Pogradec Castle Ruins, Albania

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.

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Going in the right direction!

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) 

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Laundry day and chickens

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. 

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Note the angry ear position

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!

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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. 

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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:

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On the other side, you could see the whole city of Pogradec:

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You had great views of the absolutely stunning lake:

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And you can even see the towns and villages dotted around the lake:

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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:

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I really do love this place. 

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