The beach near Monastery of Saint Nahum, North Macedonia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Gjyrokaster, Albania on October 6th.

Monday, April 26, 2021

A beautiful day to visit Gjirokaster Castle

The car fired right up, so it seems that my battery terminal repair fixed the problem. We tried to get an early start, but it was still almost 10am by the time we got on the road. It's only a 10 kms (6 mile) drive, and we got ourselves parked up at the lower section of Gjirokaster. The city was already pretty busy on a Sunday morning with a lot of people out enjoying the beautiful day, after having had three days without sunshine.

We notice that people in Albania tend to do their business and running around in the morning. Afternoons are quite a bit quieter.

It sure is nice to see the sunshine and blue sky again.

Driving into the city.

You can see Gjirokaster located on the lower side of the hills on the left.

We are headed up to Gjirokaster Castle.

The bazaar section of old town. 

This section of old town is mostly tourists trinket shops and restaurants.

Views as we climb up to the castle.

One of the national landmark homes.

We got to the castle entrance expecting free admission because that's what the Gjirokaster city tourism website says. But unfortunately it's for Albania residents only. So we had to pay the 400 lek ($4.90 CAD, $4.00 USD) per person entrance fee. They should be a little more clear on that.

The entrance hall at Gjirokaster Castle.

Me, with a statue of one of the partisan resistance fighters that opposed the Fascist Italian and Nazi German occupation of Albania during WW II.

An Italian Fiat Tank (1940)
One of only three known to exist in the world.

Ottoman era oven.

Gjirokaster Castle has existed in some form since the 12th century. But archeologists say that people have been living here since the 4th or 5th centuries. As with many castles and fortresses, it was expanded and changed by various administrations over the years.

Views of Gjirokaster from the castle.

I took a video for you... turn up your volume...

U.S. Air Force Lockheed Shooting Star.

Two sides to every story.

Of course a story like this sounds odd nowadays since Albania and the U.S. currently have a good relationship. Did you know that U.S. citizens can visit and stay in Albania for up to one year visa free? Canadians are only allowed three months in, three months out.

The Clock Tower.

The Clock Tower is the more recent addition to the castle.
Built by the Ottomans in the early 1800's.

Ruth, exploring near the top.

Despite the free entrance for Albanian citizens, there were very few people.

Lots of wildflowers!

Ruth, at Gjyrokaster Castle.

The Clock Tower.

Looking back at the upper part of the castle.

Some parts of the interior are huge!
They sure were good at building things out of rocks.

The exterior wall.

View looking south.

Ruth and the big arches.

We spent exactly two hours exploring what there is to see. There is also a museum located on the property that costs an extra 200 lek. I hate when attractions do this. No, it's not a lot of money, but you kind of expect that when you pay the entrance fee, you will get to see everything there is to see. Then they hit you for more money once inside. I would rather they set a fee at the start that includes everything. We passed on the museum.

Outside the castle, we walked up to the Obelisk, built in 1908. 

View looking back at the castle.

On the way back to the villa, we wanted to show you the drive we have to do to get there through the village of Nokova. Turn up your volume...

Back at the villa, we enjoyed a late lunch and did some computer work. We had every intention of going out for a walk, but I decided to have a 20 minute nap that extended itself to an hour and a half! By that time, we decided to just hang out on the front porch and enjoy the sunshine and the view.

Ruth, enjoying the sunshine with one of the cats.

But, we are overdue for a long hike! So we are setting off up the mountain to see what there is to see. It's another beautiful day.

Record low deal on the popular Shark Pet Hair Vacuum with 50 Minute Run Time.

And in Canada...


  1. I can't believe you even found the place. Driving on the right side of the road is a plus. I bet that's been fun in all the countries, to learn left or right side road driving.

    1. We use Google maps for directions but Kevin tries to check things out as much as possible beforehand to make sure that the mapping system has us on the right roads. We certainly wouldn't want to arrive at night.

      Yes, driving on the right is a bonus but we have driven on the left in Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Australia and it really doesn't take long to get used to it. When we were in Tanzania driving was on the left side as well but we didn't drive while we were there.

  2. Totally agree One Price for everything.
    Interesting how US Citizens can stay longer then Canadians.
    Stories have as many sides as the number of people telling it.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. I think one of the worse places we went to where they changed an admission fee and then a piled on a lot of different fees for different things once you got in was in Chicago at most of the museums. We really find that annoying!

      Yep, we have no idea why the Americans can stay for up to a year whereas Canada and most other countries outside of the European Union can only stay 3 months. We aren't that bothered by it, as there are still so many other countries for us to visit that are close by, it is just that three months is looking like it is not enough time for us to see everything here in Albania that we want to see.

    2. It's because Woodrow Wilson saved Albania in 1920! They love Americans! Right after WW1 there was a Paris Peace Summit, where the other nations wanted to divide Albania up and give bits and pieces to the surrounding countries. President Wilson said he wouldn't agree to anything containing that idea. If not for his actions, there would be no Albania today!

    3. Ahh, thank you for that interesting bit of information that we were not aware of. Good for Woodrow Wilson and his clear and thoughtful thinking. :-)

  3. Love your blog post pictures today. It had a little bit of everything. Nature, History and WWII war memorabilia for the Albanian people.

    1. Thank you very much! It certainly did seem to cover a few different things all in one post. We enjoyed our visit to the castle and look forward to going back to town at least one more time to walk around more of the "Old Town" and maybe take a hike higher up behind the castle.

  4. Be thankful you are not still in Turkey right now . Full lockdown in order to halt the terrible surge in COVID numbers.

    1. We knew that they locked things down a little tighter for Ramadan in Turkey which we wouldn't have had a problem with but yes, with these new measures set in place to start on Thursday evening and to continue until May 17th, we are definitely glad not to be in Turkey at this time.


We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...