Road Trip To Janina, Greece (Part 3)

The border patrol only asks one last question.

Where did this one come from?

He was pointing at Libby, and apparently couldn’t find her stamp into Saranda.  I quickly told him she arrived through Corfu and he nodded his head and we were off.

A couple minutes later we arrive at the Greece office but no one was around.

The pick-up in front of us drives straight through and we follow it.  The road quickly turns to part pavement, part gravel, part mud. (It’s important for me to add this detail because most people like to think that Albania is light years behind Greece…and in some ways it is, but outside of the main tourist destinations, they are very similar.)

I see tail lights and lots of moving, muddy water on the road.

We are the last of the three little cars attempting to cross the mini river.  I recalled something my Dad once told me about this…oh yeah, he told me not to do it!  Getting water in the engine or exhaust or both meant no bueno.

I tell Libby and Derek, it’s a good thing none of our parents can see what we are doing!

The first car gets about half way across and is obviously having a freak out moment and stops in the road.  We encourage him from our car as if he can hear us.  Bit by bit we all make it and we are thrilled to see pavement once again.  Just about the time we were sure we’d be entering Janina, we see a sign saying we’ve arrived in Igoumenitsa.

This can only mean one thing – we are definitely taking the long, scenic route to Janina.

We didn’t care, we were through the water and in a town.  Police have closed the flooded streets so we follow the detour signs up to a main road where we see the next “river” we must cross and it’s way bigger than the last one.  Water is pouring from the road into parking lots, yards, wherever it can.  As we sit in the long line to attempt the flood I don’t have a good feeling in my gut.  I look around and see a grocery store – food and restrooms are all I can think about.

I pull out of line, turn around and park the car.

As I come out of the bathroom I decide to confirm the way to Janina.  The young girl points in the opposite direction we were going to go.  We are all puzzled so we ask a lady in the parking lot who speaks English and she agrees what the first girl said.

Thank goodness we didn’t cross the river!

Within 5 minutes we are on a true blue freeway and I’ve got the pedal to the metal.  The rain stopped and the sky began to open up.  We love seeing sign after sign “Janina ____ kilometers”.   We were all excited about our trip but by the time we got to the beautiful city of Janina we were elated!  Lunch at a chic cafe and we are all smiles.

Now where is that H&M store?


Hungry for More,
Monique Alvarez
*Have you downloaded my free ebook, The Hungry Soul’s Manifesto?  It’s all about remembering what’s important in life – creating purpose and passion, instead of just passing the time amassing stuff. 
 p.s. If there are typos, spelling or grammar mistakes in this post don’t worry about.  Those are the kinds of things I’ve worried about for FAR too long.  It’s time to just get it out and who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart!

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About Monique Alvarez

I am a lover of travel, cultures, food, playing outside and the overall savoring of life. In between adventures I draw, write about the Law of Attraction, share inspirational stories, confess my personal growth, ramble about food and post pictures and tall tales of our travels. Author of Celebrate Life 365 Ways


  1. I guess the moral of the story is that when parents aren’t around,,, go with your gut :-) Sounds like a fun trip :-) the best kind,,, have to have some adventure!!

    • Monique Alvarez says:

      LOL I thought it was good thing parents really don’t have eyes behind their heads. ;)

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