A year in the French alps

It’s been a busy year living in the French Alps…

When the builders completed the transformation of the shell of our 1850s Savoyard barn in August we spent a fun, exhausting and fascinating five months completing the renovation ourselves. From fitting floors to building furniture.
here is how we renovated a tumble down barn to boutique ski chaletbarn to boutique chalet

Finishing just in time for winter season we had a busy year; enjoying time with friends old and new to enjoy winter season in the French Alps. Getting just a little better at snowboarding, learning to ski again.
Here’s our winter season captured in pictureswinter season Portes du soleil

We were also busy during this first year living in the French Alps managing our holiday rental business in the UK and building up to the sale of the business in May and June.

We think we amused and inspired the team at Travel Chapter (the new owners of the Sheepskin brand and UK holiday property collection) in equal measure by choosing to camp in our VW camper van throughout the six week sales completion process.
Just for fun here’s our business sale ‘adventure’ in picturesIMG_4539

Business sale complete, at the end of June we were off on the road with Adam’s parents this time for two weeks sharing some of our favourite places with them on a camper van trip as part celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary.
A day in Provence, ten days in Italy and back to the French Alps….ten day motorhome holiday Italy Pastum

In July, back to home in Montriond in time for the bikers to arrive in force. 10,000 Harley riders, two BMW riders (us!) and one Triumph rider (my dad!). We made the most of the Harley Days Festival with two ride outs on Harleys, a night at the Blues Brothers concert and a quiet evening BBQ at Lac du Montriond.
All in all a great Harley Days Morzine 2017Harley Days experience tour

In August the mediterranean sea and sunshine were calling us but so were the peaks around our home in the French Alps so in August we completed our quest of walking the four peaks that we can see and that inspire the artwork in our home; Roc D’Enfer, Nyon, Ressachaux and Nantau and a few other wonderful alpine walks with friends too.
Walking in portes du soleil.walking portes du soleil

So that is the whistle stop summary of our year in the french alps, from August to August.

Of course we didn’t sit still in September,  we’re still busy and I’m busy writing so stay tuned….

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Harley Days Morzine

The annual Harley Days came to Morzine 14-17th July.  Apparently 10,000 Harley motorbikes and 30,000 visitors were in Morzine over the weekend, I can only say there were a LOT of Harley motorbikes and a LOT of Harley riders.

I can confirm there were two BMW HP2 riders (me and Adam) Harley Days Morzine 2017 Avoriaz

and one Triumph rider in town too, my Dad, who is already planning how to get his Triumph Thunderbird down to Morzine for Harley Days 2018.Harley Days parade Col du Joux Plane

Harley generously organised one hour experience tours on any of the Harley bikes.  The three of us thought this was an experienced not to be missed; riding a Harley and riding with my dad!  Harley Days experience tour

Here we are having a breather (me with my helmet off and my dad in the BMW jacket) after riding the windy road up from Morzine to Avoriaz.Harley Days Morzine riding

On the day of the Harley parade Adam and I rode up to Avoriaz to join the thousands of bikers there and there were still thousands in Morzine too!Harley Days parade Avoriaz

On Saturday we had lunch at Col du Joux Verte restaurant (always a great plat du jour there) and a perfect spectator spot for the Harley Days parade too which set off from Avoriaz and wound down to Morzine town centre.Harley Days Morzine parade

On Sunday we wound down from the Harley Days festival with a strangely peaceful BBQ at Lac du Montriond.  With so many people in the area we were amazed we were the only people at the lake on such a beautiful evening.Lac du montriond picnic

After the excitement of the Harley Days festival we had the motorbiking bug again and had some great ride outs through over the Col du Joux Plane motorbiking french alps

trying to focus on the winding mountain roads ahead and not the amazing views.Motorbike riding french alps

The start of some great riding over the rest of the summer.  We’re already looking forward to next spring for more riding and the Harley Days festival next year.

 

 

Motorhome holiday in Italy…

A motorhome holiday in Italy was Adam’s parents holiday they would most like to experience as part of their 60th wedding anniversary celebrations.  We have visited Italy many times in our VW camper van so relished the idea of returning and sharing some of our favourite places in Italy with them.

So off we went with a vague plan for a motorhome holiday in Italy.

After picking up the motorhome (from Hertz in Lyon) and filling it with all of our plates, bedding, provisions and our two man tent for us to sleep in we set off south for a day in Provence.

