Gjirokastër and the Blue Eye



May 14, 2015

In Tirana I met a young man who bragged that he had taken a swim in the Blue Eye.  Since I was heading in that direction, I decided to visit the Blue Eye and see what the fuss is all about.  Maybe I’d be able to make the same boast as my young friend.

Berati and the Citadel


Republic of Albania

May 12, 2015

Mirëmëngjesi – Good morning,

“I wish I had planned to stay here longer.”

Haven’t we all have expressed that sentiment at one time or another?

That’s exactly how I feel in Berati.   I’m here on a day trip from Tirana, but I wish I can stay longer.

Shkodra: A Pizza and A Fortress

Shkodra (pop 135,612)

Republic of Albania

Republika e Shqipërisë 

May 11, 2015


Pizza. Pizza. Pizza!

Isn't there anything else to eat here in Northern Albania?

Apparently not.

My driver, Mr. Edmond * and I search and search and search for some local or traditional Albanian fare along the main pedestrian promenade here in Shkodra (Shkodër).   Finally we find an outdoor café and order, you guessed it, pizza.  We also order a salad and a meatball dish that passes for “local” food.

Vartolomio - Population 4271

May 6, 2015

So my friends,

It’s the end of my journey in the Peloponnese.

What shall I do?

Visit yet another marble site of Ancient Greece?

Explore the crumbling remains of the Byzantine Empire?

Climb the stone ramparts of one more Venetian Castle?

Admire the aqua view of the sea once again?

I decide on “None of the above.”

Three Castles


The Peloponnese


May 4, 2015


Civilizations are born, grow, prosper, decline and disappear.

Empires are here for a moment and fade into history books.

Fortresses are built. Castles and walls are constructed, besieged, breached and conquered.

Here in Greece I encounter three such examples.

How many past examples do we need?

The American writer William Faulkner wrote: “The past is not dead.  It's not even past.”