Saturday, October 15, 2011

Itinerar albanez 2. De la sud spre nord / Albanian Itinerary 2. From South to North

Here is our return itinerary from Albania. This time we drove a part of time in the interior of the country, visitng the historic town of Gjirokaster.


From Ksamil to Tepelene the road was OK, but then we had 67 km (from Tepelene to Fier) on a road which is right now in reconstruction. There was not much traffic anyhow. In Tepelene is another fortress, which was ruled by Ali Pasha of Tepelene. We only passed underneath. Then, it was a region were they extract oil, with a characteristic landscape.


From Fier we entered on the same road to Shkoder. Here we took another one to go to the border crossig from Hani i Hotit, in order to enter into Montenegro and sleep in Podgorica. Those last 34 km to the border have been very bad, even in reconstruction. A lot of dust there...


Eventually we reached the border. The formalities have been brief. It was no car before us, so we passed immediately into Montenegro. Good by, Albania! (No, I am not finished to tell you about Albania. I'll do this in the next posts.)

La plecarea din Albania am parcurs mai intai un drum prin interiorul tarii pentru a vizita macar putin din Gjirokaster, un oras monument. Deoarece vroiam sa ajungem spre seara la Podgorica, in Muntenegru si sa dormim acolo, am plecat la 6.15 de la Ksamil. Afara erau deja 25 de grade. Vremea era frumoasa, cu cate un nor ici-colo.
 va aminteste de Grecia?
Soseaua este foarte buna de la Ksamil pana la Tepelene, imi spusese proprietarul pensiunii unde am fost cazati in Ksamil. De fapt, sunt doua variante: una prin Devine, cealalta prin Finique. Neavand nici o alta informatie, am ales-o pe prima. Ajungand insa intr-un sat si intreband de continuarea drumului, omul mi-a raspuns scuturand energic bratele ca nu e bine pe acolo, ca "auto kaput" si ne-a facut semn de intoarcere, cu 8 degete rasfirate ridicate! Trebuia sa ne intoarcem 8 km si sa o luam pe un drum pe care l-am observat dar fiindca era cu macadam, am preferat sa mergem mai departe pe asfalt. Ce sa--i faci? Daca nu stii, nu stii! Ne-am intors. Macadamul se termina repede, fiind inlocuit de asfalt. Sosea ingusta, cu doua benzi, acceptabila, adica mai ca pe la noi. Urmarind harta, constatam ca suntem pe valea unei Bistrite (!!). Urcam la un moment dat, vazand pe coasta cealalta urmele unor ruine, cele de la Finique, despre care citisem. Aflat cam la 20 km de granita cu Grecia,  Phoinike a fost o asezare prospera a regatului Epir, apoi in perioada romana si bizantina, declinul sau venind brusc, o data cu stapanirea otomana.

Printre case, o manastire, cea a Sf. Thanasi, aflam dintr-un ghid. Aproape de varf, trecem printr-o zona pietroasa interesanta, cu straturi aproape orizontale. Vedem valea spre care coboram si, in zare, alti munti. Un munte si o vale, un munte si o vale, cam asta este peisajul albanez.
 Manastirea Sf. Thanasi
Ajunsi in vale, intalnim o sosea nationala splendida, dreapta ca-n palma (reconstruita de curand), pe care mergi lejer cu 100 /ora. Satele sunt atarnate pe coastele dealului. Ne apropiem de Gjirokaster, aflat cam la 54 km de Sarande.
Dupa ce vizitam cetatea din Gjirokaster ne urmam drumul, pe aceeasi sosea exceptionala pana la Tepelene, tinutul stapanit candva de catre Pasa Ali de Tepelene. Si aici exista o cetate, iar in centrul orasului te intampina statuia pasei. Fortareata a fost construita in secolul al XVII-lea. Pasa Ali, nascut chiar aici, a fost o figura de seama a epocii sale care, prin priceperea sa a reusit sa ajunga chiar conducatorul regiunii Ioannina.
 zidul cetatii din Tepelene
 raul Vjosa
Mai departe, cale de 67 de  km, de la Tepelene la Fier, soseaua este in reconstructie. Din aceasta cauza inaintam mai incet. Suntem inca in zona de dealuri. In curand intram intr-o regiune petroliera, plina de schele de petrol, in apropiere de Ballsh.
 zona petroliera
De la Fier reintram in traseul facut la venire, pana la Shkoder, 253 de km. Soseaua este buna, asa ca ne grabim. Stim ca va mai urma o portiune scurta de drum, de la Shkoder pana la granita albaneza, unde vom suferi...Cand vedem zidurile cetatii Rozefa, stim ca am intrat in Shkoder. Stim directia de urmat, asa ca iesim repede din oras, indreptandu-ne spre granita, la Hani i Hotit.
 cetatea Rozefa, Shkoder
 trecand prin Shkoder
Ne despart de granita doar 34 de km. Cu ultimii lek cumparam... inca 2 litri de benzina...Drumul, in buna parte paralel cu Lacul Shkoder, ne duce printr-o zona rurala, flancata in departare de munti. Nu mai e mult pana la apusul soarelui. Desi se lucreaza la modernizarea acestei sosele, sunt multe parti unde esti pur si simplu invaluit in praful starnit de masinile din fata. Un pod mic si ingust de lemn, care se trece cu 5 km/ora...
Case noi insotesc soseaua. Ne apropiem de granita.
 Lacul Shkoder
ne apropiem de Hani i Hotit
Dupa 425 de km parcursi de dimineata, de la Ksamil, ajungem la punctul de granita cu Muntenegru. Nu e nici o masina, asa ca dupa cateva minute doar suntem in Muntenegru. Mai avem 30 de km pana la Podgorica, unde ne vom caza.
 La revedere, Albania! (Nu, n-am terminat cu Albania, abia incep sa va povestesc in postarile viitoare. Vroiam doar sa va descriu mai intai itinerariul dus-intors, parcurs acolo.)

17 comments:

VP said...

Interesting place, so close and so exotic...

joo said...

It seems to be beautiful country! I love the photo of the old bridge! Amazing!

Traveling Hawk said...

It was really interesting to visit a country about we knew almost nothing, VP!

Traveling Hawk said...

I am sure there are many more things to be discovered there, Joo!

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Interesting place and remoteness and yet so many beautiful palaces or houses !

Randy said...

Beautiful countryside.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks, Wong!

Traveling Hawk said...

Yes, the mountains add to the landscape, Randy.

magda said...

Very nice photos!
The names, the church, all remind Greece. Reminiscent of the story, our parents. Is there some Greeks.
good week

magda said...

I'm sorry! The translator...
The names, the church, all remind Greece. Reminiscent of the story, our parents. Is there some Greeks.
Have a good week!

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Magda. Actually there are Greeks in some villages, coming down from the Llogara Pass. Even in Saranda I bought Greek yoghurt and the lady there told me that was a Greek shop.

- Yvonaut -
Das sind Raphael und Yvonne
said...

Wonderful landscape in this country!
Looks like an interesting trip!
Greetings from Switzerland
Yvonne and Raphael

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Yvonaut! It is a less known country and, for this reason, challenging!

Have a great week!

Life Ramblings said...

wow, Albania looks like a beautiful country to explore. i'll look forward to seeing more of your beautiful series on Albania.

Traveling Hawk said...

Just do it, Life Ramblings! There are some interesting places to be seen.

Rizalenio said...

Ending this wonderful trip with a stunning sunset is a winner. :)

Traveling Hawk said...

It was the moment we re-entered Montenegro, Rizalenio. That's near the Shkadar Lake.