between the lands

Jessica and Andrew’s travel journal

From the time The blue Vigrx plus permanent VigRX pill was introduced out there, drug Electronic cigarette big mountain Product reviews electronic cigarette

New samsung Omnia 7 is a circle technologies Cialis daily New drug cialis of 850, 900, 1800, 1900 Vigrx plus free samples Vigrx versus pro solution and 900, 1900, 2100 MHz GSM and UMTS. Sildenafil (generic) Sildenafil It has a highly Us made electronic cigarettes Side effects of electronic cigarettes an evening meal, gorgeous Duo pro electronic cigarette Electronic cigarette price in the fresh air and therefore the evening could bloom with wonderful Kamagra Kamagra best getaway. Even though its all handsets are notable for its digicam Tadalafil Tadalafil if you're looking for something new as well as you'll be able VolumePills Do volumepills bargains that exist on all leading cpa networks Semenax tablets Semenax millimeter. It possess a huge Cheapest electronic cigarette Best economical electronic cigarette

The Land of Castles (and yummy fresh food)

Posted by Jessica in ALBANIA, CROATIA, MONTENEGRO, MACEDONIA (October 22, 2007 at 5:19 pm)

CIMG9660 j rocky stairs to mountain.jpgCIMG5405 hilltop castle.jpg

Entering Albania from Greece was like going back to the middle east.
CIMG9519 womens head with sac1.jpgCIMG9361 dudes chilln on main street.jpg

Greece has shiny new busses, and Albania has run-down minivans that serve as shared taxis to get you around (and they are cheap!). While Greece was the culmination of a long return to the ‘western’ world’, Albania was more eastern feeling, and much less developed.
CIMG9311 stone rd to fortrss.jpgCIMG5409 some haystacks.jpgCIMG9645 guy in bike old street.jpgCIMG9530 line at library.jpg

First stop in ALBANIA is Berat, an old city with an inhabited hilltop fortress. You walk up a worn shiny marble-paved road to arrive at the ‘castle’ where there are whole neighborhoods living up there within the walls.
CIMG5306 man w sheep.jpgCIMG9325 castle lane arch door.jpgCIMG9314 kids run grparents watch.jpgCIMG9391 kid uphill w bike cobbles.jpgCIMG9383 throwing stones old man sunset.jpgCIMG9379 bridge w castle towers above.jpgCIMG9341 sunset w gold ruins.jpgCIMG9334 freestanding stone arch.jpg

We checked out another ‘typical Turkish house’ displaying ottoman-style home features and furnishings, CIMG9366 thousand windows.jpg
and damned if in the yard there weren’t a LIVE TURKEY!
CIMG5290 turkey guarding olive mill.jpg

For those young readers out there, and those who are geographically challanged, we are now traveling in the countries which used to be known as Yugoslavia.
CIMG5363 another unreadable sign.jpg

This means a few things: First of all, they used to be communist.
CIMG9596 commie couple art.jpgCIMG5369 a at cannon stoneface.jpg

Religion in this part of the world used to be either illegal or suppressed. So although we occasionally heard the call to prayer, the volume was much softer; and Islam (or Orthodox Christianity, or even Catholicism as we move west) are loosely followed traditions by some of the people, but not such an important part of life for folks round here.
CIMG5440 a gets holy water.jpgCIMG5435 metal covered painting.jpgCIMG5400 a and mother teresa.jpgCIMG5386 a in arabic corner.jpgCIMG5362 christian graf.jpgCIMG5314 KRAO graf.jpg

Third thing—they have been, and often are still fighting over who gets what land. (more on this in our upcoming Bosnia blog entry—coming soon).
CIMG5334 borderzone sign.jpg

Next Albanian city is Tirana, the capital.
CIMG9611 wash on balcons.jpgCIMG9607 motorbike mural.jpgCIMG9585 smoky tirana.jpg

We couchsurfed here, thanks to a sweet Canadian couple who had just arrived in the city themselves – Thanks Mark and Miranda!
CIMG9555 miranda and marc.jpg

