Moving on from Albania

Shkoder, Albania

Mirsie and I have been resting in Albania over the last two months. Her family have a flat in Shkoder which we’ve appreciated using during the colder, rainy months during winter. It’s been great spending time with her older brother and his extended family, all of whom have been exceptionally kind and generous. At the end of December it was time to get back in the van and move on. First to Berat, then on to mark the new year in Gjirokaster.

Berat Castle

One of the reasons for our stay was to explore this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Albania. The second was to visit the dentist. This was my second appointment to see Dr Ervis and I highly recommend him.  His practice is highly advanced with the latest equipment. Ervis is a highly experienced dentist, one of the most popular in Berat.  And he speaks English! Previously I had a clean and a check up. This time I had some cosmetic treatment done to straighten my teeth. Excellent service and I’ll drop by in the spring for a check up.

After marking the new year in Gjirokastër we visited Dropull, a small village near the Greek border. Mirsie’s mother spent several years of her childhood here. We then crossed over in Greece. All our border crossings have been smooth, quick and uneventful and this was no exception.

The last week has been spent slowly travelling down the western coastline of Greece. The temperatures have been warm – 18C to 22C, the skies cloudless and the sunsets stunning. When you are showering and toileting outside you appreciate the sun!

Epirus, Greece




Exploring the Tre Cime di Lavaredo mountains

After a couple of days rest following the Dolomyths races, we drove a couple of hours towards the Tre Cime di Lavaredo mountains, part of the the Sexten Dolomites in northeastern Italy. We found a great spot by Lake Antorno and joined lots of other camper vans and motorhomes.

Mirsie did a 30k loop around Tre Cime and the following day we hiked up Monte Piano to visit the Open Air Museum which marks the battles fought between Austria and Italy during 1915-1917. In this remove place there remain many of the trenches, tunnels and encampments created by Italian soldiers.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo mountains
Monte Piano trail – a monument to a climber killed on the mountain
Monte Piano trail – a popular place for paragliders
A trench at the Open Air Museum, Monte Piano


Moving on… from Chamonix to Lake Garda, northern Italy

Time to say goodbye to our TMB pals and head to Lake Garda for a couple of days rest. We went via the Mont Blanc tunnel – an 11k route under the Alps which links France to Italy, saving us 60 miles of driving. Arriving at the southern most point of the Lake, Mirsie and I parked up in a small campsite right on the shore and rested up. Next stop: Corvara (Badia) in the Dolomites where we’ll take part in the Dolomyths mountain race.