Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Italia 2017 - Albania - The Ruins of Apollonia and More Daily Life

We left the Monastery at Ardenica...

Then we headed across the mountain ridge to restaurant where we had some coffee. The view from this mountain across the flat valley to the mountains on the other side remind me of the Salinas Valley in California.

Then we drove on to the Apollonia ruins. This site dated back to the Illyrian period. But after the Roman conquest of the Illyrian territories, Apollonia grew to be a major Roman settlement and one of the two terminus of the Via Egnatia (The road going from the Adriatic coast across to Byzantium and Asia Minor). It flourished under Roman rule. It became known as a center for learning and is mentioned in a number of Roman writings. Christianity was established here at an early stage. An earthquake in the 3rd century BCE moved the location of the river that gave it access to the sea causing it to lose its economic reason for being. Eventually it became depopulated accept for a small religious community. The way that the site is laid out, there are pictures that show a representation of what the structures looked like. I decided to include each picture with the photo of the ruins so you can build your own vision of what the town may have looked like in its day.

The site
The central place of official business
(forgot to get the representation picture here)

The Triumphal Arch that could be seen by the two main roads leading into town
Building used for small meeting or for teaching and instruction

Arcade for business purposes

Another large building

Wife preparing for triumphal entrance into the city

Leaving the Roman ruins, a study of some old and interesting trees

The Church
Part was built in the 12th century and the rest down in the 18th

And its interior with its 18th century decorations

And with some of the 12th century ones 

I'm clearly partial to the older
Love the expression on the face of the one on the right
Some non-restored works

Then it was driving on to our final destination
Again I don't want to candy coat what Albania is nor do I want to bash it
There are lots of areas that aren't doing well. Much construction that was started during the early part of the 2000's funded by workers who went out of the country, was stopped after the 2008 crash and never continued. You see buildings that are either not finished or where only one floor has been finished and occupied everywhere.

Going through one of the larger cities, we again saw the propensity for the use of color with the new construction

We are covering so much over such a wide area that eating patterns are sort of screwed up. We've been eating on meal other than the hotel breakfast at around 3 to 4 PM. 
Grilled Vegetables and Fish Soup and Chicken Soup
The vegetables and soups have been uniformly good
Migen had a grilled port dish
I've found the meat very well done and tough...not may favorite here
It was accompanied with a yogurt based sauce
Fish however has been uniformly good
Here are fried red mullet
And a grilled dorado
After lunch/dinner we had a long hard drive up steep winding mountain roads in a pouring rain to get to our hotel for the night.


alexis said...

very interesting with the ruins. I recall in Vietnam people would build houses and live in them as they were building them, so deliberately occupy the finished parts only until they had enough money to finish the rest.

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

It looks like you are getting a good overview of both the history and current life of the country.