Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Natural Beauty of Southern Albania

Last week we had the opportunity to explore a little bit of southern Albania and see ALL of it's beauty!! 

 The drive from Vlora to Saranda was windy through the mountains, but I love these little villages nestled into the mountainside.

 We explored Syri i Kalter (or the Blue Eye) just outside of Saranda.  Divers have explored the pool to about 165 feet deep, but it is still unsure just how deep the hole actually is.  They are unable to dive any further because of the pressure of the water that flows from the pool is so strong.

The colors of Syri i Kalter reminded me of the hot springs from Yellowstone.  However, instead of being searing hot, this pool is a chilly 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dinner was on the lake that is fed by the Blue Eye.  Reni, Ellie, and I enjoyed listening to the chorus of frogs that filled the area.

Our drive to Gjirokastra was stunning.  The mountains rose high and the sun poured in through the valley as we came up to the city. 

The sunset was unreal in Gjirokastra.  We only stayed one night, but I would definitely love to spend a full day or two here.  The castle was the largest I've seen in Albania!  

We had a LONG drive from Gjirokastra to Korça, and the road was rough!  However, we found out about a local hot spring just outside of the city of Permet.  

The waters are said to have healing qualities, but I think we just enjoyed the warm water, beautiful scenery behind us, and a chance to take a break from the car!

Like I said, the drive from Gjirokastra to Korça was so long with a really rough road!  But the views were so worth it... 

…like REALLY worth it. 

But I'm still convinced that it doesn't matter how incredible of a place that you're in, what matters the most is the people that you get to experience it with.