Beautiful Berat and Captivating Kruja

Wow, today, our group of ten German volunteers has been in Tirana for 17 days! We have already got used so much to the rhythm of life here, the daily visits of a cafe, the busy streets, the fruit and vegetable markets… it is hard for me to tell anything about my experience here, because I really don’t know where to begin! 

Certainly, people who hear about Albania in Germany have scarcely heard about the fascinating cultural heritages here and the amazing landscapes. Fact is, they do have so much to offer, but fortourists, those destinations are not always easy to reach.

This weekend, we had the opportunity to visit two of the most important cultural monuments in Albania, Kruja and Berat. Both are castles built on quite steep hills with a beautiful surrounding landscape. In Berat, a whole intact antique city lies within the castle walls, and it is still inhabited nowadays! But for most of the inhabitants, life there is not very attractive anymore, as there are hardly any job opportunities on this remote mountain. They move to the foot of the mountain, where the modern part of the city lies. Up on that hill, I felt like some hunderes years back in time: No cars, the people dressed in traditional clothes, donkeys carrying their loads through the streets! 

For anyone who comes to Albania, I would absolutely recommend those places! The only difficulty here in Albania: It is not easy to organize a trip, because there is hardly any tourist information and no schedule for the public transportation. But the positive outcome of this: hardly any tourists! You are alone with the beautiful scenery!

Until next time!

Miriam Laschinski

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