling to pieces. We spent only a short while here and then decided to go to the zoo that was right next to the park to tray and make it up to Saya. I had my doubts as I have been to a few zoos around the world and the ones in poorer parts of the world have been, to put it lightly, pretty heart breaking.
The price to get in was only 100 Denar for the three of us and the zoo wasn't quite as bad as I feared. Ok the animals could have had a lot more room to move on and quite a few of the animals didn't have a partner and consequently looked quite lonely and sad. Saya loved the zoo though and was extremely eager to see all of them. We spent about an hour there and by the time we left, mainly because we were very thirsty and beginning to feel very tired, it was close to 5pm. On our way out we discovered a bouncing castle and Saya went wild with excitement by the prospect of trying it out. However when we asked one of the staff members about it turned out that it was only for guest at a birthday party that was just starting. Saya got her second big disappointment of the day and my heart broke a little when she started crying. I reallyy wish she could have had that experience. Nothing we tried to comfort her seemed to work afterwards. And still when I tucked her into bed this evening that was all that was on her mind. Even the good experience with the zoo seemed to have faded in the light of the disappointment with the bouncing castle. We really have to learn not to promise her anything before we're am 100% certain that it is possible.
We then went looking for a specific restaurant we had read about in our guise book. At this point we were really really tired and our feet were aching - We had literally been walking around non stop since 10am this morning. We couldn't seem to find it though and in the end we were close to being grumpy all of us and we decided to give up and walk back towards the flat were we knew we could find some restaurants. We had our dinner in a Chinese restaurant us being a bit fed up with grilled meats and salads and it was ok.
Tired we walked back to the flat we Saya is now asleep and we are winding down for the day.
Tomorrow is our last proper day of the trip and we are probably going to spend it at Lake Matka just outside of Skopje. It is supposed to be really beautiful there and to be honest I am looking forward to be getting away from Skopje which I find a pretty ugly, bleak and strange city from what we have seen so far.
Saya is really looking forward to going home and seems to be counting the days till we are on our way. I can understand why as well.. 2.5 weeks only with mum and dad is a long time and with no one to play with. it will be good for her to be around other children again and just play all day long.
I, as usually, don't want to go home. I think this travelling this time though have been a bit hard, probably mainly due to sleeping really badly at night for most part of the trip, which has left me feeling drained during the day time. Also - as always - trying to cover as much as possible in very little time, leaved you feeling pretty tired after a while. Having said all that, I am not ready to go home to our ordinary life again with everything it takes - getting up early, work, cleaning the flat etc etc, and not to forget the pending winter!
For now through I will enjoy the last day tomorrow in the heat and make the most of it.      

8th-9th of September - Ohrid - Skopje

Now this vacation is getting close to its end. We are now at the final apartment that we are going to stay at in this vacation. It has in many ways been a good learning experience. I think in all regards. Albania and Macedonia have been absolutely fabulous places to visit, and so rich with history. A history I think that both me and Jannie will go more in depth with the coming time. And I think that we will work on the concept of this homepage as well. As Jannie wrote yesterday, this is becoming tedious, writing a long blog each evening. I think we will handle this differently next time, we might try to record some video on sight and in the evening, it will be a task that we will do together and we would have time to be a couple in the evening.

And there are some gear that we will need. First of something like this:
Washing cloths in your hands is not the most amusing task in the world, and if we somehow can reduce that amount of time, that would be great

Second, we would like a portable seat for Saya, so that she can seat in our hight when we go to resturants - something like this: http://www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/productdisplay0_10751_-1_147439_10001

If we go ahead with the videoblog way of handling our blog - we could dump the computer and just get a keyboard for the tablet. Reducing luggage.

Finally we would need a bigger backpack and a smaller bag to fit into the carrier chair.

So gadgets and planning aside. This is what happened today.

Last night we slept quite okay, until 6 - when Saya cried, I went into her, and she insisted that I slept in the room with her. So after about 30 minutes we finally fell asleep, both of us. And as one of the few times, well ever, Jannie woke up before I did.

