Saranda, Sarande, Albania
I had a great stay at the Hairy Lemon. It was a little bit hard to find from the harbour (I had written directions but a map would have been very helpful- print off the one from their website!) but upon arrival I was greeted by friendly staff and shown to one of the few free dorm beds- reserve ahead! This is a small, personal hostel with, if I recall correctly, three dorm rooms off a central lounge and well-equipped kitchen. The location is fantastic- it happens to be just a block or two away from one of the city's cleanest beaches (beach chairs are free with the purchase of a dirt-cheap drink from one of the beachside bars, and there are two diving platforms so you can plunge into the cold, clean water) and it's only about ten or fifteen minutes walking from the main promenade. Every morning staff make a big batch of cinnamon-spiked pancake batter so you can make pancakes when you arise, and in the evening they often plan activities for guests. One night we all headed to the beach for a bonfire and barbecue dinner, followed by a dip in the sea. Staff were friendly and helpful, and I never had to queue for the bathroom. I wish I'd stayed longer!
My friend and I traveled to Saranda looking for a one-week relaxing getaway. The town, and this hostel were amazing. Annette is the irish woman who owns this apartment which she turned into a hostel. She is so kind and sweet. For breakfast you make your own crepe (don't worry, she makes the batter and will show you how its done). The hostel is very clean and in good shape. The views from it are amazing since it is about 200 meters from the sea and higher than most buildings in the neighbourhood. be sure to try her home-made Bailey's!
Unique Quality: Great views, clean, nice people, internet, Crepes & Bailey's!
More about Sarande
View from balcony with hotel's pool below
Looking southwards in 2009
Looking southwards in 2009
ne cfare ore nisen autobusa nga tirana drejt sarandes
Re: orari autobusave
Nuk di cfare ore nisen, por shikoni ne ky: http://www.turizmi.com/blog/mbi-shqiperine/transporti/ dhe http://www.inyourpocket.com/albania/tirana/arrival__transport/category/60678-.html
Nga Tirana, autobus drejt Saranda shkon mengjes i heret, ndoshta shtate osa tete ne mengjes. Furgon edhe drejt Saranda shkon nga Sheshi 21 Dhjetori.
Me vjen keq, por une nuk flas Shqip mire! :)
Travel Tips for Sarande
CHILDREN SELLING BARCELETS
When you get off the ferry from Corfu there are many children trying to sell you bracelets. These bracelets only cost 1 euro, which does not mean a lot to most of us on holiday, but it is a lot to the children. I bought a few of these bracelets and the children seemed to enjoy talking to us,
Although they seem to be all over you, they are friendly and desperate to earn some money.
The bay of Saranda in 1988
When I visited Saranda in 1988, one thing struck me. Enlarge the photo and you should understand. Saranda is and was a great sea-side resort and a harbor. If you know neighboring Greece with Kerkyra, Igoumenitsa, Parga and many other smaller ports, the difference should jump in your face. They are packed by boats of every kind and size while in 1988 in Saranda, there were a one cargo boat and three smaller size boats in the background, in the enclosed and controlled harbor.
I will not comment.
Apart from taking photos theres not much you can bring back from a trip to Sarande. My tip is to get a small amount of money changed up into the Albanian Leke when you first arrive. This can be done at the reception desk at the hotel. The Leke note will be an unusual souvenir in its own right !!
When you're posting a letter or a postcard home, you might find that if you don't have the exact change to pay for the stamps at the post office, you'll get your change in stamps. Could be a problem if you're _very_ short of cash, but if you're a stamp collector it's great!
Walking up a small track I noticed something move ahead of me. After looking closely I realised it was a wild tortoise , unfortunately before I could get my camera to my eye it scurried into the undergrowth. That memory has stuck with me eversince has I have only ever seen tortoises in zoo's or as pets.