Max, at his overnight spot near the town of Žiri, Slovenia..
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Žiri, Slovenia.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Croatia.

Friday, March 26, 2021

A beautiful day in Berat, Albania

We had two busy days in a row, so we didn't have anything strenuous planned on Thursday. We relaxed for the morning, and then went for a walk around town.

Our cottage is located right in the center of town, and there are a lot of walks we can do right from town so the rental car might end up parked the entire time we're here. It doesn't seem to make sense to pay for a car rental when the vehicle is just parked, but there is some logic to what we're doing.

When we rented a car in Romania we did so several times, for shorter periods of time. It was frustrating arranging rentals, and trying to get deals, and dropping the car off and picking it up. It turned out we would have been better off simply renting for the entire time we were there, and writing off the cost of the days we didn't use it. Our monthly car rental here in Albania is pretty inexpensive, so the convenience is worth it to us.

The main road outside our cottage.

This is the big grocery store that is next to our cottage.
The cottage is actually located on the other side of this building.


All that remains of the original palace of the Pasha of Berat.
The "Pasha" was the ruler at the time.

Pedestrian street.

This building has paintings across the top of it.

The pedestrian street is lined with restaurants and cafes.
The Albanians love their cafes!


Can you tell why Berat is called "The City of a Thousand Windows"?

The big Hotel Colombo.

It's a new 5 star luxury hotel that opened in 2019.

You can get a deluxe double room for 10,000 lek ($120 CAD, €80, $95 USD) per night.

Cathedral of the Orthodox Church of Albania.


Other than the big chandelier, the interior is quite plain.

We stopped in at a grocery store just to see if they had gluten free bread. We had been able to find some in Tirana, but haven't seen any since. As we were wandering around, I overheard a guy speaking perfect North American English. I looked around the corner, and it was a guy probably in his 60's and talking on a cell phone. He finished up, and as he came around, I said "there's a language we haven't heard very often around here".

Turns out he's an American who has been living here in Berat for 15 years now. Says he totally loves Berat. He didn't offer much more to the story, and we didn't pry, but he did answer some of our questions. We asked about gluten free bread, and he said it was unlikely that we would find it here, but he did say that the local bakeries make a type of bread made with corn flour.

We stopped in at a butcher and bought some ground beef. Then at a baker. And sure enough, we bought a loaf of corn bread for 50 lek (60 cents CAD). We never did find the candlestick maker.

We were headed home to have a late lunch when we walked by a small restaurant that had a sign out front with some local specialties advertised on it. Reasonably priced, so we changed our plans and decided to have lunch out.

Really friendly people. The lady didn't speak English, and we were prepared to ask some questions using Google Translate, but she brought someone who did speak English.

They brought an appetizer with bread and pickles and olives.

And we each had a plate of this.
Mine was with some kind of meat (lamb?), and Ruth's was with chicken.

Can't remember what the Albanian name of it was, but it was a type of stew. Really good, and inexpensive. We only had water to drink, and the total cost for both of us was 700 lek ($8.50 CAD, $6.70 USD).

Back at the cottage later, we sat outside for a while but it didn't take long to cool off enough that we were forced back indoors.

There was a knock at the door and it was our host lady with a bowl of homemade cherry jam for us. Such friendly people! In fact, I'm eating some corn bread with homemade cherry jam as I write this. It's delicious!

Today, we are headed up to the castle! There's apparently a lot to see up there, so we had better get going. Sunshine, and calling for a high of 16C (62F) today. 

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And in Canada...



17 comments:

  1. Good day,

    What is the difference between the apartments that you have been staying in and the cottage that you are staying at now?

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like they are looking for a little tip with the homemade jam!

      Good stuff🤣

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    2. Not a huge difference in size but with the apartments you are up higher and with the cottage we are at ground level and we are in the garden of the owners in this particular case. All Airbnb's are different. You can have some apartments that are really big, sort of like a house but in an apartment and others that are just studio apartments. Some people will have a whole house for rent.

      Our host is a sweet lady and likes to treat her guests like family!

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  2. This country seems to be a really lovely place! And Berat is absolutely pretty as a city! Hoping to learn more about Albania as you discover more about the food and the local habits! Enjoy!

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    1. We think it is a lovely place too. Everyone is very friendly and the scenery is beautiful. There is also lots of history here. We are going to really enjoy exploring the country of the next couple of months or so. :-)

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  3. That definitely looks like a place we would enjoy visiting.
    The Stew looks tasty.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. This is a really pretty town in a gorgeous location. We are looking forward to exploring the area. I think anyone that visits Albania definitely has to have Berat on their list.

      The stew was very tasty! :-)

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  4. Enjoying all your adventures! Be safe!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am sure we will have lots of adventures ahead to tell you all about. :-)

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  5. Wow, all that and cherry jam! Nice gesture that lady gave you 2. Hope you get other gifts! Take care, Rawn

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    1. It was a very nice gesture of our host. We have heard that she loves to treat her guests as if they are family and we can certainly see that. I think she loves to entertain people. :-)

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  6. Berat looks really nice. I love all the windows, and the mountain view is just incredible. Mmmm, cherry jam!

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    1. Berat is beautiful as you will see in our up coming posts. The setting here is just about perfect for us. :-)

      The cherry jam by the way is delicious and goes really well with our corn flour bread that we bought.

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  7. I traveled through there as a poor student in 1972! The impressions that still resonate with me are the same that you describe today. Good food, donkey carts, fabulous scenery and very hospitable people.It's nice to see one place that hasn't been spoiled yet!
    If you can find a farmer's market you will be so pleased!

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    1. Wow, that would have been an interesting time to have traveled through this country. I am sure somethings have changed quite a bit since then but as you say, some things have not. We have actually seen quite a few donkey carts out here in the countryside. And yes, the food, scenery and the friendly people are all much the same, we are very pleased with what we are experiencing here.

      Yes, we really want to find a farmer's market!

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  8. Another beautiful city and a nice location for you. Developing more and more of a desire to put Albania on my bucket list too! Looking forward to your adventures! Safe travels.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we are really liking the city of Berat and the surrounding area, it really is beautiful here.

      We have no doubt that as we travel further through Albania, you will be wanting to move this country higher up on your list of places to visit. :-)

      Delete

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