A wander into the nearest town to search for local wine and a morning coffee brought us to a beautiful tranquil squareA day in provence peacefuland made us linger a little longer than planned as the beautiful light, colours and stylish, Provence locals distracted and intrigued our group of people watchers. A day in provence styleWine rack stocked with Provence Rosé next stop Italy.

We drove via Piemonte and one of favourite places for motorhome stops in Italy, a basic campsite in an olive grove just outside of the lovely hill town of Olivetta San Michele (which has a fabulous food shop with home made savoury pastries!)motorhome holiday italy piemonte

Finally the motorhome holiday in Italy started fully.  Along the coast though and into Tuscany for a few days of amazing home-made pasta and of course some lovely Chianti wines.motorhome holiday in italy pasta

During our stay in Chianti, on a walk to the local town of Marcialla we found a fantastic delicatessen selling wines produced on the surrounding hills.  You could buy the wine to take home or, for the same price, chilled to enjoy on their terrace with a view.  We couldn’t resist!motorhome holiday italy chianti

On this motorhome holiday in Italy, as always, we had so many amazing food experiences, too many to mention here.  One in particular was in Umbria; a wonderful foodie find with the local food shop in Civatella del Lago.foodie motorhome holiday Italy

During our ten days in Italy we managed to get as far south as one of our favourite places, Paestum, and treated Adam’s parents to Mozzeralla direct from the buffala farm and a beer by the Greek ruinsten day motorhome holiday Italy Pastum

We were half way through holiday time and so time to head north and towards home.

Herculaneum was far too busy and hot for us to wander around this time unfortunately but it was fascinating to stay above and see the ancient and modern cities together.Motorhome holiday Italy Herculaneum

Stopping at Solfatara campsite just outside of Naples was a steamy and smelly as alwaysitaly motorhome holiday Solfatara

and a little more challenging getting in to and out of the campsite in our motorhome versus our VW campervanIMG_4606

One final stop in Italy, parking the motorhome down a tiny street in Courmayeur and finding a great local restaurant (one we hadn’t found on any of our ski trips in winter), a great find with amazing views.IMG_2157

Ten days was not really enough in Italy in the motorhome but we managed to share some of our favourite places and find a few new ones that we will be sure to revisit on our next motorhome holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure of selling a business

Having negotiated the sale of our holiday property business that we launched together and ran for seven years we approached the emotional and fraught time when contracts would be exchanged, the point of no return.  At this stage too we would be able to tell our team the news that the sale of our business meant that we would no longer be involved but their jobs were secure as they become part of a larger organisation.

Knowing this would be a complicated time for us, our team and our buyers we wanted to be there ‘on the ground’ during the sales completion process.

In May we therefore did what most people would do, well ok maybe not many people but some people at least, which is set of our in self-converted VW camper van with the plan to camp in the UK wherever we needed to for as long as we needed to.

First the most surprising and potentially embarrassing thing happened.  Do I even want to put it in writing? …we joined the Caravan club!  To much amusement of my caravan owning family and now fellow club members.  It was my northern roots taking hold when I found we would save our membership fee after staying just three nights,  I couldn’t resist the bargain.

The first week did not go as we hoped.   Our plan was to exchange contracts on the day we arrived in the UK and be able to tell the team immediately.  Unfortunately after we had set up camp in Moreton-in-Marsh campsite, close to the office so that we could go talk to the team the following day, we found there was more data and more double checking to be done by the buyers.

At this stage we had to maintain full confidentiality and therefore work away from our team.   So we connected to the painfully slow campsite wifi and pulled together business data and checked the sales contract sitting in a field in the Cotswolds…IMG_4536

We were deflated and emotionally exhausted knowing we had to be completely professional and detached but it felt alien and deceitful not able to tell our team.

We were pulled in two directions working with our enthusiastic team on creative ideas to continue to grow the business and the harsh reality that actually all we really needed to do was maintain the ‘numbers’.

I admit sometimes I just gave up and abandoned my desk for a comfier spot on the grass to put things in a different perspective…IMG_4556and the environment was a little distracting and not perhaps encouraging of the strictest work ethic…IMG_2092
Finally ready for exchange, we were asked to print and sign the 40 page contract.

