Sarandë to Butrint, Albania

Aug 28, 2018 - Sea Cloud

We began today’s journey docking at the Albanian port of Sarandë, an ancient city that has grown significantly as a tourist resort since the fall of Albania’s communist regime in the early 1990s. From there, we began our short drive to the archaeological site of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the Archaic era (8th century BC) until the 19th century. 

According to legend, the site was founded by Trojan exiles during the Bronze Age. It is best known, however, for the structures dating from the Hellenistic through Byzantine eras, including a theater, baths, basilica, and an ornate 6th-century baptistery. In contrast to yesterday’s rainy weather, we had a clear, sunny day, and abundant oak, laurel, and fig trees provided ample shade as we strolled through the wooded site. The city is very slowly sinking into its marshy surroundings and this was especially evident around the theater, where raised walkways allowed us to cross standing water full of turtles, some of which were basking on the stone ruins of the theater entrance. 

After our visit, we traveled back to the port, and many of us went for a swim from the ship before lunch, noting the saltiness of the Ionian seawater. After lunch we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon under sail, which we each spent in different ways. Some of us attended a talk on the history and art of ancient Greece, others chose to take a siesta, and still others lounged on deck and admired the beauty of Sea Cloud. Our evening event included a fascinating lecture on the history of this magnificent ship, followed by an open house tour of some of the original state rooms.

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About the Author

Rebecca Ingram


A research associate with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), Rebecca Ingram has studied ancient Mediterranean seafaring and trade since 2000. She earned her M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. (2013) through the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University.

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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