This morning we enjoy a guided tour around the old district of Berat, with
its pretty white buildings perched on the hill amid pine forests. We walk
through the narrow cobbled streets and finally reach Berat Castle on the
slopes of Mount Tomorr, where we are rewarded with breath-taking views (and
begin to understand why it is known to Albanians as 'The City of a Thousand
Windows'). Within the castle walls are dwelling houses and the Onufri Museum
(Museum of Iconography), which we will visit.
From Berat we drive to the port of Durrës (approx. 2 hrs. drive), the second
largest city in Albania and famed for housing the largest amphitheatre in the
Balkans. The amphitheatre dates back to the 2nd century AD, seats 15,000
people and contains an early Christian crypt with rare wall mosaics. The city
was colonised by colonists from Corinth and Korkyra in 627 BC and was named
Epidamnus, but later became Dyrrachium.
We then drive to the famous mediaeval citadel of Krujë (approx. 45 mins.
drive), where Albania's national hero, Skanderbeg, led the resistance against
the Ottomans. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years,
earning the title "Champion of Christ".