We were stumped for a moment but then set off to the nearest shopping centre, bought a printer-scanner and signed, scanned and emailed the contract from the office/van in the car park.IMG_2089

Finally we could involve the team and work each day, openly, in the office as we prepared for the completion of the sale.  We were first in the shower blocks each morning and possibly looked a little out of place in office wear rather than shorts and t-shirts as the rest of the campers.

We always made sure we had lots of coffee and a hearty breakfast to set us up for the challenges of the day ahead and continued to grow the business as well as crunch the numbers.IMG_4544

It was an exhausting time so when we needed a break we escaped the ‘board room’ for some fresh air and relaxation…IMG_4538IMG_4537

On a couple of weekends, admittedly feeling a little fenced in by our little field we escaped to Birmingham for some much needed curry and concrete.IMG_4549

During the week, back to the Moreton-in-Marsh field to be close to the team, dressing in our van for the office each day.  Many evenings, drained, we arrived back after most of our campsite neighbours had retired in doors but still with the long summer evenings still had time to relax and enjoy some wonderful evening walks.IMG_4562

and stunning early summer sunsets.IMG_4560

We camped until all was complete in mid June and after a celebration with the new owners of our business in Bideford, we set off home.

One last stop in the camper van, at an aire on the French motorway.  We know how to live the life!IMG_2093

We were both very quiet, processing all that we had  learned and experiences not just over the past seven weeks but seven years.  I felt so proud of what we had accomplished but felt empty too as our involvement with Sheepskin slowly disappeared into sunset…IMG_2096

On the drive south we found we were both feeling the same and agreed we should force ourselves to celebrate, take time to reflect and recognise all we and our team had achieved.  So picked up some Champagne on our way through Champagne and did just that when we got home.IMG_4572After our reflections we agreed; if we were to ever do the same again, we would do the same again!SaveSave

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Walking in Portes du Soleil

As soon as the snow disappears, normally early May, we are out walking in Portes du Soleil.  Walking in Portes du Soleil mountains from Morzine and Montriond has easy access and is very rewarding with amazing views across Haute Savoie region from many of the peaks.Morzine portesdusoleil summer hikingIn spring and summer the valleys and peaks are transformed by nature.  Verdant and welcoming from the valley floor to the rocky peaks where miraculously mountain flowers appear everywhereSpring mountain flowersand crocuses force their way through the fading patches of snow.sheepskinalps-walking-holiday1.jpgDuring May and June, the wonderfully peaceful ‘inter-season’ Adam and I enjoy a variety of walks from our home in Portes du Soleil.  Some walking out to conquer particular peaks and others simply a nice circuit along the rolling hills of the lower slopes.

Everywhere is well sign posted so, as long as you have an idea of where you want to head to, it’s easy to walk in Portes du Soleil without a map.sheepskinalps-walking-portesduesoleil14.jpgWe have now completed/conquered the four main peaks that dominate the skyline from Morzine & Montriond; Pointe de Nantaux, Ressachaux, Pointe de Nyon and Roc D’Enfer.

Pointe de Nantaux was particularly daunting and rewarding at the same time and took us two attempts to conquer since the first time the summit was still very much covered with snow but in August 2017 we made it to the top with our friend David.Nantaux-summit-Haute-savoieThe sign at the bottom ‘KMV’ (kilometre vertical) gives it away that this is not the easiest of walks and this is by no means the roughest or steepest part.
KMV-walking-portesduesoleil1
In short the KMV is 1000m of ascent in 2000m of distance covered and then you have another 200m or so of climb and around 500m distance to reach the summit.

The arrow shows the top of the KMV (where I took the photo below), you may just make out the path directly below and the summit you see to the right is not the true summit….Nantau-Montriond-portes-du-soleil

IMG_4775The peace and tranquility, that we had all to ourselves (even on a bank holiday), at the summit was spellbinding.walking-in-portes-du-soleil-nantaux-summitNantaux-summit-montriondWalking the descent was harder on the legs though easier on the lungs and the scenery, with views across Portes du Soleil, absolutely breathtaking.  Oh to be the shepherd who gets to stay here!Sheepskinalps-walking-portesduesoleil5Everywhere reminders of the power of nature.amazing-nature-walking-portesduesoleil

Pointe de Ressachaux is another must conquer peak when walking in Portes du Soleil. We set off reasonably early suspecting it was a 5-6 hour walk to the summit and back.   It was Sunday so, after several cups of coffee, 10.30am wasn’t a bad achievement!Sheepskinalps-walking-portesduesoleil2As we huffed and puffed up and up through the forest we were embarrassed and just a little demotivated to be cheerily greeted by a group of pot-bellied, grey haired ‘ramblers’ striding down towards us at 11.30am.

