Voyage of Traveler / Blog

July 5, 2009

Traveler Postcard From Albania

July 3, 2009
40 42 N, 019 10E

Hi, Everyone,
We are cruising north just off the Albanian coast, having left Sarande, Albania this morning, on an overnight passage headed for Montenegro. As Barbara and I were finishing our dinner of fresh mussels with pasta in the cockpit and enjoying the sunset over the Adriatic Sea, it dawned on me that this is likely to be our last overnight passage together, with just the two of us.  Barbara must go back to work in just 40 days from now, and we will be doing short daytime passages, and will have family and friends on board with us as we cruise Croatia and around Italy during that time.

We liked Sarande, Albania, but really loved cruising in the Ionic Greek islands over the past two weeks.  Our itinerary included the charming, laid back island of Aegina; then the amazing 3.5 mile Corinth Canal, with its steep high walls; Fathi and Frikes harbors on Ithaca; the lovely Sivota Bay on Levkas; we anchored for the night off Skorpios, the private island owned by the Onassis family where Jackie and Ari fell in love and played; the Levkas Canal (rather boring after the Corinth); picturesque Gaios, Paxos; and finally the impressive fortresses and interesting old town of Corfu.  Barbara’s friend, Teresa, was with us this leg of the trip, and we enjoyed her company. This was easily some of the best cruising of our voyage.  We loved these gorgeous islands of Greece.

Albania, just six miles north of Corfu, was a communist country with closed borders and heavy censorship from after WWII up until 1991.  All foreigners were considered the enemy.  Now, tourism is driving their economy, and we were welcomed warmly.  We stayed only two days and one night in the southern Albanian town of Sarande.  The highlight here was the nearby ancient Roman and Greek ruins of Butrint, first settled in the 6th century BC, then flourished under the Romans.  It was only recently excavated by Italian archaeologists and is now a World Heritage Site, a National Park, and a source of great pride for Albanians.

The winds are light and on the bow, so we are motoring at 6.6 knots, probably the whole way to our next stop, up Europe’s deepest fjord to the walled city of Kotor, Montenegro.

Livin’ the Dream,
Michael and Barbara

1 Comment »

  1. Glad things have calmed down now and hope it continues the rest of your trip.

    Comment by Louise Losson — July 6, 2009 @ 5:32 am

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