Special Events

Full PlateNew Years’ Eve & Day

December 31 &  January 1st 2015(!)

Join us for 3 Days, 2 Nights and 1 Fabulous Feast (and all the other meals around and between ‘course).  We had so much fun on Independence Day, we decided to do it again!

Plan and price (except for things with a “*”) include:

Wednesday December 31 :

New Year’s Eve

Dinner, complete with Stuffed Turkeys, Chestnut Soup, Delicious Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes, Extra Stuffing, Salad-and-Sauces (etc), Baklav and Pumpkin Pie.  And all the other stuff as well (cheese, yoghurt sauce, cornbread, etc), with a 500 lek drink credit included.

Fireworks!  Of course!  and do feel free to bring your own as well.

Sleep in the luxurious heated rooms of the Quku i Valbonës Rezidenca Building.  This offer is priced for Double or Twin rooms, but Triple (double + single) and Single Rooms are also available.

NY PricingThursday, 1 January:  

New Year’s Day

Breakfast, either at the farmhouse or Rilindja’s ‘famous 5-course breakfast.’

Optional Fun Activities, including but not limited to:  Hiking with a guide*, Hiking without a guide, Hay-rides*, Pumpkin Carving, sitting by the fire and anything else you can think of.

Farmhouse Lunch with Nene Sose.  Then take a nap and get ready for . . . .

New Years Day Dinner:  A delicious traditional meal, with soup, salad, byrek, fli and mish vici, etc., as well as all the leftovers from the night before (more baklav!).

Then Stagger back to your room (or at least as far as the car) and Sleep.

Pumpkin PieFriday 2 Jan:  

Time to Put your Resolutions in practice . . . . .

then again, it is Friday 🙂

First of all, Sleep Late!  Then Breakfast, as the day before.  Then you’re welcome to stay longer as you still have the whole weekend, or we offer as ever our fond farewells.

In our family, the tradition is a big dinner on the Eve, and then New Year’s Day spent visiting – but we’re happy to adapt however to your traditions, to help make these days a great beginning to a Great New Year.  So please feel free to ask, if there’s something special you’d like for us to arrange.

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***

And the Days that Were . . . . . 

Thanksgiving & Dita e Pavarësisë

PumpkinNovember 27th – December 1st 2014

Join us for 4 Days, 3 Nights and (more than) 2 Fabulous Feasts, to celebrate two of our favorite holidays.  Plan and price (except for things with a “*”) include:

Thursday, 27 Nov:  Thanksgiving

(see note below about Transport)

Dinner, complete with Stuffed Turkeys, Chestnut Soup, Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Extra Stuffing, Salad-and-Sauces (etc), Apple Crumble and Pumpkin Pie.  And that’s just what we can think of now.

Sleep in the luxurious rooms of the Quku i Valbonës Rezidenca Building.  Double, Twin or Triple (double + single) Rooms Available.

Thanksgiving_costFriday, 28 Nov:  Dita e Pavarësisë  (Albanian Independence Day)

Breakfast, either at the farmhouse or Rilindja’s ‘famous 5-course breakfast.’

Optional Fun Activities, including but not limited to:  Hiking with a guide*, Hiking without a guide, Hay-rides*, Pumpkin Carving, Bobbing for Apples, sitting by the fire and anything else you can think of.

Farmhouse Lunch with Nene Sose.  Then take a nap and get ready for . . . .

Independence Day Dinner, complete with a Whole Roast Pig.  As well as just as much stuff as the night before.

Light off a few Fireworks, learn a few traditional dances (if you want) and then Stagger back to your room and Sleep.

Saturday, 30 Nov:  Day of Recovery

First of all, Sleep Late!  Then Breakfast, as the day before.

More Fun Optional Activities – whatever we didn’t get to the day before.  By now, you may need to go hiking!

Leftovers Lunch – another great tradition

Dinner as you like it.

And Sleep the sleep of the just.

Sunday, 1 December:  A Leisurely Departure

Enjoy your Breakfast,

Go for a short walk,

Packup your leftovers-leftovers for a picnic lunch,

And then we  bid you a Fond Farewell, until next year?

