Berat

As alluded to in my last post, the town of Berat rubbed me the right way. We were driving along and I glanced down at Google maps and said “hey guys, this is Berat”. We all kind of looked at each other… “we’re here? this is Berat?” … Moments later, we turned a corner and saw this: the old town. It was oozing with character.berat_albania_travel_0001It’s one of those UNESCO World Heritage sites, and for good reason.berat_albania_travel_0002berat_albania_travel_0003berat_albania_travel_0004berat_albania_travel_0005berat_albania_travel_0006berat_albania_travel_0007berat_albania_travel_0008berat_albania_travel_0009berat_albania_travel_0010berat_albania_travel_0011berat_albania_travel_0012berat_albania_travel_0013berat_albania_travel_0014berat_albania_travel_0015berat_albania_travel_0016berat_albania_travel_0017berat_albania_travel_0018berat_albania_travel_0019berat_albania_travel_0020berat_albania_travel_0021Kind of a unique style of home hey? Our guesthouse was nestled away somewhere in this area. To get to it you had to hike up half the mountain (slippery stone steps on a steep incline) so we opted to take a small backpack rather than all our luggage. berat_albania_travel_0022berat_albania_travel_0023berat_albania_travel_0024berat_albania_travel_0025This is a sample of the streets (but a very flat area).berat_albania_travel_0026We wanted to visit Castle Hill so in typical Dane and Amanda style, we just started walking in the general direction. We opted for a shortcut up the mountain and ran into some locals… Bessie the cow just mowing the lawn.berat_albania_travel_0027She was a little bit thrown off by me and Dane and darted into the bushes.berat_albania_travel_0028There were lots of other farmers chillin’ on the mountainside with their livestock. Actually in most of the Balkan countries, it’s not uncommon to see a donkey or a cow (or any other animal for that matter) just hanging out in the downtown core eating the grass… or tied to a tree on the side of a curvy, one-car-wide mountain road (high probability of getting smucked by traffic)… the animals feast where ever the hang their owner wants.berat_albania_travel_0031berat_albania_travel_0029berat_albania_travel_0030berat_albania_travel_0032When we arrived at the top, the sun was glistening and glowing.berat_albania_travel_0033berat_albania_travel_0034berat_albania_travel_0035Some local kids were having a good ol’ football game.berat_albania_travel_0036berat_albania_travel_0037berat_albania_travel_0038berat_albania_travel_0039berat_albania_travel_0040berat_albania_travel_0041berat_albania_travel_0042berat_albania_travel_0043berat_albania_travel_0044berat_albania_travel_0045After soaking up the view, we mosied back down the mountain on the more civilized path.berat_albania_travel_0046This. View. Though.berat_albania_travel_0047berat_albania_travel_0048berat_albania_travel_0049The sun had set and we were ready for a feast.berat_albania_travel_0050Stuffed grape leaves.berat_albania_travel_0051Baked lamb and yoghurt sauce.berat_albania_travel_0052Baked eggplant.berat_albania_travel_0053We keep bumping into the same people on this trip, in various cities. So we enjoyed the evening chatting away to a couple lads – one from Wales, one from Israel.
This was the morning view out our window. berat_albania_travel_0057Can’t even do it justice. It (almost) made up for the uncleanliness of the guesthouse. Gag.berat_albania_travel_0058

We just stayed one night in this town… a quick pitstop on the way to the coast. We sure loved it though. An unexpected gem!

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