Tirana to Vlorë

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - 20:00

After a busy day yesterday with a 4 hour drive, a border crossing, and a 2 hour walking tour, we thankfully had a much slower day today. I started the day by getting up relatively early to take a run around Tirana before it got too hot. Running is a great way to see a new city and this was no exception, with the run taking me down the main boulevard from Skanderbeg Square where we were staying, past many communist-era buildings, and then around the artificial lake in the large Grand Park of Tirana, set on a hillside. It was already 26 degrees at 8am and with large parts of the route around the lake being in direct sunlight, it was fairly tough!

Once recovered and checked out, we set off for the city of Vlorë (an e with two dots is pronounced like an 'a' in Albanian), about two hours south along the Adriatic coastline from Tirana. The drive was unexpectedly mostly on a shiny new motorway, which made it rather uneventful with cruise on most of the time, though a very welcome change after 4 hours of stop-start single carriage driving yesterday. When we got to Vlorë we had a drive through the city centre and along the main promenade which looks very recently redeveloped, with a lovely wide open beach area, huge numbers of deck chairs and umbrellas, cycle and running paths, restaurants, and many hotels - basically everything you would want from a resort city on the Adriatic Coast. It really gave the sense that Albania is going to be the next Croatia once the tour companies and airlines catch on.

Rather than stay right in the heart of Vlorë we found a lovely apartment about 15km south of the city on the coast road near a beach called Baro Beach. The area is very much a tourist zone, but a bit quieter so we could easily find a deck chair and umbrella in the late afternoon, and play with Summer on the beach without her getting too distracted. It was lovely to relax and there isn't much else to report from today other than a beautiful sunset dinner just outside our apartment. Photos below taken from our balcony.

Aside: still loving how cheap things are in Albania. Dinner with steak and wine for two was £19 this evening.

Dog Notes: 

Today is Summer's 2nd birthday! Happy birthday Summer!!!

Electric Vehicle EV Notes: 

Had a bit of a slip up with the EV charging today. First thing I learnt is that our car maxes out at 11KW when charging AC. Not sure why BMW didn't fit it with a 22KW AC charger when it can do up to 150KW DC. But what this means is all the AC chargers ahead of us (and it is pretty much all AC now to Azerbaijan) will take twice as long to charge at as anticipated. Not the end of the world, but means we'll need to consider longer stops when charging on the road. I learnt this because we charged at an e-mobility charger today at a service station which was clearly marked 22KW, but we only got 11KW out of it, so I double checked the car specs. Since the charger was billed by hour of usage rather than KW, so we ended up paying the same price per minute as a person getting 22KW of benefit would pay. At £3.50 per hour this was actually rather expensive electricity, approximately 37p/KW, similar to motorway services in Western Europe. What hurt more was when I remembered Procredit also have a charger in Vlore and it is completely free!
- E-mobility charger at Fjortes Gas Station, northbound side of motorway, near Aliban north of Vlore. Billed at 500Lek/hour or part thereof, so we paid 900 Lek for 110 minutes.

Miles Driven: 
Seaview Apartments near Baro Beach


Gripping adventures in strange places

That’s surprising re your car charger - time to upgrade! The country clearly has a lot of potential.

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