The historic 900 year old wooden Stave Church in Urnes, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Hafslo, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Hiking high above Komani Lake

We came to Komani Lake specifically to do the Komani Lake Ferry ride. But when we were researching the area, we learned of a hike that goes high up into the mountains overlooking Komani Lake where there is the ruins of a settlement dating back to the 3rd century.

The hike itself would be great, but even better to see some ruins that not many other people see because it's a difficult uphill climb to get there.

It was supposed to be a warm day, so we managed to get going around 9:30am.

Stopping for some nice cold spring water.

Part of the trail led to this viewpoint.

But my map showed another viewpoint a hundred or so meters further. There were trail markers, but it was pretty overgrown. The path to the ruins site was pretty well worn and easy to follow, but to get to this next viewpoint was a bit difficult!

The road we came in on. 
We will be taking the same road out this morning.

Remains of an ancient church.

Ruth, enjoying the views.

We made it to the viewpoint, with only a few scratches on our legs!

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

Views over Komani Lake.


We made it to the ruins of Dalmace.

The hill was steep.
But they sure knew how to build a place with a view!

What was life like here 1,800 years ago?

Can you see the ruins?

Zoomed in a bit more.

Looking back.

We took a trail to another part of the site where the necropolis (graveyard) is located.

This area was excavated in the 1980's.

The graves are made of slate rock.
There are maybe 25 or 30 of them.

I found the head of a European Stag Beetle.

The underside.
Can you see why it is called a stag beetle?
 It does have a bit of a resemblance to a male deer.

We took another path that ended up leading us to the tiny village of Shënkolli. There are maybe 10 homes here, and the place is only accessible by the trails up the mountain. Apparently they are only lived in during the summer. It would be a pretty remote place to live!

This house is not occupied.

But that was where our trail stopped. We had to make our way through the stinging nettles to get to the other trail on the other side of this house. It was not fun because we were both wearing shorts!

We saw quite a few things being grown up here.
Grapes and onions especially.

We were trying to follow a route on a paper map that Ruth had that our hotel host had given us, but we made a wrong turn somewhere. We ended up on a trail that led down, which was where we wanted to go but it was steep and not used much, although someone had cut back the brush recently. Wasn't where we wanted to be, but we did make our way back to the bottom.

We ended up doing 9.5 kms (6 miles) and we were gone for five hours.

We stopped in at our favorite Koman restaurant (the only place we have eaten lunch or dinner since we've been here) and had a cold drink and a bowl of soup and rice for lunch.

We relaxed for the rest of the afternoon, then wet back to the same place for dinner.

Our favorite restaurant.
If you ever find yourself in Koman, Albania this is the place to eat!


The owner and chef Viola with Ruth.
Viola is a good cook!

Our hotel was overrun with a group of about 20 girls last night. The owner had warned us about this, but we don't mind. "But they will be noisy and there might be music" she said. So what did we do? We went and joined them at about 10:30pm last night. Most of them spoke English. They were just a group of friends from Tirana having a girl's weekend away. They had done the boat trip during the day. We didn't get to bed until after midnight!

Today is a travel day as we are headed back to the city of Tirana for our last five nights in Albania.


And in Canada...


  1. Whilst hiking in Turkey, you were practically tripping over Greek and Roman ruins daily, but in Albania, sandwiched between those two civilizations, all the ruins seem to be of more recent--though still ancient--churches. Are the older ruins there but not accessible? Did the church builders disassemble the older buildings for materials (as seen often in Mexico?) Did the Greeks not like Albanian cuisine? I could Google all this, but I'm world-class lazy.

    1. We have definitely been to several different ruins sites here in Albania that are very old but most of them were along the coast. We have no idea why there aren't more as you mentioned with Greece close by, perhaps there are still many that have yet to be discovered or maybe they just aren't there, we honestly can't answer your question.

  2. Great video. Nice to read your blog again, missed your adventures. K~

    1. So glad that you found us again and can now follow along on our adventures. We know we are going to have some good ones coming up soon! :-)

  3. You are both so adventurous. Love the pictures. Enjoy your last 5 days in Albania!

    1. We are glad we are adventurous too, I think we would miss out on a lot of neat things if we weren't. It certainly keeps life interesting for us this way. :-)

      I am sure we will enjoy our last few days here in Albania, it is sort of sad to think that we will be leaving but we know we have new places to explore and that we will be back here again some day. :-)

  4. Loved the video! What an interesting dam! And that river/ reservoir looks pretty! Iove ferry rides/boat rides wherever we have an opportunity to do so wherever we have traveled. This ferry ride reminded me of the boat trip we took on the fjords of Gros Morne National Park in New Foundland where a sudden wind gust took my Tilley hat with it!

    1. So glad that you enjoyed the video. Again, this was a really pretty area.

      This lake has a total of three dams on it and I think this one was the largest of the three, it is definitely different looking to the dams that we are used to seeing.

      The ferry ride was beautiful with amazing scenery along the way and the weather was pretty much perfect for the trip. We also did the boat ride on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park back in the early 90's, and yes it had similar landscape for sure. Sorry you lost your Tilley hat then, I had to put the chin strap on mine for this trip, there were several gusty sections and I didn't want to lose it.


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