In my halting French I asked were they returning from the summit already? ‘Bien sûr! Bonne Montée!’ they replied as they disappeared down through the forest.

A few corners later some very kind, and fit, person had made a welcome bench from a fallen tree…Sheepskinalps-walking-portesduesoleil11We envied the French group, probably enjoying a menu du jour very soon but the tasty cheese baguettes in our rucksacks for lunch at the summit spurred us on. and hat a picnic spot it is.Morzine walking amazing viewshiking morzine portesdusoleil area

Pointe de Nyon, our favourite peak in winter for easy to reach, fun, off-piste on powder days and actually a deceivingly difficult walk in summer.
Morzine spring summer walk bike resortWe have walked from our home in Montriond, through town and up to the plateau du Nyon via the Cascade de Nyon which makes it about 5 hours to the top and back.IMG_4663On a clear day, as our next walk to the summit of Nyon, you can clearly see Mont Blanc from here…IMG_4659To make it shorter we’ve driven up to the plateau and walked from there which makes it a little more relaxing and leaves time for lunch at Chez Nannon.

You can even get the chair lift to just below the summit so that you can reach the amazing viewswalking-ported-du-soleil-Nyon

Roc D’Enfer lives up to its name Rock of Hell.

We walked from home which made the total circuit about 30km and around 7 hours. On the way to the base of Roc D’Enfer you have spectacular views, even Mont Blanc in the distance.walking Portes du soleil Mont Blanc viewWhen you pass the sign that basically says ‘ this way if you’re sensible and want an easy walk back to Les Gets or this way Danger of death’ you know you will have to keep your wits about you.

A steep, scramble over rocks takes you up to a narrow path along the long ridge which follows the crest where sometime it can be quite tricky to see where the path is.walking portes du soleil Roc D'EnferFor several kilometres the narrow path picks it way up and down the ridgesRoc D'Enfer walking portes du soleiluntil finally emerging into a mountain meadow and the long track back to Col D’Encrenaz and home with Roc D’Enfer looming large behind you.walking portes du soleil mountain meadow

Walking in Portes du Soleil is not all about ‘up’, high peaks and tough climbs.

We’ve had great days wandering in the valley and found virtually flat walks with friends and family by the river and around Morzine town using the suspension foot-bridge to avoid ups and downs.Morzine  - 6th July 2016The advantage of staying close to town is that there are always plenty of places for refreshments in the sunshine…IMG_3686and if you do fancy exploring and walking a little higher in Portes du Soleil you can always take the lift up.Sheepskinalps-walking-portesduesoleil15

My favourite, relaxing rather than challenging, walking in Portes du Soleil has got to be around Lac du Montriond.  A flat walk with spectacular views in every direction and a bar at either end!

Sheepskinalps-walking-portesduesoleil16

Similarly Lac du Mines D’Or is a short drive, up, along Vallee de la Manche and rewards you with amazing views, a short walk and the Chalet Freterolle just a little further up for a spot of local lunch…

walking-portes-du-soleil-lac-mines-d'or

Gower holiday, close to nature

Memorable Gower holiday close to nature

Our recent Gower holiday was made all the more memorable with our days spent close to nature.

Before the hours of daylight got too short and the days a little too chilly to sit for hours, by the crashing waves, watching the end of a fishing rod we planned a short holiday for a few days of fishing on the Gower peninsula.

We started each day of adventure and exploration before the sun rose above the horizon and meandered back late each evening.  Every day memorable in its own way and each with new discoveries about Gower.

We had fished off breathtaking Rhossili Bay beach before and know you can reach the small headland at Burry Holms and some great, quiet fishing spots but only at low tide. High tide was 7.30am that day so to get over to the headland and back safely before then meant an early start…Peaceful Rhossili bay beach to Worms Head Gower

The 5am alarm was certainly a memorable part of our holiday; jolting us out of a deep sleep in this peaceful place on Gower.  We thought about snoozing but knew that getting up in time to see the sunrise over Rhossili Bay would be more memorable than a lazy morning.

We were far from disappointed; even stepping out of the cottage in the lane, where few street lights pollute the sky, the stars were bright in the still black and clear sky.