Saya was in a splendid mood, and we packed out stuff, while Saya played around. We seem to get more and more stuff, so it gets harder and harder to fit it all into our backs. Well this was the second last time we had to do it, so it was okay. We left one of the bottles of white wine we bought in Berat to our hosts, very nice people. Our day at the beach yesterday had left Jannie and me slightly sunburned, so getting the backs on was a bit of an ache. Our host drove us to the bus station in Ohrid - we waited for about 20 minutes and the bus left. This was incidentally the worst bus ride we had this time in the Balkans.

It seems that the free for all furgons do not work here. So you get on scheduled buses, and they only drive ever so often. So this bus was filled, and the aircon did not work. So it was hot as well. It took about 3½ hours and it was a beautiful ride. But that was tainted by the filled bus and heat.
What we saw on the bus ride was quite a different country then Albania. First of, the people density is quite lower then in Albania, so fewer houses. Second the bar, restaurant, hotel and car wash density is also very much lower then in Albania. We did spend quite a long time of the ride going through a mountain/forest area, which was breathtaking.

After a long and unsatisfying busride we finally arrived in Skopje. Going into the city we had a very Belgrade feeling about the place. It reminded about the place quite a lot. We took a taxi from the busstop to the apartment where we meet our host Alec. Here we found a profound difference between our Belgrade and Skopje, this guy was so very nice and hospitable. We put our things in our last home on this trip (a very big 2 bedroom flat, with a living room and a washing machine!) and went to have a late lunch with him. We had a long talk about a lot of things, and a perspective from a Macedonian perspective. This is one of the most important things about these trips, we get to talk with really nice people.

After our talk we went back to the apartment and played around with Saya for a couple of hours time, and then we went to dinner. We had found a Sushi place, and we went all in, got a really big dinner, we loved it. It was a very nice place, and the food was really good. Happy and very full, we went back to the apartment where we fussed about Saya, that just did not wanted to go to sleep, but after a few minutes of Bamse (TV show) she was very tired.

And here i am, Jannie have gone to bed reading and I am sitting alone in the living room, writting this and listening to music via the stereo! What an amazing thing.

Three nights more on this trip and we are heading back to Copenhagen. 

Ohrid 7th-8th of September

So.. it is fun to write this blog, but sometimes it does feel a little bit like homework as well, and yesterday I was allowed a day off, the reason being that it was my birthday - my 30th even! I will therefore catch up on both yesterday and today.
 Earlier this year we talked about what we should do for my birthday and I wasn't particularly keen on the idea of having a big party.I liked the idea of going away a lot more and celebrating with only the closest family around me under the sun - and so we ended op in The Balkans again.
The day started with me being woken up by Kristian and Saya singing a birthday song for me.. or rather Kristian sang whilst Saya hid behind his back. She doesn't like being in the spotlight.. ever!
We then had breakfast consisting of something that reminded of Danish bread rolls from the bakers downstairs, nice cheese that wasn't feta cheese, jam and Nutella - it was almost like being back home, and it made a nice change from the breakfasts that we have had for the past couple of weeks. 
We meant to go out for just a short walk and then come back to the flat before I was due to have a massage as a birthday treat, but as we started walking, it was all so nice and we ended up seeing another fortress, markets and a big part of the old town. By a coincidence we stumbled upon a really lovely stony beach with a nice restaurant and bar. It was a pretty small place with trees overhanging the water and perhaps 30 sun beds. From the bar played lovely Latin music and there was generally a feeling of it being on a beach somewhere tropical. We liked it so much, that we decided to have our lunch there. After lunch and a few cocktails Saya really wanted to go for a swim in the lake so we took off all her clothes and she played happily in the water for a couple of hours. It was like a little oasis after travelling for many hours the day before and generally travelling through dusty Albania. Late in the afternoon we headed back to find the place where I was due to have a massage. We found the building pretty easily, but from there it became a bit more difficult. The sign led up some stairs that were completely black as the light switch we tried didn't work. It all seemed a bit shady to say the least and I all of a sudden wasn't sure if I wanted that massage anyway. We decided to ask at the downstairs restaurant who called to ask someone. He then found the right switch and we went upstairs, at this point I still wasn't quite sure whether I wanted the massage - if it would be a different kind of massage than I was hoping for. It however turned out that I had no reason to doubt. The woman doing the massage was a qualified physiotherapist and really good at her job. It could certainly feel the strain from having carried Saya in the chair and from lying in really bad beds for the bet part of two weeks. I came out feeling refreshed and looking very shining from all the oil! 
Saya and Kristian greeted me outside carrying two presents carefully picked out by Saya. She proudly presented me two very pink and big butterfly earrings and a Winnie the Poo teddy holding a heart! I also got a really sweet card. Saya was beaming from proudness and I had to hold back a little grateful tear whilst smiling from ear to ear. Kristian also brought a present that our hosts had left for me in the flat - a pair of beautiful Ohrid pearl earrings! Such a nice gesture!!   
After a quick shower to get rid of at least some of the oil, so that I wouldn't slip off my chair, we went to have dinner at a restaurant recommended by our hosts. The food was average, nothing special, but the wine was nice and I felt very fortunate to be spending my 30th with the two most important people in my life. It had been a pretty perfect day - a great combination of seeing interesting things, chilling out at a great beach and total relaxation and refreshment  from the massage. I went back to the flat feeling very happy and tired and after regretfully finishing my book I went to sleep with a smile on my lips.