Transport:  Once all the reservations are in, we are happy to help coordinate or arrange transport.  For those coming from the south, maybe we could include a trip on Lake Koman? Make sure you let me know where you’re coming from, and I’ll put you in touch with your ‘fellow travellers,’ and I’ll let everyone know when Critical transport Mass is achieved for shared buses (or boats!).  Anyone bringing their own car but nervous about the chance of snow should let us know.  We’re happy to come get you in Bajram Curri, where there is parking with a 24 hour guard for something like 250 lek per day.  In other (stunning) news, the asphalt is more-or-less finished from Bajram Curri to Rrogam (the end of Valbona Valley), so it’s an even faster drive than it used to be (15 minutes instead of an hour – quite a dramatic change!).  See notes about snow conditions, under ‘weather’ below.

Do you have to Stay the Whole Time?  Of course not!  It’s a holiday, not a prison camp!  We’re especially hoping some of our friends from Prishtina will join us, and I have no idea if they get Friday off . . . . We can adjust the rate accordingly.

Optional Fun Activities:  These are just what I could think of.  Some (like Pumpkin Carving, Hayrides, Bobbing for Apples and Marshmallow-Roasting) are American Traditions. Some (like Setting off Fireworks and Dancing Around in a Circle) are Albanian (although I guess fireworks are pretty international)(or even Chinese).  Of course we can do anything else you can think of too!  This is the first of what we hope will become an annual tradition as we open our Mountain Home to you for the Holidays, so we welcome your suggestions, ideas and creativity.  Feel free to bring board games, favorite foods, silly hats . . . . whatever you like!  (I have a secret fondness for charades.  Valuable work could be done, collecting bird sightings.)  Costs of activities are not included in the package price, but it will only be whatever it does cost, shared among whoever wants to do it.  And things like Pumpkin Carving and Bobbing for Apples – whatever we can kick in – are free.  We have a stockpile of pumpkins on the balcony!  Nice chance to help the local economy, anyhow.  (Who knows?  Hayrides could turn into a nice little business for someone!)

Weather:  To be honest, this was looking pretty grim when we first came up with the idea – but the latest look at Accuweather looks ‘Sunny but Cold.’  Oh wow.  The latest look right now suggests the first light snow of the year!!!  Oh well – that’s pretty!  And leads to another important point.  For the past 2 years, a fabulous man with a fadrom (tractor) rushes out as soon as it starts snowing and plows up and down the road as long as he can.  Sometimes too long – I think he’s pulled up the Asphalt once or twice.  Well, he loves his tractor.  He will show you baby pictures of it, if you let him.  Anyhow, you shouldn’t get snowed in.  The weather is always 10° worse in Valbona than in Bajram Curri though, so if you are nervous about driving in this, take us up on the option of picking you up (as mentioned under ‘Transport.’)

Warmth & Clothing:  ‘Cause they’re sort of the same thing, right?  It does look like it will get cold!  So bring good warm clothes, and especially waterproof is always a good idea.  Damp is what gets you, in the end (as Jack London so notably wrote about).  You will be glad to know that the Rezidenca Building – all 4 floors – has central heating (from a roaring wood boiler in the basement), so you should be toasty, when inside.  There’s also the common room downstairs with a fireplace, and the little-stove-that-could at Rilindja, so be prepared to shed layers too.  Layers, as ever, are the secret of sensible winter dressing, right boys and girls?

What Can You Bring?  We get such a nice class of guest here, that it’s actually become necessary to include this as a FAQ!  Well really, I think we’ll be fine on our own, BUT:  some things which are impossible to get here and might add are:  MORE fireworks (on sale in the market next to the central post office in Tirana), Sweet Potatoes, any form of fresh or dried Mushrooms, ‘odd’ fruits and vegetables that you like (avocados!), board games . . . . . I dunno.  You get the idea.

With all that said, I’ll just add:  Space is limited and going fast, so reserve now!

To Reserve, simply write to Catherine, catherine@journeytovalbona.com.  Try to include how many rooms you need (duh!), where you’re coming from, and whatever transport concerns you have.  That’s it!  Simple!

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