Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slochteren, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Papenburg, Germany.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Nice day trip up Albania's Riviera Coast

When we drove south from Vlorë to Sarandë  a week ago, we knew there were a lot of things to see along the way. In fact if we were in our motorhome it would probably take us two weeks or more to travel that section of coastline! And we simply didn't have time to stop on see everything on that drive, so we planned a day trip back up that way on Tuesday.

And we still didn't see everything that there is to see, so we'll have to stop back in this area when we do actually return with our motorhome. Besides, we keep finding great boondocking spots that would be worth a return visit.

We had an early lunch and set off around 11:30am.


We will be heading inland through this area on Wednesday.

A fixer upper at the side of the road.

The views looking inland are just as good as the views looking towards the sea.

We decided to drive straight through to our destination at Porto Palermo Castle, and then stop at a few more attractions on the way back as time allowed.

Ruth, at the entrance to Porto Palermo Castle.

This castle is not that old when compared to many other castles in this area. Historians disagree as to the actual construction period, but it was sometime between the 16th and 18th centuries, and was certainly added on to and enlarged from the original construction.

It was the home of Ali Pasha in the early 1800's, and under the Communist regime between 1946 and 1990, the fort served as a barracks for the nearby submarine base. 

Now, it is open to the public to explore and enjoy the sea views. Admission price on April 20, 2021 was 300 lek ($3.75 CAD, $3.00 USD) per person.

Ruth, in the harem quarters.

We took a few videos for you yesterday... here's the first one...

The interior has no courtyard, which is an odd design.

There is a small exterior courtyard though.

Taken from the upper terrace looking down.

The small beach.

Views from the upper terrace.




The prison.

The prison would not have been an enjoyable place to be!

Our second stop was a much older castle. 

Borsh Castle sits on top of a hill and is surrounded by beautiful views in all directions. It's not that easy to get to. You have to drive up  narrow single lane road (that is recently paved) followed by a 20 minute steep walk up a switchbacking path to the top. 

That's where we are headed.

Borsh Castle dates back to the 4th century BC. Yes, the history of this fortification goes back 2,500 years! I still find that kind of history to be amazing. Our lives here on earth are just a drop in the bucket.

As with any fortress this old, it was added to and renovated by different civilizations over the years. It is mentioned in written documentation from 1258, along with many dwellings outside the walls. It was taken over by the Ottomans in the 1700's, and a the most recent renovations which were done at that time included a mosque built near the entrance.

Heading uphill.
The weather looking inland doesn't look very promising.

It didn't take long to get some nice views.

Looking towards the coast, it is still nice and sunny.
Notice the newly paved narrow road we drove up on the left side.

Castle entrance.

We were unsure if there was any kind of entrance fee, or if it would even be accessible. But the gate was wide open, and there were no signs advertising a fee of any kind. In fact, there was nobody around but us! We don't think it's visited very often, especially in the off season.



Looking down on some more ruins.

I climbed up to the highest point... so that I could be King of the Castle!

I took a video for you of the fantastic views from the top...

Views from the top of Borsh Castle.



I just love this stuff!

Even the doors to the 18th century mosque were open. It's in pretty rough shape, but you can see where they've been doing some recent renovation work so the whole things doesn't fall apart.

Views from the mosque.

Can you see our white car parked down below?

How old is this ladder?

Still some paint showing on the interior walls.

The roof is starting to look pretty sad.

And there is still some paint showing on the arches too.

Ruth, and the castle gate.

Fantastic being in a place like that and being the only ones there.

We headed back down to the coastal highway and drove south to Bunecit Beach.

Heading back towards the beach.

We will be taking that lower road towards the beach.

The main roads are normally in pretty good shape here in Albania. But as soon as you get off the main roads, they deteriorate quickly. 

It was slow going, but even a motorhome could make it.
You just have to take your time.

We walked along the beach as far as the hydroelectric generating station.

There was a big water outlet emptying into the ocean.

I took yet another video for you!





These local dogs were very friendly.
One was saying "Rub my tummy please!"

This old dock must have been constructed during the Communist era.
We walked to the end, but it was in pretty rough shape.

Ruth, walking a rocky part of the shoreline.

This French plated van has a great spot.

There was also a car with a small travel trailer that had German plates.

What a great day we had.

Today is moving day! We are headed into the countryside to a villa guest house in the mountains. We almost didn't book it because we are trying to avoid shared accommodation, but we will have the place to ourselves five of the seven days, and the other two days it will just be the mother who owns the place. It's just outside a small village, and it sounds right up our alley and too good to pass up.

See you there!

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14 comments:

  1. What a day you had! Thanks for those beautiful pictures and videos! This is a country of amazing beauty! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another great day in Albania. There really is a lot to see, so we are looking forward to coming back to this area again in our new motorhome one day in the future. :-)

      This country is beautiful and the best is yet to come!

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  2. More breathe-taking views. You are definitely finding more places to boondock.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely lots of great scenery here and we haven't even seen the best parts of Albania yet, at least what we think are the best parts.

      I don't think we will have any issues with finding great boondocking spots here when we eventually return with our motorhome. :-)

      Delete
  3. Wow! That fixer-upper is just the sort of project I'm looking for! I bet it would keep me busy for a month or two...LOL

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    Replies
    1. I bet that place would look stunning all fixed up. When is your flight booked? Lol!

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  4. Travellers avoid hotel quarantine by crossing at Canada-U.S. land border

    https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1887908419503

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and we may end up doing the same thing if the same rules are in place when we return to Canada in August. Who knows...

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    2. I watched the video in the link above. Definitely mixed messages. What I don't care for is the last couple where the woman is picking up her spouse. Almost flaunting the fact that they found a way around the rules as if they really beat the system. That part I don't like. It's about health and safety of others not just themselves.

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    3. Chris, we have read a couple of newspaper articles that have interviewed people that say they are safer doing their quarantine time at home than in the hotels, saying that the hotels were having problems and even taking the transport from the airport to the hotel was a failure. There doesn't seem to be a perfect system but we feel, that we ourselves would be far safer quarantine, solely at my dad's house with no one else around.

      Delete
  5. Wonder how many languished in that prison?
    Wonderful castles n pics

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    Replies
    1. I don't know but we would not have wanted to have been one of them!

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  6. Wow, what a great post. I especially enjoyed the video inside the castle. One thing I have noticed is that the Americas are far behind some of the countries that are supposedly economically deficient.

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    Replies
    1. Glad that you enjoyed the post Chris! I think you are going to love the area that we have just moved too. :-)

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