This morning we had an extremely slow start to the day. We weren't out of bed till eight, but were all feeling rather lazy so didn't get out of the flat till 11. The time was spent watching cartoons, reading, washing, eating breakfast and generally just chilling out.
We purposely hadn't planned anything else other than going to the beach we went to yesterday today. We wanted to let Saya play and we wanted one day of beach time since we didn't really manage to get any as we had planned in Albania.
And that was really all we did today. Saya loved the water and all the stones and spent a long time playing - and well Kristian did too. He spent most of an hour trying to build a dam to catch fish in without much luck. To his dismay a little girl managed to catch one later on by feeding the fish cheese pops!
After a long play Saya fell asleep on the sun bed and we had some time to relax with a book. When Saya woke we went back to town to have some dinner - a meal that turned out to be the worst meal of the trip so far! We left the restaurant feeling very disappointed and still very hungry after barely having touched our food. 
We had arranged to meet up with our hosts at a coffee bar and spent about 1.5 hours chatting to them about Macedonia, travelling and life in general. They were really nice people who promised to show us the good places around Ohrid next time we visit. I think we will definitely keep in touch with them!
Back at the flat and we are ready to go to sleep. Tomorrow we are off to Skopje and the last part of our trip. I'm sad to see it end, but glad that we have had an amazing trip - The Balkans never disappoints, it just gets better and better each time you visit!

5 - 6 September 2013 - Shkodër - Ohrid

Today was one of those days that always seems to be one of on our trips. We have spend all day travelling, more or less.

Last night Saya and I slept the whole night, more or less. Jannie, again, not so much. We have to get her something to help her sleep, especially considering its her birthday tomorrow (something she seems to keep repeating, for some odd reason, she is only turning 30). And we woke up quite early - at 7.30. We (I) planned our trip and expected to arrive in Ohrid around 14. 1½ hours to Tirana, 1½ hours to Ebasan and 1½ to Ohrid. According to our web guides and Lonely Planet, that seemed quite plausible, how wrong I was. 

My morning rutine involves at least two cups of something with espresso in it. Today it was cappuccinos. Besides the fact that they make it with a really fat milk, they are really good, and for only 200 Lek (about 10 kr) that is fantastic. I went to the cafe right outside the hotel to get it. I used the tablet to get the addresses of where we had to go during the day. Where to change furgons in Tirana and where the next place we were going to live (where we are now) in Ohrid was placed. 

The breakfast was the same as always. We have bought some small yogurts for Sayas motions sickness medicin, since it had worked earlier. Unforturnatly she was on to us, and we could not get it in her. We did cheat her, and gave her some in the juice which she drank without any trouble. We found some drawing books to her for the trip and was ready. We left Shkodër at 9.30 with a furgon. One think that we would advice if you ever come down to Albania and want to travel around, use furgons, they are dirt cheap and accessible at all times. Each time we had to use one, there was one ready right away and we where ready to go. Since there is no official busstations for the furgons, make sure you know where they are leaving from. Todays travel underlined the fact that they seem to be going everywhere there is a road in Albania. 