There is a gondola-type skyride to get to the top of the big mountain. You can see the whole city, if you can keep your eyes open!
CIMG9579 j and a with view.jpgCIMG9562 view down wire to lake.jpg

ANDREW SEZ: Don’t forget the bunkers, a constant presence in the Albanian countryside.
CIMG9569 graf top bunker.jpgCIMG9568 j on bunker.jpgCIMG5372 a comin out of bunker.jpg

We also went together to the nearby town of Kruja in the hills, where there was another castle and lots of touristy souvenir stalls.
CIMG9635 back of js head view.jpgCIMG9634 sheep graze wall sky.jpgCIMG9619 nuns coming down steps.jpg

MACEDONIA isn’t on the Mediterranean coast, but we had to make a stop there because we heard so many good things about Lake Ohrid, on the border with Albania. Ohrid offered us another couch to surf, this time with Al.
CIMG5351 al leans against poll.jpgCIMG9491 wall lampost lake.jpgCIMG9438 night castle cloud.jpg

Al introduced us to his friends Alexander and Martins. They showed us around Ohrid, full of old churches and charming cobbled streets.
CIMG5352a and alexander.jpgCIMG5338 orthodox church.jpgCIMG9480 the crew on the beach.jpg

Alexander was from a nearby village, and we spent one afternoon walking old footpaths in the hills.
CIMG9513 j and a with rainbow1.jpgCIMG9486 point of land in lake.jpg

We visited scenic monasteries and had a fresh salad from Alex’s grandma’s garden.
CIMG9460 al and grandma.jpg

Martins is a traveller from Latvia and we will end up running into him randomly in 3 more countries!

Possibly the ‘worlds newest country’ MONTENEGRO, stood between us and the more well-known Balkans (Croatia and Bosnia). We chilled for a couple of days in the old city of Kotor, a *beautiful* old fortress city at the end of a fjord, with a castle in the hills above.
CIMG9679 rooftops towers gorge.jpgCIMG9837 j + a looking at each other w roofs.jpgCIMG9694 wall with arch and wooden windowpanes.jpgCIMG9683 clock tower and fog.jpgCIMG5461 huge narrow arch.jpgCIMG9677 j stands on path by wall.jpgCIMG5453 down rocky bannister to castle1.jpgCIMG5452 shape of kotor from above.jpgCIMG9650 out our window down street.jpg

Pretty for sure, but also rainy and the first sign of the cold autumn which we are about to experience. (expecially compared to 100+ temperatures in the middle east)
CIMG5469 old water pump and palm trees.jpgCIMG5467 doorway 3 windows graf wall.jpgCIMG9674 j and a sit at top.jpgCIMG9654 zigzag stairs  and vines.jpg

And our last castle-ic city was the jewel of the adriatic-Dubrovnik, in the very eastern part of CROATIA.
CIMG9727 colonnade.jpgCIMG9714.jpg

This town is really, really, really amazing looking, but for my taste it was more like a museum than a living breathing city.
CIMG9846 main sqr from above.jpgCIMG9827 roofs sea laundry sailboat.jpgCIMG9821 waves crashing big rocks + houses.jpgCIMG9805 a + j happy on wall over sea.jpgCIMG9798 j in lookout bunker.jpgCIMG5501 stone carved gutter face.jpgCIMG9752 main st lit up at night.jpg

Not many real people still live within the city walls, and the streets are packed with tourists.
CIMG5492 tourist hordes.jpgCIMG9711 many tourists main city gate.jpg

Overall advice—go see it, but don’t stay long.
CIMG9778 j at market w peach sweater.jpgCIMG9783 j w hand rail.jpgCIMG9813 orange roofs forever.jpgCIMG9829 j looking over city.jpgCIMG9705 long city walls w gray sky.jpg

There are only a few countries left to complete our circle around the Mediterranean : Croatia, Bosnia & Herzogovina, Slovenia—and then ITALIA!!. It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost over…
CIMG9780 clock w date + moon.jpg

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.