Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brusketeria


Anna's shocked face says it all: Brusketta is awesome!  Especially when you're served 120 cm of it on one long wooden paddle.  Yes, please.



Homemade Pancakes



A couple of Saturdays every month we get to spend time with these awesome kids!  It's been fun getting to know them and teach them some new skills.  For our first time together, Anna taught the group how to whip up a delicious batch of American homemade pancakes!


Saturday Afternoon Sun

We've been told about every weekend, "Enjoy this nice weather while you can!  It never stays this warm so late in the year!  Pretty unusual!"  As a Kentuckian, I'm pretty used to weird, inconsistent weather.  So whenever it is nice, I love to take full advantage of it!  And i am definitely loving this beautiful weather that we have so far in Albania.







A Little Side Adventure



In search of a place to eat for a Saturday afternoon lunch, we stumbled across an old church that was far off of our map.



While most frescos were destroyed during communism, this one has still survived in this small chapel, at least part of it did.  My only guess is that survived because of the Albanian double headed eagle that was on it.


I actually love to see these old bunkers that scatter the beautiful Albanian country side.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sunset from Sky Tower


The first place we had a cappuccino in Tirana was from the top of Sky Tower, in the heart of the city.  It was exciting yet overwhelming to see all of the new places around us, as we were still recovering from jet lag and adjusting to a new life style in the city.  So when we came back to the sky tower, a little more than a month later, it was fun to look around the city, pointing out all of the places we know so well already!  Plus the view is pretty incredible as well.






Berat








Monday, November 11, 2013

Apollonia

This incredible place is filled with Ancient ruins.  The structure below is apparently what the Parthenon was based on.



It's possible to think that Paul may have once stood in front of this amphitheater and preached to crowds in this city.






Frescos once covered the walls of this chapel, but were destroyed during communism in Albania.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Petrelë Castle

Petrelë is one of the defense castles linked with Kruja.  The castles are up on some of the highest points in Albania so that by lighting fires they could signal to each other if there was a threat.  They were used during Skanderbeg's fight against the Ottomans.  The high vantage point also gives us yet another incredible view of the Albanian countryside.






Sunrise in Vlashaj

Waking up for a gorgeous sunrise is always worth it.




Elbason

After our visit to the orphanage, we took the time to visit an old fortress, where (once again) we stopped for coffee.  It's just the culture here...which I'm totally ok with!  :)  It was great to take the day getting to explore another part of Albania and learning more about the country we live in!



Yes, this is a video of Reni rock climbing.  And yes, he is incredibly strong and good at it!  :)



This road is part of the ancient Roman route that Paul once traveled on.  Pretty surreal to walk that road, thinking about the amazing history there!


Bethany Orphanage

If you want to see some cute kids, just look here  :)  We visited the Bethany Orphanage in Elbason, where Reni was adopted!!  It was great to visit with the kids and just love on them for a little bit!  And they definitely just loved on us too!

video








Mount Dajti

Sorry for my incredible delay on the blog!!  I'll explain why I've been so distracted in just a few posts!  :)  But for now, we explored Mount Dajti a few weeks ago, where we took the teleferiku up the mountains side and into the clouds.  It was a gorgeous view looking down to Tirana below us and the mountains surrounding us.  When we got to the top, Ellie enjoyed making a new friend!  And of course we had to enjoy a cup of kapucino at the top!








Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy Birthday!

It was so wonderful to enjoy my birthday here in Albania!!  It was a perfect day with my Anna taking me out to coffee, being surprised with flowers from Vera, a lovely dinner out with the Waggoners, and plenty of birthday wishes from family and friends.  I also heard happy birthday in Albanian!  There's a first for everything!