Saturday, November 11, 2017

Italia 2017 - Albania - Unexpected Pleasures

On Tuesday our schedule called for us to drive through what is called the Albanian Riviera. This is a mountainous set of road going across some beautiful coast line. The guidebooks say this coastal region is how the French and Italian Mediterranean looked 50 or 60 years ago before all the massive development took place. This promised to be a day that offered many photo opportunities. Then we were going to go to a Unesco Heritage site, Butrint, where there are some amazing ruins covering numerous centuries and historic periods.

UNFORTUNATELY, for us it not just rained. It poured. Just about all day. Not only did this make it difficult to see anything but it put a lot of stress on our guide/driver Migen.

This is one of THE GREAT VIEWS our tour organizer talked about

Looks amazing like some great views we've had on a number of our other trips LOL
But wait, I think if you squint you might be able to see something down there
Fortunately while the rain didn't really stop we were able to get some pictures from inside the car

Including Sheep!
It has been our custom to stop for coffee around 11:30 to Noon
Unfortunately the town we stopped at all the power was out.
The storm was also kicking up a great surf
Migen said he'd never seen anything like it in years

The place we stopped for coffee couldn't give us coffee without power but the owner had a brother who lived in NY and when he found out we were from the US gave us free raki!
We bought a snack of local donuts
If you are from New Mexico do those look familiar?
They should because they were identical...I mean sopapillas and served with honey as well. Oh those liter glasses of wine? Also on the house from our owner friend. We did not finish them.

Continuing on we practiced some more being secret agents against the Enver Hoxsha regime and took pictures of his secret submarine base

We made one attempt to go out and visit one of the sites, the former fortress of Ali Pasha

We got soaked and none of us were in a very good mood afterwards. It was a long hard drive to get to Sarande, our next overnight stop. We checked into our hotel, which was lovely. 
 View from our hotel room

Migen felt obliged to suggest going on to Butrint but the weather was still wretched. And he looked beat. I made a command decision that we'd done enough.
Wife and I wanted a nice warm meal. We went to a place next door.
I didn't have my camera with me but we had a nice meal of soup, grilled vegetables and pasta. The food in Albania has been uniformly good. Not great but good, solid and tasty. Vegetables have been great. Fish is good. Meat tends to be overcooked to toughness in my opinion. And everything is a great value. 

While we were eating we noticed the rain was stopping. Then we noticed the sky clearing. Suddenly we could see the setting sun. Photographer mode kicked in like a vengeful spouse. We rushed back to the hotel and grabbed cameras and spent a lovely hour and half going up the shore taking pictures. 
Studies of setting sunlight

I still feel that in the areas that are developing in Albania that they have a wonderful sense of architectural design


Studies of the Photographer
With the light

With Man's best friend...or at least trying to be Wife's best friend

The city at night

1 comment:

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

You can see reflections where I wouldn't even think to look.