Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Butrint and Saranda - Albania

Since Corfu, Greece is only 1.8 kilometers from the coast of Albania, it was easy enough to add another stamp to my passport. A ferry ride from Corfu to Saranda is about 90 minutes, then an hour's drive to Butrint.

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Butrint, in modern day Albania, is located about an hour's drive from the port city of Saranda. According to Wikipedia, it is an ancient Greek city that dates back to the 10th or eighth centuries B.C. Its founder was Helenus, one of the sons of King Priam, who married Andromache and fled here after the fall of Troy. During the 1st century B.C., Julius Caesar used Butrint as a provisions depot for his troops. It has through the years been under Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian rule and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The ruins lie on the edge of a hill with a watch tower high above.

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The amphitheatre.

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This is somewhere while ascending the hill toward the watch tower and looking back at everything below. Do you like the donkeys?

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The view from up high.

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The basilica was constructed in the 6th century A.D. The tour guide scrapped the ground a bit and revealed parts of the mosaic floor underneath.

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Then it was lunch and a bit of time to roam around Saranda before heading back.

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Tour packages to Butrint and Saranda, Albania can be arranged from Corfu, Greece. At the time I paid about 60 euros for pick up from hotel to ferry, a 90-minute ferry ride to Saranda, a coach bus to Butrint, entrance to Butrint, buffet lunch, and return trip.

You can read all Europe posts with the tag Series: Europe, but I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
"Meet-Cute" Stockholm - Sweden
Helsinki - Finland: A Two-Night Cruise and One Day
Sigtuna - Sweden: More Rune Stones Than Any Other Town
Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala) - Sweden: Beowulf and Burial Mounds
Uppsala - Sweden: Birthplace of Celsius
Tallinn - Estonia: A Two-Night Cruise and One Day
Eger and Sirens Valley - Hungary: Floral? Fruity? Woody Notes? What Notes?
Agios Georgios, Corfu Town, and Vidos Island, Corfu - Greece
Glass Bottom Boat, Corfu - Greece
Gaios, Paxos Island - Greece
Parga - Greece
Autostitch of Parga - Greece
Paleokastritsa, Corfu - Greece
Butrint and Saranda - Albania

1 year ago today, Pickled Grapes.

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