After a walk through the dunes in the twilight we were rewarded with a truly beautiful and memorable sunrise over the Gower coast and along deserted Rhossili Bay.Stars at sunrise Rhossili beach Burry Holms Gower

As we sat, mesmerised, on the rocky outcrop at Burry Holms we both gasped as we spotted an otter peak out from the rocks below then sprint across the sand.  The returning tide was just starting to wash our foot prints away on the beach where the otter dived into the waves lapping on the sand.  We were both so excited to be so close to nature and to share such a memorable experience.Fishing at sunrise Rhossili Gower

Finally with bait in the water we were joined by other natives and were close to nature again when a couple of seals popped their heads above the waves just in front of us.  The seals were certainly more interested in our fishing rods and bait than any fish and for the next few hours followed us to each new fishing mark.

The morning was one of the most beautiful and memorable on our Gower holiday even despite the lack of fish.

We explored the paths to Worms Head in the afternoon.  A crisp clear day meant the view from the coast walk of Rhossili Bay beach towards Burry Holms was spectacular and certainly will be memorable.Beautiful deserted Rhossili Bay Beach Gower

Another twilight walk along the long winding path from Rhossili village to the National coast watch hut, looking out to the causeway to Worms Head, we explored the various beautiful bays along this stunning part of the Gower coast.Walking Gower coast path

Each day different paths, different rocky outcrops, different vistas, always a wonderful sunrise.  Each day also the same attention from the seals which equally amused and frustrated but made each day unique and overall a very memorable holiday on The Gower peninsula.Gower seals enjoy fishing

We gave up fishing and instead enjoyed a few pints of locally brewed Gower Gold ale, delicious and dangerously quaffable.  In the pub we got a few handy tips for fishing spots and bait from the locals that Adam put in his memory banks for next time.

Yet again Gower amazed us; a small corner of Wales where the stunning coastline helped us to experience a very memorable Gower holiday and enjoy, as we always do, being close to nature.Memorable Gower holiday close to nature Gower seals

 

 

Driving across the border into Albania as independent travellers in your own, British, car

Driving across the border into Albania as independent travellers in your own, British, car was something we had been told was not possible.  Based on people’s concerned comments about our driving in Albania and on our fruitless searches prior to travelling and daring to cross the border into Albania we thought is would be helpful for other independent travellers to tell you what we have found.

Before travelling out of the EU, and into countries not listed on our standard car insurance, we did a lot of internet browsing and made lots of calls to insurance companies in an attempt to either get insurance for travelling through countries such as Bosnia and Albania or have some confirmation that it is possible to buy insurance on arrival in the country.

Our searches were not very fruitful but undeterred, and buoyed on by the confirmation that our VW and AA covered us if we broke down, we set off with a hope to drive through Albania somehow despite the fact that our insurance company was clear we could not get a green card and would not be insured by them.

Apologies no pictures in this blog for obvious reasons….

Our first experience as independent travellers driving across the border into Albania

Our first foray into Albania was after a van camping trip through Italy and across into Greece.  After several days of clear blue Mediterranean sea and flip-flopping in quiet Greek villages we had our fill of Tzatsiki, Greek salads, Tyrokafteri and Retsina and were ready for something different so set off in the direction of the Albanian border.  Approaching early evening and apprehensive we decided to face driving across the border into Albania the following morning.  Wild camping on a beach close to the Greece Albania border we met a British freelance journalist on a break from working in Albania.

Our brief chat was invaluable and allayed our fears as to the ease of travelling independently and driving in Albania.  The top things we learnt from the friendly British journalist:

  • It should be possible to buy insurance at the border (they wouldn’t let you in without it)
  • you may need a ‘fixer’ to get you through the bureaucracy,
  • most roads were not good though once off the main north south road pot holes could slow you down
  • at all times you should watch our for police check points who gave on the spot fines.
  • He recommended Albania as a fascinating country to visit.

Most of this was true and actually even easier than he had suggested.  Here’s what we found or go straight to the summary

Driving towards the Albanian border control a short queue, all Albanian cars, gave us time to assess who was who and what we may need to do.  Just before our turn at the passport control a friendly looking lady approached and started to ask us; where were we from, how long we might stay and did we have insurance already.  She walked alongside the car and we answered guardedly as we approached passport control, a fixer we thought.  When we reached the window and handed over our passports, vehicle V5 and insurance document she appeared in the booth behind the border officer. Strange as fixers ore often stay with you on your side.   We were nervous and wary as they perused our passports and chatted between themselves in Albanian.  Within a minute or so our passports were stamped however the border guard kept hold of them and told us to pull over to one side.  Oh dear.