Our ride to Tirana took about the 1½ hour and was quite uneventful. Saya got really tired, as always, we suspect that it is due to the motion sickness medicine.  we had the backseats to our selfs in the small minibus, and Saya read, saw cartoons, and played around with us. 

When we went to Tirana, we walked through the middle of town, to catch the next furgon to Elbasan. We found a cafe and got a coffee and some juice. The service was really slow and we ended up spending an hour in there. My time schedule was already failing. Then we set out to find the furgon place of departure. And we walked wrong, a couple of times. So we ended up spending another hour walking around. Eventually we found where we thought the bus would depart (according to the net). Either i had misunderstood, or they had moved the place, which cost us another ½ hour. Eventually we found the right place, and a bus was waiting for us, and we left for Elbasan ten minutes after that. The drive was really fast. This was due to the fact that half the road was a (new) highway and a so new tunnel that Google Maps do not have it yet. Again - Saya was just such a patient little girl, she said she really wanted to go to a playground when we arrived, and that was about it, no complains, no fits. We are very lucky parents. 

When we arrived to Elbasan we where hungry, we had arrived there around the time we had told our host in Ohrid we would arrive there. But she said that we should just come and not think about the time. So we went out to eat. We went into the first restaurant that we found. It did not look like much, and something was lost in translation. We ended up getting a whole chicken, some lamb, a big salat and some chips. Luckily we were hungry and we (almost) eat everything. After our feast of a meal we went looking for a taxi to take us to either Ohrid of the border. The first one we found said that he would be able to get us there for 4000 Lek (at first we thought he said 40000) - we agreed. Our driver could speak very little english, but he was a very jolly and laughing man. The ride was extremely scenic. We followed (more or less) the train tracks. It would have been great to take the train, but apparently it is very slow and unreliable. We drove in the valleys between several mountains. Besides the breathtaking beautify of the place, something else became apparent. 
You cannot go a kilometer in this country without passing  at least one, café, hotel, car washe, bar, or restaurant, or all of the things in one. And it seems that is universal here, that there is development everywhere, and there is new bigger roads being build everywhere. 
Saya and Jannie played in the backseat, reading books, sinning songs and had fun, until, all of a sudden, Saya just fell asleep. She slept more or less all the way to Ohrid. 

Our chauffeur could not drive us all the way to Ohrid, but he arranged another driver to get us to there, from right by the border. We changed Taxies in a parking lot outside the border, with a sleeping Saya. While we waited for the other taxi, I went to get some sparkling water from the nearby kiosk. Since there was no one there I l put the money on the counter. I went back and drank one by the cap. The attendant came up and asked for money, apparently he did not see that i had already out money on the counter ( a bit more than they costed). Poor guy, a big long haired bearded man went into his shop and took something (apparently without paying) - how do you handle that when you are a young small Albanian guy? He did not look very happy about the whole situation. 

After changing taxies we drove to Ohrid - a ride that took about 30 minutes. Upon arrival, after a little drive around, we found the place. We where greeted by our hosts who showed us the place, a two room apartment with a balcony. Really nice and cheap as well (200 kr per night - around 30 Euro). After that we went out to eat. This place is a lot more touristy then anything else we had seen before. But the view over the lake is amazing, a really beautiful place. After eating some salads, we went to a supermarket and did some shopping. We ended up with a lot of things. They have proper cheese here! And dark break and oatmeal as well! We have missed it so much. 

After shopping we went home to get Saya so sleep, she fell a sleep really late (due to her nap) and here I am, writing this, while a match is being blasted out really loud nearby (Macedonia is apparently in the match). I have to get to bed soon, i have to get up early go get some stuff for Jannies birthday, I will write it here, because I am pretty sure she will not read this ;) 

