Sunday, November 21, 2010


From the looks of Saranda, Albania, you would wonder why anybody would bother stopping here. It has none of the charm of the other Dalmatian Coast countries, having been the longest holdout to entry from outsiders of all the former Yugoslav "republics." Nevertheless, it is being marketed in recent years as the "Albanian Riviera," not that you could tell from this photograph.
But the countryside is beautiful, with lots of the Scotch broom that gave Split, Croatia its name
Of course, there are plenty of leftovers from the Communist era

This was the reason we stopped in Albania: The ancient city of Butrint, a Roman protectorate after 228 B.C. and made a veteran's colony, first by Cæser and then again later by Emperor Augustus. It became a bishopric in the 6th century and, like the rest of the area, fell under the control of various powers (Byzantine, French, Venetian, etc.), but it was pretty much abandoned by the 17oos and surrounded by malarial marshes, into which it is gradually sinking today.

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