Tuesday, March 22nd was a public holiday in Albania called Nevruz, to mark the coming of Spring. Dan had the day off work and we were invited to go to Tirana with Natasha and her husband Bardhyl. Bardhyl just published his 4th book and needed to go to the capital city for a meeting at the publishing house. They picked us up just after 7:00am and we drove north through Fier up to the port city of Durres where we stopped for some breakfast at 9:00am. We had Byrek, phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach, and Dhalle, a popular and refreshing yogurt drink made by diluting yogurt with water. Then we continued on to Tirana, Albania’s capital city. We stopped at the publishing house, had a macchiato while we waited, and then drove around central Tirana. We got a quick glimpse of the sights and hope to return very soon.
After leaving Tirana, we drove even further North to Kruja, a medieval citadel town located high in the mountains. From Fushe-Kruja town we drove up the winding road, through the forest, to the base of the kalaja(citadel) and continued by foot up the cobblestone streets to the Old Bazaar. We walked through the wooden market with merchants selling hand made woven rugs, traditional felt slippers, caps and souvenirs. Then we arrived at the Skanderbeg museum located in the castle walls. The museum depicted Skanderbeg’s struggle against the Ottomans in the 15th century. We enjoyed the view from the upper terrace overlooking the town and the sea.
After Kruja we made the journey back to Vlora, driving through the city of Durres along the way. We also stopped in a small town along the way to purchase some patio furniture. We hope to have some guests to enjoy it with. Speaking of guests…we are very excited about our first honoured guest arriving on April 29th. Dan’s dad is going to be our first visitor and we are very excited to have him!