We drove back to Tirana and arrived around 1. The kids played and mom returned the car. When she got back, Sam and I went to the grocery store and stocked up on food. We watched the first half of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as a treat in the evening. The place was really nice; every possible extra was thought of, and it had obviously been updated recently. Very homey and pleasant.
Is that a goat head on a roomba as the gas station logo?
Driving into Tirana
After school in the morning, I took the kids out so that Sara could get some work done. We did a big loop, checking out a number of sights, including the Taiwan Youth Park, Skanderbeg Square, Et’hem Bej Mosque, the Tirana Clocktower, the Tirana Castle (some old walls surrounding a modern outdoor mall), and the Grand Park. Sara met us at the Grand park around 3pm; we got gelato on the way home BEFORE dinner.
Walking single file along the bike path
Aah, the goat head helmet is a national symbol…
Now that’s a square
Watching the concrete dry
Picnic at the park
The kids woke up and did their journals early. After breakfast, Sara and the kids headed back to the playground in the Grand Park for outdoor school interspersed with playing while I got some work done. I showed up around 11:15 and we had a snack / early lunch.
I stayed with the kids after that at the park till 2 while Sara went home to work. I would take one kid at a time to read with me while the others played. That works out pretty well, because the one with me always wants to join the other 2, who stay occupied. The threat is, “If you come over to me, I will make you read”, so they keep their distance.
We walked home around 2, had a really big snack at 3:30 and headed out to Bunk’Art 2, an old cold war bunker that had been recommended to us. According to our “friends”, it was converted into an art space. Instead we found a very intense cold war museum with graphic photos for the kids to ask about. It was a bit too much of a shock, and certainly too heavy of a topic to take on right before dinner and bed. We lasted about 20 minutes. Given the cost of entrance, that was about $1/minute. No matter; we barely made it home without kids falling apart for hunger and tiredness. Ate at Opa!, a fast food greek place right in front of our place. Not bad, but I can imagine it would start to get old quickly.
World map with latitude, longitude, and “Albania”
Sara went for an early run and the kids played. They did some school after breakfast while we packed. I went to go print off our bus tickets, and then Ben and I found a cafe to just sit and relax for a while. We caught a cab for the bus station, had a quick coffee next door, and boarded our bus for Ohrid, North Macedonia.
Ben and me out at a cafe
Ben holding up the map