Sunday 12 November 2023

Day 9 Kruje

 After breakfast I went  out on the balcony. It was a beautiful morning, so I sat there writing my journal until I saw the others gathering downstairs to get on the bus. 

We had about a 2 hour drive to the port of Durres, home to the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans. We hadn't travelled that far when there was a bang. A car had driven into the back of us. Not much damage but damaged it was and we couldn't move until the police had assessed the situation. 
We got off the bus and I went into a local supermarket next to where the accident had taken place. It turns out that the man who owned the supermarket had lived in England just a few miles from where I live. He returned to Albania to buy the supermarket with his brother and although it is long hours and hard work it seems to be going well for them. He told me that sorting out the accident would take some time and I might as well go to the beach. I didn't even realise we were close to the sea. So I went for a quick look.

It was a lovely soft, sandy beach and looked much better than the one we swam from the other day. When I mentioned this to Ed he said the water quality was very poor. Maybe it was or maybe it wasn't.

I returned to the bus to find a long traffic jam behind us with drivers getting very frustrated. It took about an hour and a half to sort out the paper work. Each one of us had to sign a disclaimer to say we hadn't been injured before we could be on our way.

We finally reached Durres with its 15th cent Venetian tower. The  Tower was built for artillery purposes close to the sea.

The amphitheatre was built at the beginning of the 2nd cent Ad. It is estimated that it could hold 15 to 20 thousand spectators. Slave owners would watch their slaves fight other gladiators or beasts. The amphitheatre was discovered in 1966.

It did seem strange to have these modern buildings above the amphitheatre. I can only assume that it was whilst excavations during other building work that this ancient monument was discovered.
There were tunnels beneath the seating areas of the amphitheatre.

Passed a few pomegranate  trees as we walked to the seafront. 

We went for a stroll along the promenade 

It was a rocky beach so no good for swimming. After picking up a sandwich and an ice cream it was time to get back on the bus for a couple of hours driving to our final destination.

We were staying at the Hotel Panorama in Kruje for our last night of the trip. Tomorrow we will all be driven to the airport in the capital Tirana for our flight home. The hotel is perched on the top of a hill with terrific views over the valley.

As soon as I had taken my luggage up to my room I went downstairs and out into the bazaar.
There was nothing I wanted to buy and the cobbled street did not make for comfortable walking.

After wandering the length of the bazaar I went back to the hotel.
I was feeling exhausted and the thought of walking down the cobbled street again was just too much. So I opted out of going with the others to the castle and the museum. Instead I went up to the rooftop pool. It had had all day to warm up in the sun so it was ok. I found it refreshing and then I lay on a sun lounger for an hour or so before returning to my room.

In the evening we all met up in the hotel restaurant for a final meal together and to reflect on the trip. I had thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Albania. The scenery was spectacular and the hotels were of a much higher standard than I expected. The food was delicious, cheap and fresh and the people very friendly. What more could you ask for.


  1. Thank you for taking us along on your trip to Albania! So interesting. And so grateful no one was hurt in the accident.

  2. These buildings would be so haunted with so many dead in the amphitheater down below.

  3. There are cobblestones but the ones you show us look more like well placed rocks. Albania has never been a place on my list to visit and it was good to see the country through your eyes and lens.

  4. The view from that pool looks like it was spectacular. The amphitheater reminds me of the one we saw in Terragona, Spain in 2019. Glad you enjoyed your trip. What's next on your travel list?

  5. What a great place to end your trip. I'm glad the accident didn't injure anyone and you were able to continue without too much delay. It's been lovely following your journey. Hope you had a trouble free journey home.

  6. Looks like an amazing place with a ton of history. I hope no one was hurt in the car accident.

  7. Albania looks be a lovely destination for a holiday. Somewhere different to so many other touristy spots. Super photos that make me wonder why Albanian people seem so desperate to reach the UK. Unless its6the freebies.

  8. Shame about the car accident. At least no-one was hurt.
    I've really enjoyed reading about your trip to Albania and seeing your photographs.

    All the best Jan

  9. Other than the accident it sounds like you had a super holiday. So interesting to see and hear about a country that I haven't visited.

  10. The promenade to the beach looks very inviting.. and the sand looks perfect for sandwiches and sea-viewing.


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