4 - 5 September 2013 - Shkodër

So first of all, this trip seems to be doomed with bad sleep. Once again, Saya woke a million times last night, and when she woke, we did too of course. It was all topped off with me having a coughing fit that last perhaps 1 hour in the middle of the night. Needless to say, we were all pretty tired this morning and Kristian was the first one to get out of bed this morning (as usual) at eight, I woke half an our later, but Saya didn't wake till 10! I am not sure that that has ever happened before!  She must have needed the sleep!
Since we were out of the room so late, breakfast at the hotel had come and gone and we had to find something to eat in town. We ended up combining breakfast and lunch and had a burger which made a pretty nice change to the Italian food we have been getting almost everywhere since we started this trip.
After our lunch we decided to take a taxi to the Rozafa fortress just outside of town. The taxi driver was hands down the worst driver we have been driving with so far - his driving was close to what you can call reckless!
My thoughts this moment are distracted by the minarets calling for prayer. Shkroder has quite a few mosques and at the moment I'm sat at the rooftop terrace above our room and they are all going off at the same time. I think that one of my favourite things in the world are the muslim prayers. There few more beautiful moments in this life, than to be sitting on a rooftop somewhere in the world on a warm summer's night, listening to this beautiful singing.
Anyway, back to what I was saying. We barely made it to the fortress alive and climbed the remaining 100 meters to the top on a steep slippery cobbled road. The fortress itself was a really big and beautiful fortress with great views over the whole of Shkroder and the river. We had arranged with our driver to pick us up after two hours and the visit included a guided tour in the museum that were inside the fortress. Saya did wonder many times throughout the time we were there, what the purpose of our visit was. I guess she had a hard time understanding why anyone would find it interesting to walk around some old piles of stones.
After 1.5 hours we were really thirsty and for the first on our trip we had forgotten to bring water, so we walked a bit down the mountain, to find a little cafe. The lady there turned out to have been living in Germany for 15 years and we could have a bit of a conversation with her using our very rusty German.
Our driver picked us up again (well he nearly took off without us with someone else in the car, before we managed to stop him.) and again we barely made it back to town alive. 
From there we decided to try and find the restaurant that we couldn't find yesterday  - Tradita G&T, so that we could go there to have dinner. We found it and had a little walk round and decided to once again let Saya have some playtime in the bar we were at yesterday.
The playground wasn't quite as interesting today as it was yesterday though, but nevertheless she enjoyed herself it seemed. 
After a couple of hours we went to have dinner and that tuned out to be the best food we have had so far! The restaurant which is also a hotel and something that resembles an ethnographic museum was very cosy. There were a lot of other backpackers and it seems that this might be the place to hang out when you are in Shkroder. We decided to put some trust in the waiter's recommendation of what to eat, despite of our dubious dinner last night. We didn't regret it! The food at the Tradita G&T is delicious and there were far too much of it! We started with some antipasti that consisted of pita bread, stuffed peppers, olives, grilled vegetables, some traditional food I don't know the name of and lots of other things. As a main we chose the traditionally cooked fish which was absolutely delicious as well. As so may times before we got food that could have fed 5 or 6 people and we are starting to wonder of it perhaps a traditional thing to bring in loads of loads of food. With the food we had a really nice white wine, that could have been home made. 
We ate till we could hardly move, but since it was getting a bit late and we have a long day of travelling tomorrow, we decided to make a move. We had also promised Saya that she could have a go at a carousel that we have passed several times during the last couple of days. She was excited to have a try, but when she was finally sat on it ready to start she lost her nerve and wanted to get off. We waited for a bit and then trued again, but the thing happened and she got so upset. To comfort her and to try and make her forget about the disappointment, we got her a little colouring book with stickers in for the trip tomorrow.. that did seem to help a bit!
Back home at the hotel we are once again shattered and ready to sleep. It's our last night in Albania and it's been great! I am really fond of this beautiful country where old meets new, where people are extremely hospitable, friendly, warm and welcoming and where everybody looks at your child with such an affectionate look that your heart melts. Albania is changing rapidly and I'm glad that we got to visit now, when so many traditional things are still here. I'm also really glad for the Albanians though, that the country is developing. There are many many poor people here and hopefully a growing tourism industry can help with that.  But like Dorian told us about the horse and the man that got killed on the motorway – change has to happen gradually so that everybody can keep up. I will definitely be back, but for now I am ready for Macedonia tomorrow – a country I have absolutely no idea of what is like. I am sure that I won’t be disappointed though since the whole of The Balkans have been one amazing experience so far!

