Wednesday, 23 October 2013

We've been away...

I missed a post last week, sorry to anyone who noticed! It was because we were here
On holiday for 2 weeks in Vlore Albania. I didn't want to tell the internet at large that we were going to be away for 2 weeks, especially after putting so many photos of our home on here so I tried to have a backlog of posts scheduled to go up over the holiday but didn't quite make it for all of them. 
The holiday was a great opportunity to unwind, as we were self catering in an apartment with a few restaurants nearby and the beach but not much else! We spent the 2 weeks relaxing, eating, reading, sunbathing and swimming in the sea, I'm not usually too keen on swimming out of my depth in the sea as I'm not the strongest swimmer how could we resist when it looks like this?
Albania was an unknown to us as we had never been before and knew nobody who had but it was a pleasant surprise. The weather was better than we expected this time of year, although not many people spoke English we got by (although we found Albanian hard to learn more than the real basics, but we found a lot more spoke Italian than English if I'd have known I'd have learnt some!), we did stand out in a way as I didn't see any other tourists the whole time we were there but everyone we met was friendly.
As this is a home blog the apartment is what I wanted to focus was pretty! As I said back in this post it was featured in an Ikea catalogue a while back, and literally everything is from Ikea. From the towels and plates to the appliances and kitchen! So here's a quick tour of the apartment, it was a 2 bedroom in a modern building, in a very quiet area. I think only a few other people actually lived nearby a lot of the apartments were vacant (possibly unused holiday lets as we were out of season)
Living area, with sky Italia which (once we figured out how to change films and programs back to their original language) was handy as the nights were chilly so if we weren't at one of the 3 local restaurants we got loads of snacks in and watched films. The sofa had the pouffe in front of the coffee table at first but we dragged it over to make a big bed/sofa we could sprawl out on!
Dining, love the light and the table the glass really helps to not obstruct the window too much.
Kitchen, nice and had a dishwasher and washing machine but no freezer, kettle, toaster or microwave so not what I'd call fully equipped but we got by!
Bathroom, very red! Not my favourite colour but it was pretty funky. The bath was lovely and deep and the glass tiles around the top let in a bit of natural night.

Bedroom 1, we slept in here 2 nights and it looks lovely but that bed creaked and wobbled all the time and wasn't overly comfortable.

We decamped to here after, as it was more comfortable (well less wobbly the mattresses were both thin Ikea ones which my back did not like!) and as it was at the back there was a bit less noise in the mornings. We kept the other room as our dressing room!

The balcony, just gorgeous!

And the view, the main attraction! We got some nice days and also some pretty cool storms and sunsets. Waking up and sitting looking out here having a cup of tea in the morning was really the highlight.

There were unfinished buildings on all sides however Albania seems to be a country under construction so they are literally everywhere. Only a few days the noise from the one over the road got to me as they were just drilling all day long. This photos sums it up for me really, beautiful view, big half built concrete tower block which we saw no work being done on while we were there.
All in all we'd go back to Albania, they are still building up their tourist trade so it's not quite 100% there yet (although bonus to this it's quiet and everything was so cheap we brought spending money back which is a first!) but they've had difficult times more recently than I realised. So it depends what you're looking for, maybe not an action packed holiday (although we were out of season and hear there are more activities, trips, places open etc in the summer) but for a nice relaxing holiday just taking in the sights it was just what we were looking for!

You can find the apartment we stayed at here if you're interested in going!

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