Well it has been one week since we moved to Vlora and we have enjoyed our first week/weekend here. We spent most of the week taking care of apartment things-we had to get a new fridge installed, the dishwasher set up, the shower clog fixed, set up the internet, get the gas stove working, and sign the rental agreement. Dan worked Monday to Friday in Fier and Gorisht. Ilia, a reliable and good driver who speaks English, picks him up for work every morning at 6:30. During the week, I got our things settled in the apartment, went for a run on the beach, and joined a ladies walking group.
On Saturday, we went to our first European football match. The superliga team here in Vlora is called the Flamurtari(which we think sounds very close to the Flames). A couple of guys Dan works with invited us to the game. We arrived, in the pouring rain, and took our covered seats. The Flamurtari is the best team in the league and they were playing Elbasani, one of the worst. It was a very good game, with some great goals by the Flamurtari’s. Final score 8 – nil. The opposing goalie was getting visibly frustrated and near the end of the game there was some pushing and shoving on the field. The fans were very passionate – yelling and signing chants. It was a very interesting experience for me. Did I mention that I was the only female? I guess most of the women here do not typically go to the sporting events! There were a couple of girls in the VIP section from the basketball team but none in our section. No hot dogs and beer for Dan but they were selling paper funnels of sunflower seeds in the stands.
On Saturday night, Dan decided to try his hand at some Albanian traditional cooking. Our first dish was Tavë Kosi, which basically means Baked Lamb with Yogurt. Dan bought the lamb from the local butcher across the street. The meat was tougher than what we are used to. I guess they do not age their meat like we do. We hope to try a new recipe every week and let you know! We will also post the recipes in case you want to give it a try.
Sunday we were supposed to hang out with Ilia, a co-worker of Dan’s, and his family for the day. However, we awoke to heavy rain so we deferred our trip for another weekend. It rained all day so we didn’t get up to much. We ventured out for lunch to a nearby restaurant/hotel. We ordered some verë kuqe(red wine), perime zgare(a roasted vegetable salad dish), and supë peshke(fish soup). Our waiter asked if we wanted Levrek(sea bass) or Kuce(sea bream) so we ordered one of each. However, upon arrival we realized our waiter didn’t hear the “supë” part and we ended up with a whole fish each! Fine by us, it was delicious.