3 - 4 September 2013 - Shkodër Dansk Version

Så - jeg skriver dette morgenen den 5, fordi vi kom hjem lidt sent i aftes og ikke brugte tid til at skrive på bloggen. Jeg tror nu alligevel ​det vil være en kort en alligevel.
I går nat fik mig og Saya en ganske god nats søvn , og det gjorde os godt. Desværre sov Jannie ikke så godt. Dette er et fint hotel, der er nok plads i værelset, men det bliver varmt hurtigt, og vi havde aircon på det meste af natten, og Jannie er ikke så god med lidt træk, og når der er lidt køligt. Vi stod op og fik morgenmad, der er identisk med alle de andre dem, vi har fået hidtil. Jeg savner havregrød til morgenmad. Der var en lille forskel, der var hjemmelavet marmelade til vores hvide brød.
Vi havde lovet Saya , vi skulle bruge lidt tid på legepladsen , og det gjorde vi . Vi gik hen til en stor en, vi havde fundet i nærheden af ​​hotellet - det var faktisk uden for et fem-stjernet hotel. Det er lige ved siden af ​​en udendørs cafe (hvis der er én ting Albanien har så er det udendørs cafeer) Der var masser plads og Saya kunne lege som hun havde lyst. Vi tilbragte nogle timer der, jeg forsøgte at finde ud om at tage til Lake Komani, noget vi har drømt om siden sidste år. Desværre ser det ud til, at vi er nødt til at afsætte hele dagen, hvis vi ønsker at se den, herunder mindst 3 timers kørsel. Vi besluttede at droppe det, da det ikke er fair mod Saya. Så måske næste år vil vi få en chance for at gå se det. Ved siden af ​​planlægning, læste jeg, mens Jannie leget med Saya.
Vi havde en kort pause, hvor vi fik nogle ting fra lejligheden, spiste frokost (sandwichs) og gik lidt rundt. Vi kunne se en masse små firben, meget til Sayas morskab og interesse. Derefter gik vi tilbage til legepladsen. Som vi havde for os selv, mere eller mindre, til sent på eftermiddagen. Saya elskede det, flere timer dedikeret bare til leg, og vi skiftedes til at leger med hende. Vi var der indtil hun sagde, hun kedede sig. Vi gik bare omkring i byen og kigget. Det er meget flot her, meget forskelligt til f.eks . Sarandë , da alt faktisk er i orden her, og det synes at virke. Efter at have gået omkring blev det aftensmadstid og vi ledte efter en specifik restaurant, vi ikke kunne finde, besluttede vi os til at på toppen af ​​en nærliggende højhus med udsigt over byen, hvor der var en restaurant.
Stedet var rart, lad os sige det. De forsøgte virkelig at gøre det eksklusivt, de forsøgte at få det til at ligne en fancy restaurant, og med delvist succes, det havde en generelt dyr restaurant udsende. Men nogle af det indvendige design få en til at spekulerer. For eksempel hvorfor alt det plastik? Hvorfor have et tv med sport og nyheder kører? Ret meget en moodbreaker . Ud over det havde vi en rigtig nervøs og virkelig rart tjeneren. Vi endte med at gå efter den helt store, de lavede en specialitet for os, havtaske, og vi fik den dyre vin(Pinot grigio) Noget kød og grøntsager til Saya. Første fik Saya hendes mad, som udløste en meget lang diskussion om mad, og specifikt gourmet mad. Grunden til det er, at de virkelig forsøgt at få maden til at ser fancy ud, og det mislykkedes. Jeg tror, ​​at Jannie og mig er enige, om betydning af god mad, og virkelig god mad er virkelig godt. Jeg har heldig at være på nogle dyre restauranter, og når det virker virker det. Men når du forsøger at være noget, du ikke er, og forsøge at over komplicere og overdrive din præsentation (ud over dine evner) er det lidt trist. Hvilket de forsøgte at med Sayas ret. Lang diskussion til side. Endelig fik vi vores ret - efter at have ventet i mere end en time, fiskene var god, ikke virkelig god, men god, jeg har aldrig spist havtaske før og tekstur af kødet var interessant. Der var tomater og kartofler til kødet, og det var godt. Hvis de bare har at give en smule citron og nogle sort peber ville have hjulpet denne skål og gjort det fantastisk. Vi har betalt for vores måltid - en kæmpestor 13000 lek (600 kr) mere end 3 gange mere end noget andet, vi havde her . Det er peanuts for os, men det var er bare ikke det beløb værd. God service og alting.

