Durres to Kruje, Albania

Jun 03, 2018 - Sea Cloud

We sailed into Durres, the largest port in Albania, as we sipped our coffee and ate maybe our second croissant of the morning. Getting an early start this morning, we jumped on our chariots (Bus 1 and Bus 2), for a drive through the country and the town of Fushe-Kruje, where we saw the statue of President George W. Bush. Albanians were so appreciative of his 2007 visit that they built a statue of him in one of the main squares. But we did not stop here: we kept climbing the hills and bumpy roads to reach our enchanting destination of Kruje.

Kruje is a small town nestled beneath Albania’s central limestone escarpment. With breathtaking views and a tinge of nostalgia in the air, we stepped into the Ethnographic Museum where we learned what it was like living in Albania in the 1800s. We saw handmade dresses and suits glistening with beads and gold-threading and tools that took us back to that period. From there it was a short walk along cobblestoned streets to the Scanderbeg Museum, where we listened to war stories, coup d’états, and triumphs over oppressive governments.

If all of that wasn’t enough to fill a history-lover’s heart, we had lunch on the top of Skanderbeg Castle with local fare and a treat from traditional folk dancers. After yet another wonderful meal, we walked back through the markets where all things Albanian live. Hanging from all the roofs were antique rugs, pots and pans, t-shirts, and the ever-allusive refrigerator magnet.

For those who had an ounce of energy left, there was the treat of a recently discovered Roman amphitheater right in the middle of Durres before returning to the Sea Cloud. When we returned, the ship cast our lines and we sat to digest all that we experienced here in Albania. We then continued our journey on to Montenegro.

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About the Author

Tom O'Brien

Expedition Leader

Tom O’Brien has been leading and designing expeditions for Lindblad Expeditions since 1985. With a background in physical geography and conservation, a Bavarian heart and a Celtic soul, Tom has been one of the most passionate advocates of the expedition experience around the world for the last twenty years. Many of the local people and communities that we work with today are the result of friendships that Tom and his expedition mates developed many years ago.

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