Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Day in Durrës (UPDATED)

After a leisurely breakfast we walked 500 meters northwest from city center on Ruga Durresti to the temporary bus station at the first roundabout. Buses to Durres, Shkodra, and Kruja all leave from this spot. As far as we can tell, no buses at all leave from the east side of the train station as the guide books (and TI) tell you; and in fact, no trains leave from the station either.

Ruga Durresti is lined with bus lanes filled with new urban buses. Signage at the train station appears to tout upcoming Bus Rapid Transit or some similar bus system.

Being the Sunday of a 3-day weekend, our bus to the seaside town of Durres (2nd largest city in Albania) was full. In an hour we were in Durres and walking towards the Roman Amphitheater with its tunnels and mosaics.

The 3rd Century AD Roman Amphitheater, unearthed in 1966, is literally under the town.
Durres, Albania

Durres, Albania

Sun-Ling pokes her head into the massive tunnel that connected the town with the amphitheater. Dignitaries would come in on their horse-drawn carriages.
Durres, Albania

After gladiator fights were banned, the amphitheater was abandoned then turned into a Christian cemetery with chapels - thus this mosaic.
Durres, Albania

Lots of great Socialist Realist art in Albania.
Durres, Albania

Durres is on the Adriatic Sea.
Durres, Albania

Durres, Albania

Sun-Ling standing atop one of the ubiquitous pillboxes in coastal Albania. You can see King Zog's Palace at right.
Durres, Albania

The new mosque in Durres.
Durres, Albania

Sun-Ling and I liked this Communist era apartment complex near our hotel in Tirana.
Tirana, Albania

My favorite contemporary building in Tirana.
Tirana, Albania

And a fine end to the day with a tasty red beet salad at Ulla Boni Restaurant.
Tirana, Albania

Not to mention a local Korca beer.
Tirana, Albania

Bonus pics of SL on pillbox.
Durres, Albania

Durres, Albania

2 comments:

Kathy said...

I loved discovering that there had been a King Zog!

OK, what's with the huge butterfly??

john said...

Kathy, The butterfly just "appeared" in the photo. I have no idea where it came from. Magic I guess. ;-)