Reaching Albania

We had crossed Greece in 3 days and had spent the night on the last beach before the border to Albania. Now it was time to explore a new country!

Parking for the night

Reaching the border

Soon we were through the control and had entered Albania

Beside of a Mercedes this is another common means of transport in Albania.

Our first sight just after the border was the ancient town of Butrint, which was probably inhabited since prehistoric times and became an ancient Greek and later Roman city. It was abandoned during the Middle Ages after a major earthquake flooded most of the city. It is located on a hill overlooking the Vivari Channel which connects the lake behind Butrint with the sea and creates ideal conditions for mollusks farming. The city is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Albania.

Reaching the peninsula of Butrint

Roman ruins under water

Text at a stone of the theatre

Theatre of Butrint

Spring with marble panel

We were fascinated by the grooves the rope to pull up the bucket has left

In the 6th century, Butrint became the seat of a bishop and new constructions included the baptistery, one of the largest early Christian buildings of its type, and a basilica.

Baptistery which has a very beautiful mosaic pavement.

But most of the time the floor is covered with gravel as protection 🙁

Remains of the basilica

City wall along the sea

Lions Gate

Ali Pasha Castle on top of the hill

Vivari channel connecting the lake with the sea
From Butrint we drove inland to the Blue Eye – Syri i Kaltër – a karst spring on the western slope of the Mali i Gjerë mountains. With 6 m³/s it is the most abounding spring in the country.
Road leading to the tourist attraction

This is it! 
Here the water emerges from the cave underneath

The clear blue water of the spring rises up from unknown depth. Divers have descended to fifty metres, but the actual depth of the karst hole is still unclear. The temperature is 12.75°C all year with a maximum deviation of only 0.15°C. Against the background of the light limestone, the water  has a deep blue colour, therefore the name Blue Eye.
I read that in summer 2004 the source had temporarily dried up, which sounds incredible when you see the water bursting out of the ground.

Parking for the night next to the river
Flower of the Day

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