Det var virkelig sent, så vi fik Saya hjem i seng, og hun faldt i søvn noget lignende 9.30 og vi talte i ca. 30 minutter om at tage til Marrakech til nytår, og derefter var det sengetid (som blev endnu en urolig nat, men Jannie vil fortælle og det i aften ).

3 - 4 September 2013 - Shkodër

So - I am writting this the morning after (the 5th) because we came home a bit last night and did not spend the time to write the blog. I Think this will be a short one as well.

Last night, me and Saya seemed to have quite a good sleep and that did quite well with us. Unfortunately Jannie did not sleep as well. Its a nice hotel, there is enough space in the room, but it becomes hot fast and we had the aircon going the most of the night, and Jannie is not that good with a small draft and it being cold(er). We got up and got a breakfast, that is identical with all the other ones we have gotten so far. I miss my oatmeal for breakfast. There was a slight difference, there was homemade jam to our white bread. 
We had promised Saya that we were going to spend some time at the playground, and we did. We went to a big one we had found near the hotel - that actually was outside a five star hotel. It is right next to and outdoor cafe (if there is one thing Albania have, its outdoor cafes)There was plenty room and Saya could play as she liked. We spend some hours there, I tried to figure out about going to Lake Komani, something we have dreamed about since last year. Unfortunately it seems that we have to set aside the whole day if we want to see it, including at least 3 hours drive. We decided to drop it, since it is just not fair towards Saya to put her through this. So maybe next year we will get a chance to go see it. Beside the planning, I did some reading while Jannie played with Saya.

We had a short break where we got some stuff at the apartment, got lunch (sandwiches) and walked around a bit. We did see a lot of small lizards, much to Sayas amusement and interest. Then we went back to the playground. Which we had for ourselves more or less until late afternoon. Saya loved it, several hours dedicated just to play and we took turns playing with her. We stayed there until she said she was bored. We then strolled around the city and had a look. Its very nice here, a lot different then eg. Sarandë, since everything actually is in order here, and it seems to work. After walking around it became time for diner, and after looking for a restaurant we could not find, we decided to go to one on top of a nearby building with view over the city. 

The place was, nice, lets say that. They really tried to make it look exclusive, they tried to make it look like a fancy resturant, and they where partially successful, generally it had a expensive resturant fell. But some of the interior design makes you wonder. For instance why all the plastic? Why do you have a TV with sports and news running? Quite a moodbreaker. Besides that we had a really nervous and really nice waiter. We ended up going for the big one, they made a specialty for us, monkfish, and we got the expensive wine (Pinot grigio) And some meat and vegetables for Saya. First Saya got here food, which sparked a very long discussion about food, and gourmet food. The reason for that is that they really tried to make the food look fancy, and it kind of failed. I think that Jannie and me kind of agree, that it's important with good food, and really good food is really good to. I have the good fortune to have been at some really fancy restaurants, and when it works, it works. But when you try to be something you are not, and try to over complicate and overdo your presentation (beyond your abilities) it gets kind of sad. Which they tried to with Sayas dish. Long discussion aside. We finally got our main course - after waiting for more than an hour, the fish was good, not great, but good, i have never had monkfish before and the texture of the meat was interesting. There were tomatoes and potatoes to the meat, and it was good. If they had just added a bit of lemon and some ground black pepper it would have saved the dish and made it great. We paid for our meal - a whopping 13000 lek (600 kr) more than 3 times more then anything else we have had here. Its peanuts for us, but it is just not worth that amount. Nice service and everything. 

Well - it was really late, so we got Saya home to bed, and she fell asleep something like 9.30 and we talked for about 30 minutes about going to Marrakesh for the new years this year and then bed time (a very sleepless night, but Jannie will tell you that tale tonight).