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Berat, The Town of A Thousand Windows

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I have to admit that my 3rd Solo Europe trip is like city hopping. I had been constantly hopped on and off from one city to another almost everyday, without a miss. Some said it's might seems pretty exhausted which I can't deny the fact but I guess this is part of the travel adventure. 

I arrived in Tirana, the capital city of Albania yesterday and I based at there for two nights. Hence, on the following day right after I woke up, I was thinking should I proceed to do another short day trip out from the main city. After considering that since I already in Albania, I should grab the chance despite I was slightly tired. I chosen to visit Berat, a town which is nearly 2 and a half hours from Tirana by bus. 

I know I know - that the name of the town might seems funny to some of you cause in Malay language, it indicates for "heavy" or "weight" but this town is listed as one of the most beautiful cities in Balkan Peninsula. It also listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, don't play play! 

Tirana bus stations are quite confusing cause not they have one or two, but they seem like have more than 3 bus stations. Luckily, the owner of the hostel I was staying has printed all the directions and stick on the wall. This absolutely makes it's so convenient for traveller like us to gather information.

2019 Albania Berat By Bus Direction
#1: Direction to get to Berat by bus

2019 Albania Tirana Southern Bus Station (Dogana)
#2: This is how the bus to Berat looks like at Tirana Southern Bus Station (Dogana)

2019 Albania Berat City Bus
#3: Berat City Bus to the town. Just wait for the bus in front of the shop of the bus statation

Countries like Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania seem to be less of tourists and they are known to be the less beaten visited countries. When I was in Berat, I was the only Asian traveller and I did feel awkward because most of the locals were looking at me. But sooner, I felt comfortable cause the local were quite friendly and helpful in helping me get to the center of the town from Berat bus station.

2019 Albania Berat Town 1
#4: Stone houses on the hillsides are the reason that attract visitors to there.

Known as the Town of a Thousand Windows, Berat is one rare example of the well-preserved and finest Ottoman-era architecture. When I was inside the city bus, I was not sure where's the exactly place to stop but once I saw these stone houses on the steep hillsides, I knew this is exactly where I want to drop-off immediately from the bus. Forget about museum and any other interesting sights cause my main reason to Berat is solely for this enchanting sight.

Apparently, there are plenty of things to do and see in Berat but because I arrived around the noon time, I tried to take things slowly without getting rush here and there. I decided just to leisurely walk around the town, enjoy the view and scenery and lastly, finding a cafe to sit down and relax. I was absolutely lost track the number of days on the road cause the length of this trip of mine was almost 3 weeks. That's explain why I was so tired and exhausted, especially being too long away from home.

2019 Albania Berat Town 3
#5: Modern bridge over the Osum River

2019 Albania Berat Town 2
#6: Magnificent snow-capped mountain view from the bridge

#7: View of Mangalem from Gorica

One fun fact about Berat is that it has two distinctive old towns area; Mangalem on the north of the river whereas Gorica on the south of the river. The previous is a traditionally Muslim area and consists with ancient white Ottoman houses and as for the latter is a traditionally Orthodox Christian area with lovely byzantine churches.

Because the last bus depart to Tirana from Berat was scheduled to be at 4pm, I tried not to walk further away but end my trip by walking to the pedestrian street of Berat along Osumi River for a cup of hot coffee at a random cafe. Guess this is the travelling way I always want it to be lately cause I'm not as young and energetic as I used to be.

2019 Albania Berat Town 5
#8: Sitting at random cafe for a cup of hot coffee and writing postcards

And that's how I spent my day in Berat - simple, short and relax. Might not as fruitful and insightful cause I skip from visiting any interesting attractions but then, this is my trip. I plan and I decide all by myself - that's the benefit of solo travelling. 

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