Berat - Albania


Advertisement
Albania's flag
Europe » Albania » West » Berat
March 5th 2016
Published: April 1st 2016
Edit Blog Post

I picked Berat for my next destination as a lot of people I met advised me not to miss this beautiful little town.

Berat was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site as it is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town. It is one of the country's most beautiful towns, and is known as the "town of a thousand windows".

The distance between Tirana and Berat is around 100km. Furgon (minivan) can cover this distance in just over 2 hours and costs only 450 LEK (£2.58). The way was actually not that bad. Only few parts were bumpy. Luckily I fell asleep just few minutes after our departure from Tirana.

Once in Berat, I had to take a local bus to get to town centre from where I thought it won't be difficult to find a hostel I wanted to stay at. But I was way wrong. The hostel was located in a part called Mangalem and even that I followed instruction from the website I couldn't find it. I asked few people, who wanted to help me but mostly sent me to completely different places. I even asked in a travel agency in Mangalem area about that hostel but guy working there said he never heard of such a place. He was so kind, he even offered me an accommodation for a little more than a night in hostel I was looking for. It started to rain so I decided to hide in a restaurant, connect to internet and try to figure out where that hostel is. That place, where I hid before rain, was mentioned by a Canadian-Australian couple I met in Shkodra. They recommended it to me as it was the place where they tried the best burger in whole Albania. I went for Extreme burger, the most expensive burger meal they offered (£1.60). It was huge and delicious. I was trying to figure out the exact location of the hostel but because streets of Mangalem create confusing maze I couldn't get it. It was getting dark so I had to walk out despite the rain and kept looking. After few minutes I met a priest and asked him about the hostel. He signalized me to follow him and for a little while I thought I'm saved until I realized he took me to yet another completely different place. So I thanked him and moved back to point zero. When I almost stopped hopping that I will ever find the place I popped into a bakery and asked a guy who worked there. The guy said follow me so I did and in less then a minute I was standing in front of the gate with no sign whatsoever. But I knew I'm on the right place as I could remember that gate from the pictures I saw on net. And guess what. It was only 15 meters away from the travel agency where the guy told me he never heard of such a hostel. I'm just wondering how many people gave the searching up and went for the offer from that guy (smart business strategy). But I'm glad that I didn't give up cause that hostel was one of the best places I have ever stayed at.

Hostel is situated in the building belonging to UNESCO world heritage and it's so cozy that I had a feeling I'm at home straight away. I was welcomed by Berti, showed around and offered a coffee. There was another guest in the room but she was on the phone so I stayed in kitchen chatting to Berti and his dad. Both guys were amazing even though Berti's dad didn't speak English we had great time. Once the girl finished with her call, she joined us for a dinner. I didn't expect the dinner but as I heard and also had an opportunity to experience, Albanian people are very hospitable and share more then one would expect. We spent some more time chatting after dinner. Then I had a shower a went to bed. And I must say that bed was fantastic, it was enormous and very comfortable.

I slept really well and was ready to go out and explore the castle which was on the hill just above hostel. This castle is very special. People still live within its walls.

I walked into kitchen where breakfast was already waiting for me. I'm not a fan of sweet but homemade plum jam was amazing. I ate so much that after breakfast I was ready for a nap and not to climb 200m steep cobblestone path up to the castle.

I walked out to a beautiful weather and I could wait till I'm up at the castle. Entrance fee for tourists was only 100 LEK (£0.56). The views from castle were absolutely stunning. I spent two hours strolling through the maze of streets within the fortress. In the afternoon I made my way down to the town and spend some time there. It really is nice little town. Back in hostel I talked to Berti's dad using all the languages I know and was told that their family is connected to Mother Teresa. They have the same surname - Bojaxhiu. We talked till I got to bed. It was my second and also last night in Berat.

I had time till 3pm next day before my bus to Gjirokaster so after breakfast I walked to town again to see whatever I have missed day before.

I was really glad that I got convinced by people to visit Berat and also that I kept looking for my hostel because once I got there I felt like a part of the family. I also left a detailed description how to find the hostel on tripadvisor website.

For those who are planning to visit Albania, please visit Berat. You wont be disappointed.

