We had another fantastic sunrise for the early risers on Sea Cloud as we sailed our way into Durres, Albania’s largest and busiest port. For most of us, this was our first time entering this enthralling country, and we were very excited for the day ahead. We boarded buses in the morning and drove to the old historic capital of Albania, Kruje, where we visited a few museums, including the famous Skanderbeg National Museum. We also learned about traditional Albanian life in the Ethnographic Museum, which is nestled inside Skanderbeg Castle.
After our morning visits to the museums, we had a wonderful buffet lunch, featuring many local specialties, followed by a musical performance by traditional performers. It was a fantastic treat and the musicians and dancers were incredibly talented. Those who had the shopping bug got some free time after lunch to wander the cobblestone alleys of town and explore the medieval bazaar, a great place to find antique trinkets and handmade jewelry.
During our drive back to the ship, some guests visited the excavation site of a Roman amphitheater for a fascinating account of human history in the area. Later we set sail and continued south as our historian Dr. Rebecca Ingram gave a lecture on the Ottoman Empire and the Balkans. It was an interesting and delightful first day in Albania, and we looked forward to continuing our journey in the fascinating country!