Is it really summer? An awful weather here in April and May! I don't know impact in tourism but I think there was some.
Impact in the garden too with a late fruits harvest, a hard maintenance and a limited use of the garden, so the bar. Not so many aperitive boards sold for now :/ The solar panels did not have their best output either!
Talking about Mother Nature...
An unexpected event happened in this beggining of June: an earthquake. Yes, yes, one of them that shake walls and jingle tableware. The epicentre was located 17km ago from Korçë, intensity 5.3. There was some damages in the villages depending on houses initial state. At home, we note nothing with regret except one frame broken.
I experimented with the "frozen rabbit in car lights" state. Indeed, I heard as a truck passing nearby the house but that carry on and then amplify as we were next to a railway. Surprise and incomprehension rooted me to the spot.
It was a scary experience above all the next days withaftershocks. They are more or less strong and unpredictable. We never know when it will stop and during the night, I had the impress that there were few small movements. Well, it's like a little rocking motion. I had not avoided sleeping. On the contrary, a friend told me she spent the first night in her car, scary to stay in her appartment. What a confidence in their building...
Now I am well informed about what to do in case of earthquake. The last one was 6 years ago so let's hope that this experience will not reproduce soon!
Now, I have my little hosteler rythm. I walcome guests almost every day. A few bookings but many people come directly. The word of mouth works very well that makes me happy (and pretty proud). I have to be there all the time and this avoids moving a lot. But it's fine. I am busy here, between the maintenance of the house and the garden, there is stuff to do! And a few fittings here and there.
However, I keep on exploring to suggest plenty of activities: development of climbing, tracking hikings (with Wikiloc App for people who know it), wineyard in Korçë that we can visit with a wine taste (beer and wine in the same city, it's great!), and handcraft that set up in the old bazar. The city is changing quickly and becomes more and more touristic. It's nice to be part of this!
By the way, here is a short "promotional" movie I put on YouTube et Facebook: https://youtu.be/G_eC7SQHyZM
A few French friends visits also after family in April: Lucie the Albanian, Renaud and his motorbike from Sofia (delighted with the visit and the ride, thanks :)), Virginie and her family traveling in campevan for 3 months, Sarah the temporary nomad who was my roommate for 2 weeks.
Still lovely meetings also... Nice people attract nice people according to an universal law, established with the help of some raki...
For the second year, I organized the "Summer party" the 21st of June, with Albanian friends. It is also the Music fest in France and we celebrated well with musicians, singinig, dancing, with homemade dishes and French breverage. Thanks Sarah for helping! She helped so much that people thought she worked at the hostel!
As well, I started paper work for visa extension. This time, it must be for 2 years but I overpass the deadline so I apply again for 1 year. It is in progress but as the same time I registered on the "French abroad register". That's it, I'm a bit expat...
Eventually, I begin the high season peacefully because the first results are good and I am pretty well-proven now. But there was a huge decrease in June, general all over Albania. So, let's see in September the gobal result!
Looking forward, enjoy summer at home or traveling!
Well, yeah, spring is in the air, the sun rises again, buds are on the trees but, but... the rain is here too and the coldness. So, unlike last year, I could not do without heating. Supply of wood and use wood-burning stove!!
My first moments were cold: it's invigorating!
Then, in three weeks, I could observe the season change, even it's still cold now.
However, I could warm myself organizing the hostel:
- big cleaning, tidying up, weeding, planting, etc
- a few fixings: the hot water tank (remove calculus, change the thermostat and resistance -> we find everything in kit form here, it's great!), water saving nozzles, shower heads which didn't like freeze
- to supply my local products stockand to show them proprely, I hope
- and some new fittings, works: a tender for my many laundries and small "archs" in the garden to be protected of the sun, put a limit in the bathroom for the shower (seems nothing but changes everything), curtain rods and a brand-new mattress in the studio, a sheld at the reception, decoration especially in the big room (I recycle, do new with old!).
No sooner open again than family and friends arrived. Guests too: a busy start!
Finishing some other fittings between all this and take my mark again as hosteler: I haven't seen April!
Because, hosteler can be, in the same day: chimney sweep, plumber, gardener, wood cutter, removal woman, cleaner, cooker, touristic guide, decorator...
And, also, business woman with my first balance account "made in Albania", for the last season. Some administrative tasks which take time, to do them all right.
So, I'm not getting bored. I'm still meeting nice people, especially during this starting season because there are people who take their time, sometimes atypical profils, more than tourists in a rush (but, well, are there stressfull people in Albania ??).
You will find a few pictures on my Facebook page, at this link:
Anyway, I look forward to enjoying the garden, picking up fruits which are growing now and keeping the small bar running during nice evening parties.
I will tell you this in a next message, during summer... Since there, be well and happy!
I'm back in Korçë for this second season!
I enjoyed this winter in France, working on several communication stuff (logos, menus, activities sheets, etc). I insist more on the ecological and B&B aspect of the hostel and not a party hostel. I also developed more explanations about the concept applied on hostel (mattresses and linens in a natural material, home-made washing products...).
A huge work on the website since Christmas, as I said, to improve it, especially the booking page and to add Italian language (thanks Nico).
- shared calendar to check avaibility of the rooms / who is here and when, and a bookink form (http://agimit.com/index.php/en/contact-or-book)
- "maps" page more developed (I did a few hiking maps, http://agimit.com/index.php/fr/cartes-albanie-et-korca)
- pages "nature" and "culture" added
- GoogleMaps integrated for location
- video integrated
- widjets added (small interactive Tripadvisor logos ) and links to social networks
- a "guest" page to sumarize all the infos for visitors coming to my home (http://agimit.com/index.php/en/guest-page-eng)
And I added a "blog" side with my former travels with the last one, around Christmas, in Prague. (but it's in French ;) )
I hope all this will be practical and useful. The website begins to be correctly ranked in search engine, I'm happy.
This winter was also for me a curse semester, as a teacher and a student: one master degree (Travel industry) very enriching, in ESH (Ecole Supérieure Hôtellière) in Tourcoing, and my last year as a teacher in ESIEE, an engineering school in Amiens.
A little bit schizophrenical sometimes but I'm very glad I shared a few months with an interesting and smart groups of students.
End of the professional turnover. 100% tourism now!
End of this nomad winter in Hauts-de-France, between Doullens, Amiens and Lille, between family house, van, friends, dorms... By the way, I warmly thank all my hosts. I was glad to see you again friends of Lille. It was intense and unique. The next trips there will be quicker.
Let's do concrete stuff! Gardening, cleaning, etc!
Let's go ahead for the new season! Some pictures coming soon and I will tell you my busy arrival...
PS: some information about cheap flights, you can land in Corfou then join Saranda by ferry and visit South until Korçë...
PS2: My postal cards wall is growing for my big pleasure. A little dedicace to my Master collegues ;)
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