Krujë, Albania

Sep 20, 2018 - Sea Cloud

After arriving at the port of Durres in the early morning, we set out by bus for Krujë, the historic capital of Albania. After a winding uphill drive, we arrived in the scenic mountain town, settled beneath the country’s central limestone escarpment. A quick walk through the medieval market gave a preview of the shopping that was to come, and then we entered the center of the Krujë Castle.

A visit to the Ethnographic Museum provided a look at what it would have been like to live here in the 18th century, and the National Museum highlighted Albania’s national hero. We enjoyed a delicious traditional lunch with lamb and local vegetables grown by the restaurant just outside the city. After a dessert of sweet cherries, a local dance group performed and played traditional music. Some guests joined in the fun. Then we headed back to the market for some shopping. Many guests came away with bronze trinkets from the communist era and woven wool rugs that you could watch the ladies make.

As we made our way back down the mountain, our guides told stories of what it was like to live in Albania now as well as when it was a dictatorship. Returning to the port, some went to see a Roman amphitheater in the middle of downtown Durres and others went back to Sea Cloud. When all were back aboard, there was a presentation on the history of Sea Cloud with a reception in the original staterooms, so all passengers could see the beautiful details. The day ended with a wonderful dinner, some piano music, and a bit of stargazing.

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About the Author

Leah Eaton

Assistant Expedition Leader

Leah grew up in a small coastal town in the Pacific Northwest with Olympic National Park in her backyard, and it was here where her love of all things wild began. Ever since she ran around shipyards at an early age and watched her dad work in the marine trade, she has loved being near water.

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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