|Berat at night|
A couple of weekends ago Elona, Kerry and I took a quick weekend trip to Albania. We had the best time - it was so gorgeous. Albania is warmer than Macedonia, and the farmers were planting, the valleys were green, and the high mountains still covered in snow. The first night we were treated to a feast by Elona's mother. Her family is so very sweet and gracious! Then early the next morning we climbed on a combi to Tirana and then another to head south to Berat.
The trip itself was exceptional - down steep and narrow mountain roads, through the river valleys, and up again through cracks in high mountain ranges. Shqiperija, the Albanian name for Albania, means home of the eagle, and you can see why. And as I've said before, I love taking local transportation. There's a degree of unpredictability and adventure that appeals to me. I must admit, however, that I was happy to reach Berat. We picked up a family outside of Tirana, and 5 of us plus a baby were squished into a seat meant to hold 3.
We stayed in a hostel in Berat that was lovely. The owner gave us Rakija under the grape arbor in the garden, and at night sang opera and danced with us. During the day we wandered around a castle, parts of which are still being lived in. As you can see above, it's a beautiful city.
|Kerry taking a picture by Enver Hoxha's old house|
|Students lined up for their turn to spell|
|Aleksandra gets her certificate from Ambassador Wohlers.|
And tomorrow I'm off again on another trip, this time a Danube river cruise from Bucharest to Budapest. There's too much to see, and too little time!