Comming next: Gjirokaster



Slovenska verzia

Ako dalsiu zastavku v Albansku som si zvolil Berat, pretoze vela ludi mi povedalo, ze nesmiem toto male mesto vynechat.
Berat patri medzi pamiatky svetoveho dedicstva UNESCO, ako jedinecne a velmi zachovale mesto z cias Osmanskej rise. Je to jedno z najkrajsich miest v Albansku a je nazyvane aj "mesto tisicich okien".
Vzdialenost medzi Tiranou a Beratom je okolo 100km. Minibus zvladne tuto vzdialenost za nieco vyse dvoch hodin. Cena je velmi prijatelna, iba 450 LEK (€3.20). Cesta nebola zla, sem tam nejake to natrasanie ale mne osobne to nevadilo, kedze som zaspal par minut po tom ako sme vyrazili z Tirany.
Z hlavnej stanice v Berate som prestupil do mestskeho autobusu aby som sa dostal do centra, odkial som si myslel, ze nebude problem najst hotstel, v ktorom som sa chcel ubytovat. Ale strasne som sa mylil. Hostel sa nachadza v casti mesta, ktora sa nazyva Mangalem a aj ked som mal pri sebe instrukcie z internetu, nijako som ho nevedel najst. Zacal som sa pytat ludi na cestu, ale zakazdym ma poslali nespravnym smerom. Dokonca som sa opytal aj v cestovnej agenture, ale chlapec mi povedal, ze o takom hosteli v zivote nepocul. Dokonca mi ponukol nahradne ubytovanie za malinko vyssiu cenu ako stala noc v tom hosteli. Zacalo prsat a tak som sa rozhodol, ze sa schovam v restauracii, kde sa pripojim na internet a este raz sa pokusim zistit, kde sa ten tajomny hostel nachadza. Restauraciu, kde som sa schoval, mi odporucil Kanadsko-Australsky par, ktory som stretol v Shkodre. Vraj maju ten najlepsi burger, aky v Albansku jedli. Ja som si objednal Extrem burger, bol to ten najdrahsi aky ponukali (€2). Bol obrovsky a naozaj najlepsi, aky som v Albansku jedol. Este raz som sa pokusil najst presnu poziciu hostela a aj napriek dazdu som sa ho opat vybral hladat, kedze sa zacalo stmievat. Po minutach neuspesneho patrania som stretol knaza, ktory na mna mavol, aby som ho nasledoval, ze on ma cestu tym smerom, a ze ma tam odprevadi. Chvilu som si myslel, ze som zachraneny, ale aj tento knaz ma doviedol na nespravne miesto. Pekne som sa mu podakoval a pobral som sa spat tam, kde som zacal. Ked som pomaly prestaval dufat, ze sa mi niekedy podari tento tajomny hostel najst, vosiel som do pekarne a opytal sa tam. Chlapec povedal, aby som ho nasledoval a do miuty som stal pred branou, ktoru som rozpoznal podla obrazka z internetu. Bol som na spravnom mieste. A hadajte, co? Hostel bol iba 15 metrov od agentury, v ktorej chalanisko udajne netusil o existencii tohto hostela. Musim ale uznat, ze to bola dobra obchodna strategia. Ktovie kolko ludi takto nachytal a poskytol im svoje ubytovanie. Ja som bol ale velmi stastny, ze som hladanie nevzdal, pretoze ten hostel bol jeden z najlepsich, v akych som mal moznost byvat.
Hostel bol v situovany v dome, ktory patril do svetoveho dedicstva UNESCO a bol taky utulny, ze som sa hned citil ako doma. Privital ma Berti, ukazal mi vsetko, co som potreboval vediet a ponukol ma kavou. V izbe bola ubytovana este jedna dievcina, ktora prave telefonovala a kedze som nechcel rusit ostal som sediet v kuchyni s Bertim a jeho otcom. Bavili sme sa o meste a obaja, Berti aj jeho otec, boli uzasni, aj ked jeho otec nehovoril po anglicky, bol tam Berti, ktory sluzil aj ako prekladatel. Ked dievcina skoncila s hovorom, pridala sa k nam na veceru. Vobec som necakal, ze nas ponuknu vecerou, ale ako som pocas mojej cesty Albanskom pocul a dokonca mal moznost aj zazit, ludia v Albansku su nesmierne pohostinni a delia sa naozaj so vsetkym. Po veceri sme este chvilu rozpravali. Potom som vbehol pod sprchu a do postele. A musim povedat, ze postel bola fantasticka, obrovska a velmi pohodlna.
Spal som ako zarezany a rano som bol plny energie na obhliadku hradu, ktory sa tycil na kopci nad hostelom. Tento hrad je velmi vynimocny, kedze za jeho hradbami stale ziju ludia.
Ked som vyliezol z izby, v kuchyni uz cakali na stole ranajky. Aj ked nie som velky fanusik sladkeho, musim povedat, ze domaci slivkovy lekvar bol uzasny. Zjedol som tak vela, ze po ranajkach som mal tak akurat chut si ist zdriemnut a nie stverat sa 200m po strmom chodniku k hradu.
Premohol som sa a vysiel von, kde na mna cakalo naozaj paradne pocasie. Vstup na hrad bol iba 100 LEK (€0.72). Vyhlad, ktory hrad ponuka, je naozaj ocarujuci. Stravil som tam dve hodiny, kym som to vsetko, ako tak poobzeral. Po obede som zisiel dole do mesta a stravil aj tam nejaky cas prechadzanim sa. Ked som sa vratil do hostela, Bertiho otec mi vyrozpraval ich rodinny pribeh a dokonca som sa dozvedel, ze su vzdialeni pribuzni Matky Terezy. Maju aj rovnake priezviska. Rozhovor sme viedli vo vsetkych moznych jazykoch a v najhorsom som vyuzil slovnik v telefone. Debatovali sme az kym som nesiel spat. Cakala ma druha a zaroven posledna noc v Berate.
Na druhy den som mal cas az do tretej poobede, kedy som mal bus do mesta Gjirokaster a tak som sa po ranajkach vybral este na chvilu do centra, popozerat, co som nevidel den predtym.

Som velmi rad, ze som sa nechal prehovorit a navstivil Berat a tiez, ze som nevzdal hladanie hostela, pretoze domaci boli uzasni a ja som sa citil ako clen rodiny.
Pre tich, ktori sa chistaju navstivit Albansko, urcite navstivte Berat. Naozaj nebudete sklamani.

Nabuduce: Gjirokaster

Advertisement



Tot: 2.744s; Tpl: 0.061s; cc: 9; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0512s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb