The U.S.S. Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Jasper, Alberta on Friday.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Another Kevin and Ruth mystery tour

We set off yesterday morning on a hike. We didn't really have a planned destination, and we just started walking up the mountain in behind the town of Permet. We figured we'd be gone a couple of hours, but as usual it turned into a bit of a mystery tour as we tried to find the Shen Elena Shrine located somewhere up there.

We had no problem making our way up to the almost ghost town like village of Lipa. But from there it became a series of dead ends as we tried to find the shrine.

It was cloudy with sunny breaks, and a high around 22C (72F). A little hazy too. We were glad it wasn't too hot though since we ended up climbing 600 meters (2,000 feet) in altitude.

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

Looking back at Ruth on the rough road leading up to Lipa.

Looking north up the valley.

Tiny church in Lipa.

There is no shortage of natural spring drinking water in Albania.

There are occasional hiking signs like this one, but overall the trails are not well marked.

The sign above says that Shen Elena is 1.5 kms and 45 minutes away. But that was not to be the case! It ended up taking us an hour and a half because we took a mystery tour route!

Just a horse, of course.

Ghost town buildings in Lipa.

Despite these signs, the trail was not easy to follow.

View above Lipa.

View looking down on Permet.

Hmm... we must be getting close!

On the right track.

But where that sign was, there were two paths. We took the upper one that led us to a beautiful meadow and some great views. But no shrine. We were just about ready to give up.

Wild peonies.

Lots of bees.

And some great views.

Ruth was ready to head back down, but I wanted to follow that lower path a while and see if it led to the shrine. I took off on my own at a faster pace, and eventually I came to another gate.

Huge rock overhang.

And, there's the shrine!

The original shrine had been destroyed by the communists, and this replacement was rebuilt in 1999.

The location is kind of neat, built into the side of the cliff.

Lots of religious paraphenelia inside.

Wood carving.

Painting done on a piece of bark.

I went back and told Ruth what I found, and of course she didn't want to feel like she missed something so we retraced my steps and returned to the shrine together.

Then, we headed back down the mountain.

Scenery along the way.

Ruth saying hi to a horse.

We ended up doing about 8.5 kms (5.5 miles) and we were gone almost three and a half hours.

Yesterday was Easter Monday here in Albania, and we didn't know if the shops would be open or closed. We still didn't have anything that we could make for dinner. As we made our way back into Permet, things looked awfully quiet! We walked by the restaurant we had dinner at the night before, and the owner was out washing down the sidewalk. We asked if he was open in the evening, and he said yes... we told him we might be back! 

And sure enough, all of the groceries stores were still locked up.

We relaxed for a couple of hours back at the apartment and then headed out for dinner.

I ordered the spiced sausage and a local salad.

Ruth ordered the meat kebabs and feta cheese.

Fresh feta cheese.

We each had a full glass of wine, and the total bill was 1,500 lek ($18 CAD, $14.50 USD).

Delicious, and we were stuffed once again. 

Today, we are going out to explore the Langarica Canyon and Benja Hot Springs, which are the main reasons we came to this area.

Decent price drop on the popular Nixplay Digital Picture Frame.

And in Canada...


  1. At least the shrine was open!

    1. Yes, we were happy that it was open because the outside sure wasn't special but seeing all the different artifacts inside was pretty interesting and the location was pretty neat too. :-)

  2. Glad you were persistent or you would have missed the Shrine. Beautiful scenery.
    Dinner looked delicious.
    Be Safe and Enjoy today's explorations.

    It's about time.

    1. We are glad that we were persistent too but even if we didn't find it, just seeing the beautiful views from up there and getting our exercise in for the day was worth it. :-)

      Dinner was yummy and filling!

  3. Great headline that made me click on your post this morning!! What a great day...determination always pays off for you two! Food looks delish. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lol, we have been using the term "mystery tour" for a very long time and it is always used when we end up heading off somewhere that we have no clue where we will end up, even if we happen to be driving in a car!

      It was a great hike, and the views from up there were great. :-)

      Dinner was delicious, we are so glad that we found that place.

  4. Wild peonies! A surprise. But of course they have to grow wild somewhere.

    1. I never knew that there was such a thing as a wild peony but as soon as I saw the buds on the plant and the fact that the leaves seemed familiar I knew that was what it was. I checked on the internet when we got back just to be sure, and sure enough that is what they were. The flowers are a little different, not as layered as ones you see in the garden but still quite pretty.

    2. Horticulturists have modified many of our common garden plants so we hardly recognize them.. E.g. roses and rhododendrons. Rhodos grow wild in the Himalaya area and have naturalized in Scotland (maybe all of GB)

    3. This is true and even today they are still changing plants/flowers to create new and different varieties.

  5. Replies
    1. I think that you would have loved the dinner! :-)


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