Immersion Trip: Day 9-10

Today, a group of us went to Berat, a castle built between the 13th and 15th centuries.  It reflects the culture of the time insofar as it includes both a mosque (now ruined) and a church, the Church of St. Mary, which includes many famous Albanian icons.  The town of Berat is known for having thousands of “one over another” windows, as the photos attest; it also turns out (I just learned while checking out the Wikipedia entry) that Shabbatai Zevi, the 16th century Turkish Jew who declared himself to be the messiah and led a mass movement before being forced to recant, is buried there.

We then stopped in the Gobo Winery on the way home to sample wine and walnut raki. &nbspThe wine wasn’t bad, but the walnut raki was a clear reminder that walnuts contain iodine. &nbspI suppose it cures what it doesn’t kill.

Day 10 was essentially a continuation of Day 9, since we never went to bed – we watched television until 3:30 when the cab came and took us to the airport. &nbspThe airport was fairly busy at 4:00 AM, since the flight to Vienna is popular and there aren’t many options for getting out of the country. &nbspWe got through security easily enough, although strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, the airport security did not identify the oversized bottle of saline solution that I had accidentally packed in my carry-on luggage. &nbspHowever, they did confiscate the bottle of wine Abby had purchased at the Gobo Winery. &nbspOur teacher, who had met us there along with her 85 year-old mother-in-law, urged Abby to go back and get the bottle of wine, and we’d drink it there.  We passed on the offer.