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Albania Trip Pictures from July 15 to 19, 2006

To proceed to the Albania Journal.

Route Map through ALBANIA. Covered approx. 500km on the motorcycles.

July 15, 2006. We enter at Kakavija Border Crossing from Greece and the roads instantly deteriorate.

At Muzine we almost miss our turn as the main road looks more like a farm road leading nowhere.

Civilization or any other traffic has almost stopped as we summit and head down into Delvine.

A break on the side of the road.

South of Saranda, the town of Ksamili lies on our way to Burint.

Four small islands make this a pictureques spot to hang out for a couple of days. Picture is taken from our hotel (Adriani).

These small CONCRETE DOMES with their rectangular slits, were built between 1950 to 1985 and a total of 700,000 are in the most unexpected places, like the sandy beach.

July 17, 2006. The ferry at Butrint.

BUTRINT is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.

The 3rd Century BC Theatre, later adapted to a Roman design with a stage building.

There has been evidence of a settlement dating back as far as the 8th Century BC, but Butrints%u2019 first substantial settlement was by the Greeks in 6th Century BC.

The town of Butrint took its usual path in history, originally built by the Greeks, then occupied by the Romans and later taken over by the Ottomans.

Each ruler leaving its mark on the fortified town.

Sea water today covers most of the stage/orchestra area.

The Agora/Forum, the civic and commercial heart of the city.

An early 6th Century baptistery with mosaic floor representing Christian salvation.

Animals and birds can be seen in these mosaics.

A 2nd Century AD fountain, dedicated to the Nymphs by a local woman, Junia Rufina.

The Great Basilica, an early Christian church, ....

... constructed in the 6th Century AD.

Ruby uncovers some more of the floor mosaic.

The Lake Gate, a fine Hellenistic gate in the 4th Century BC walls.

The stairway behind the Lake Gate.

The Lion Gate, a further gate rebuilt in the middle ages.

A spring behind the Lion Gate.

Staircase leading from the Lion Gate to the Venetian Castle.

View of the Theatre & Roman Bath. Around the 5th Century BC Butrint had become a fortified trading post and when the Romans took over in 167 BC the town expanded to the plains beyond the water channel via a bridge and large aqueduct.

Unfortunately the aqueduct and bridge are long gone. The 14th - 16th Century Venetian Castle.

The castle was reconstructed in the 1930's.

View of Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel which connects it to the Strait of Corfu.

Albanian Flag.

Sculptures found at Butrint, in the Museum located inside the Venetian Castle.

Unknown Statue.

A Venetian tower constructed in the 15th-16th Centuries.

It didn%u2019t take much convincing to call it a day when we came around a mountain pass and saw the perfect beach stretch out before us.

With no town close by, we are about 20 km south of Borsh.

What an amazing view.

At the Komplik Turistik we got this great cabin, situated directly over the rushing river for only 20 Euro/night.

We head to the beach first chance we get.

The water is warm and the beaches empty.

It is a perfect way to cool off.

More bunkers left behind after the fall of communism...

...line the beach, empty and slowly falling apart.

In the evening we watch the sun set over the IONIAN SEA...

...sitting on the end of the dock.

July 18, 2006. Small villages hang on the side of the mountains.

The road deteriorates to a point that can not be put into words unless experienced in person. We are doing about 20 to 30km in an hour.

The villages we pass are the worst as potholes are covered in water and whole cars can disappear in them.

Laughing, shaking our heads in disbelieve, we are having the time of our lives.

The road between Himara and Dhermi is on a high plateau and as the mountains plunge into the sea, white beaches stretch for miles.

From the distance we see the road zig-zagging up the LLOGARAJA PASS over 1000m high.

The sky is looking dark as black thunderous clouds start to build at the summit.

View from the famous Llogaraja Pass (1027m).

The ancient castle of KRUJE jutts out on the side of the Mountain.

The Skanderbeg Museum inside the walls of the Kruja castle walls.

Not much inside the castle walls has survived the past.

The view from the castle of the town of Kruja.

Mike climbs up the steps to the tower.

Portions of the Castle are still inhabited.

STATUE OF SKANDERBEG (George Kastrioti, 1405 to 68) ...

...wielding his mighty sword.

An example of Albanian workmanship. We were amazed that people actully used this stairway.

Houses are in poor conditions.

Sometimes we question how they can be structurally sound.

July 19, 2006. The view from our balcony in Shkodra is great, the lake mirrors the houses ...

...and fishermen are out in the calm water.

Mike gets the camera out and plays with the morning light.

Fisherman bring their catch to the road side for sale.

It is very peaceful watching the fisherman.

It is about 6 am in the morning and horse carriages are continuously passing past the hotel.

It is neat to hear the horse shoes clopping on the road. These are the sounds and memories that will stay with you forever.

A lonely boat on the lake.

The main road through Shkodra, huge potholes and garbage litter the street.

Who needs to go into the country for off-roading, it all can be found just outside your house in these towns.

Albania at its best. The last fontier and only for the adventurous.