Posted by: gardner310 | June 22, 2013

Albania? Thought We Were Banned from Albania

Albania Coast with Mussel Beds

Albania Coast with Mussel Beds

Albania was never on my bucket list but today I escorted an excursion that took me there. I’ve never met anyone who visited the country so my expectations were that the city would look like the gray communist cities elsewhere. Once again, I was wrong. After a 45 minute hydrofoil ride we reached Sarana, a semi resort town with quite a few hotels but a lot of unfinished construction. Albania has only been out of communist rule for about 20 years so they have a long way to go but are making slow strides toward the “market economy”. The buildings will be done as more money comes into the area.

Butrint church

Butrint church

We were headed out to a Unesco site since 1992, Butrint National Park that has documented history from the 4th century BC. The Park now measures 86 square kilometers. Modern archeological was started in 1928 by Luigi Maria Ugolini. Most of what we saw today was excavated between 1928 and 1938. There were several crews of archeologists there today working on the structures.

Current Excavators, Butrint

Current Excavators, Butrint

Temple Reflection, Butrin

The monuments span over two thousand years from Hellenistic temple buildings of the 4th century to the Ottoman defenses in the early 19th century.  Cities were built on cities so wherever they dig they have to be careful going down.  The setting is lovely forest land in rolling hills but there are some hefty steps to climb in both directions.

I am happy to be the first on my block to visit Albania and proud of my new stamp.

Sarana, Albana

Sarana, Albana

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