We needn’t have worried, the lady came over to us, ‘now you need insurance, a green card, for the car and I arrange the insurance, come with me’.  That explained everything!  We followed her to a tiny office, one of several in the shadow of the huge metal framed border gate where house martins swooped into their nests.   Two or three days would suffice for our first adventure in Albanian but the minimum green card duration is two weeks so that was the only option.  With all of the details from our V5 painstakingly entered into her big book of embossed official forms and our €50 safely in her cash box she stamped the form.  ‘Show this to the guard at the next window for customs.  Enjoy your holiday in Albania, good luck!’ she said as she passed the precious document over the large, dusty wooden desk.

We walked across to the customs window she had pointed to where the official seemed to be expecting us and already had our passports.  He reviewed all of our documents entering some information slowly into his archaic looking computer and finally passed everything back through the window. ‘Good luck’ he said.

I hope we don’t need all this luck we said to each other as we walked back across the rows of queuing cars to the van.  Hopefully it’s just a turn of phrase.

It was, our travels in Albania were; fascinating from a cultural and geographical point of view, challenging from a navigation point of view with a completely blank screen on our sat nav system, few road signs and new roads not shown on our paper map sending us in unexpected directions but not particularly arduous and all of the police check points that we passed (carefully at or below the speed limit) simply looked curiously at us, nodded and waved us on.

We drove back across the Albania border at a point in the north into Croatia a few days later having met some very friendly people, seen some beautiful landscapes, intriguing towns and enjoyed lots of delicious food.  The border guard needed to see passports, V5 and green card documents again and we were quickly waved on our way.

Our second experience driving our own British car across the border into Albania

The next time we visited Albania in our camper van was a little different, entering from the north via Croatia (the same border post through which we had left last time) the process was very fast and simple.  Officials in one cabin checked our passports and we moved to the next where they checked our V5 vehicle document and UK car insurance but did not ask for a green card.  We were  wished good luck again and waved on.  We did as we were told and before we knew it we were on the open road in Albania.  We quickly pulled over confused and concerned that something had changed or were we driving in Albania illegally without insurance.

After a little debate I walked back to the border control and, after causing a little disruption, nervously made my way back to the cabin where the border officer had stamped our passports and checked our V5 document.  Surrounded by border police I reached her cabin window and asked her did we need insurance? She had not asked for it but we were sure we needed it. Oh dear I assumed you had it she said.  Yes you definitely need it and must buy it after the border, she pointed to an unassuming looking grey kiosk at the side of the road.

It looked more like a car park attendant’s kiosk than a bureau for car insurance however the man inside was very helpful, had the appropriate embossed official forms and so after parting with our €50 again we were soon handed our green card insurance and could drive on relaxed, legal and insured through Albania.

In summary if you are thinking of going across the border into Albania as an independent traveller and driving your own car:

Driving across the border into Albania with your British vehicle is possible

  • Your are very unlikely to be able to obtain a green card / insurance from a UK insurance company.
  • Don’t forgot to take your vehicle V5 document, your UK car insurance (just in case) and your driving license.
  • If you normally rely on satellite navigation to find your way, don’t in Albania.  Your system is unlikely to have the map installed and if it does is likely to be out of date.  Buy as recent a map as you can before setting off.

At the border:

  • be patient there can sometimes be long queues entering and leaving Albania
  • you will not need a ‘fixer’ though the border guards may look austere everyone tends to be friendly and as helpful as they can be considering they are unlikely to speak English.
  • You should be asked for your green card or told that you need to purchase one there and then at the border.  It is not always obvious where you need to go for what, the border guards will point you to the right door which is likely to have a sleepy and surprised looking insurance official behind a desk (we judge they don’t get many Independent European travellers on a daily basis requiring Green cards) who may dig around to find the official forms and a pen!
  • If you are not obliged by the border guards to buy your green card be sure to buy it from one of the insurance kiosks you are sure to see just after the border crossing.
  • Green card insurance for a British car driving in Albania is for a minimum duration of two weeks and (at time of writing, in summer 2015) costs €50.