Today is my non cycling day and the plan is to spend some time to relax, rest and do some sight seeing in the old town of Berat. A little about Berat.
Berat is a city and a municipality located in south-central Albania, and the capital of the County of Berat. In July 2008, the old town (Mangalem district) was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Berat lies on the right bank of the river Osum, a short distance from the point where it is joined by the Molisht river. The old city centre consists of three parts: Kalaja (on the castle hill), Mangalem (at the foot of the castle hill) and Gorica (on the left bank of the Osum). It has a wealth of beautiful buildings of high architectural and historical interest. The pine forests above the city, on the slopes of the towering Tomorr mountains, provide a backdrop of appropriate grandeur. The Osumi river has cut a 915-metre deep gorge through the limestone rock on the west side of the valley to form a precipitous natural fortress, around which the town was built on several river terraces. The earliest recorded inhabitants of the city (6th century BC) were the Greek tribe of the Dassaretae or Dexarioi. The town became part of the unstable frontier of the Byzantine Empire following the fall of the Roman Empire and, along with much of the rest of the Balkan peninsula, it suffered from repeated invasions by Slavs. During the 18th century Berat was one of the most important Albanian cities of the Ottoman Empire(Source Wikipedia)
So a pretty interesting town with a lot of history. I am staying at the old quarter of Gorica right across the river from Mangalem town. It as nice a old 14 Century townhouse with a lot of character and charm.
The other fellow roommates, one from New Zealand and one from Portugal and me had breakfast together prepared by the host. Simple French toast Albanian style and coffee. We all have seperate plans and we went off our own ways after breakfast.
I spend sometime to relax in the guesthouse and also to update my blog. Later I took a walk to have a look at Mangalam town and its ancient houses. After that I hiked up the hill to the huge castle compound of Berat Castle. There are still house inhabited today in this castle. The view from the castle was stunning and I spend most of the afternoon walking there and taking pictures.
My next place to visit is downtown Berat which was quick and after that I decided to walk back to the guesthouse to rest. On the way back I bought some tomatoes and some other supplies to stock up.
The host offer a home cook dinner for 4 Euros and I decided to go for if and also have a bit of interaction with the host and the other guest who also signed up for dinner.
We had a salad and a main dish of Beef wrapped with cheese and batter fried with chips. It was very delicious and home made wine from the host. It was a nice night of chit chat. After that we call it a night and all went to bed in stages.
Tomorrow I will ride out towards Tirana.
Lions Project: Same as Day 32