Travels around Albania

Some photos from our recent excursions: first, on 28 November, Abby and I took the cable car up to Mount Dajti, which is the mountain that looms over Tirana. We had lunch at one of the many restaurants up there. There’s not a lot to say about Mount Dajti except that it’s a nice place for a walk or a picnic when the weather is nice.

The view from the restaurant; looking down the cable car wires; the ground rushing beneath us; view of the mountains from the cable car.

Then, this past weekend, we went to Pogradec with our friends, two doctors both named Dritan, and their wives. There’s more to say about Pogradec, if only because it is reached by a series of winding mountain roads, and as one of the Dritans said, it was a good thing that we were driving at night because if we could have seen how sharply the road drops off, we would have been terrified.

Pogradec is on Albania’s border with Macedonia and it sits on the shores of Lake Ohrid. Lake Ohrid is one of only two lakes in the world where the koran fish lives (no relation to the Book); koran tastes like salmon, but it is lighter. Our teachers began telling us about the koran on the first day of language class, and having finally tasted it, I can see why. We had it for Friday dinner and Saturday lunch, prepared four differents ways in all, and it was delicious. In fact, generally there isn’t much to do in Pogradec – except that it’s a good town for visiting artists’ studios – so we focused on eating and drinking. In addition to the koran, we had wild rabbit, deer and what we think was pintail duck, washed down with local wines and homemade raki. (In fact, we were there during the local winter wine festival.) We also saw our first snow in Albania, as it began snowing early Saturday morning and continued through the day.

The view from our hotel window; Albana, Abby and Elsa; an arty picture of a boat.

Another arty picture of boats; people dancing around a Christmas tree during the wine festival; a street in the old town after the festival had closed for the night.

Other than that, not much else is new; Abby is working hard, I’m still drawing at the Academy of Arts and working on some ridiculous paintings, and right now the dog is chewing on my arm because he wants to play. Gotta go.