By now, you’ve probably realized I like castles. So, you’ll understand that I was pretty excited to learn that there were castle ruins, on a mountain just on the edge of the town I’m living in, Pogradec, Albania. I set off, thinking that I would walk up, then spend a little while walking around the castle ruins, and maybe try and stay till sunset, to watch the sun set over the lake. Beautiful.
I started out with a short walk around the lake, and then was happy to see signs pointing the way. Directionally challenged me was relieved.
Now, it didn’t take long for the trip to get a little weird. Definitely still in Albania! First, there were a lot of chickens running around in the road. No problem, I’m fine with chickens… (they’re smaller than seagulls)
But chickens aren’t all that strange to see. (Even though there were a lot of them) but like stray cats and dogs, chickens aren’t really a surprise to see. A stray horse, however, was a little less common. Eating lunch out of a dumpster… Two days later I saw the horse down by the lake snacking on delicious green grass (which is a lot better than the packet of crisps it was trying to eat when I took this photo) Heh. I said packet of crisps.
So, already this trip was more than I had expected, and I wasn’t even barely on the mountain yet. Just to mention some other interesting things that happened as I walked up: praying mantis, big flying bugs, wild blackberries… general lack of flowers.
The mountain (which most people would probably call a large hill, but I’ve spent most of the last 6 years in Chicago and Estonia… anything that isn’t flat, is pretty much a mountain in my book) isn’t so large, but the path sort of winds around it, making the journey much longer than it seems like it should be. But finally I was approaching the summit, excited to finally see Pogradec Castle!
You could say I was disappointed in the castle ruins. Or, as I like to call it now, the dents in the ground where a castle should have been.
I took a photo of this rock, because maybe at one point is was a part of a castle. Maybe.
But on the upside, yes I trekked up to see a castle that turned out to be non existent… but the view! So wonderful! On the one side, you had mountains:
On the other side, you could see the whole city of Pogradec:
You had great views of the absolutely stunning lake:
And you can even see the towns and villages dotted around the lake:
So, yes, the castle was a disappointment. But the trip was worth it none the less. Perhaps some new signs advertising the spot as a viewing point would be more applicable.
And one last picture of the gas station on the edge of town:
I really do love this place.