After church we had dinner with the Ford's and then began the journey down to Vlore. It is not such a long journey, if you look at it on the map. But, when you see the roads you'll travel to get there, it takes about 3 hours. We were not just amazed-I think we were 'flabbergasted' if that is a word anywhere beyond my country home in Michigan! At times, it was a super highway, almost. Then, suddenly, it would all end-pavement gone, gigantic ruts and holes in the stoney roadway-it was downright dangerous! I thought of my Mother, and decided she would never survive a ride down that road from Durres to Vlore. Too bumpy-too rough. We were tired, and suffering from jet lag-we were grateful that President was driving and all we had to do was look out the windows in amazement at this strange new country called Albania. The sights were so new to us-we were trying to drink it all in. As quickly as one new scene would pass, another would come into view.
|A Curious Cow|
The highway is, for the most part, divided. There is a concrete barrier between the northbound and the southbound lanes. This is to keep accidents from happening, you would think. The people, however, have different ideas about these barriers. We have seen everything imaginable crossing over those barriers, including two men with a wheelbarrow! Along the roadway, there are flocks of sheep, goats, turkeys and many carts drawn by horses and donkeys. Life is old here-and young at the same time. More on that later.
|The view from our apartment|
|Our first view of the apartment|
We arrived in Vlore and were driven directly to the couples apartment. The Ford's took us to the door, introduced us, and then had to rush off to their next appointment. We were in the care of the Smith's, whom we were replacing, for the next 24 hours. They would introduce us to our new city, our new branch and our new life.