30 April 2009

Albania: 5. Kruje

Peeps, words continue to fail when compared to pictures. So I'm just going to let this slideshow of my favorite pictures of beautiful Kruje (pronounced "Korea"), home of Albania's national hero, Skanderbeg, speak for me.

Croatia: 4. Dubrovnik's Stari Grad (Old City)


Because sometimes a picture says it better.

Albania: 3. Times When the Language Barrier is not Wide Enough

At the risk of making a generalization (which My Love reminds me not to do), Eastern Europeans are concerned with family. Particularly with young couples starting families.

One of the first nights I was in Albania, My Love and I invited his neighbors to dinner. We ate. We chit chatted as best we could. We had many toasts to the continuing friendship between America and Albania. Then My Love leaned over and whispered, "They are praying for us to have 5 children."

Got that? 4 Albanians are praying for us to have 5 children.

Another night, we were at a friend's house for dinner, chit chatting as best we could again. Somewhere amongst the Raki (Albanian moonshine) toasts, My Love and I were wished 3 children.

Another 5 Albanians are praying for us to have 3 children.

For those of you as bad at math as I am, 4 + 5 = 9 Albanians praying for us to have 5 + 3 = 8 children. 9 Albanians are wishing us 8 children.

8 children.

Birth control.

Naturally, 9 Albanians wishing 8 children upon us is not enough.

While visiting My Love's relatives in Croatia, I was patted down and declared to have "good childbearing hips." Good thing, since I'll need them for those 8 children I don't plan on having.

(There were some questions about when My Love and I will get married, but 90% of the focus was on when we will start having children, and how many we will have.)

27 April 2009

Albania: 2. Seeing is Believing

In a normal looking bar in northern Albania, there is

a one-eyed owl.
Yes, that's right.

A creepy, ornery, one-eyed owl.

Who likes to stare me down with his one eye.
While rotating his head 360 degrees.

Crazy.

We decided we needed to drink more after that.

26 April 2009

Albania: 1. Box of Bones

Just think. In 2,000 years, that could be you and your mortal remains, chilling on a porch somewhere.
Yes, that's right. That's a box of bones. Sitting on the porch of the Archeological Museum. Just one of the more absurd sights I saw while bumming around the Balkans.

My Love lives in Durres, Albania. It was an important historical city. As such, today, the entire city is one big archeological dig. Anytime someone goes to build a new apartment, house, shop, they easily find some new historical treasure. It's pretty awesome.

My Love arranged for the other Peace Corps volunteer living in Durres, Matt, to take me on a historical tour of Durres.

Just down the street from My Love's apartment, there is a Roman marketplace, a Roman bath, and (this is so cool!) a Roman amphitheater! Matt showed me the wall that surrounded the city, explained the excavations of all the Roman sites, took us down into the amphitheater itself, and then gave me a tour through the Durres Archeological Museum. I'm going to let the videos do the talking from here on out:








Matt did a great job of giving the tour and indulging the geeky history loving side of me. I loved getting to see and learn as much about Durres as I did. Thanks Matt!

(FYI, these videos took a ridiculously long time to load. Like, "I ironed a bunch of clothes" ridiculously long time. Since My Love has the rest of the videos on his camera, you get to settle for these instead.)

22 April 2009

Renegade Sign

Apparently in Croatia, people in wheelchairs carry rifles?

21 April 2009

Almost

Oh peeps. I know I promised many stories of wild adventures through the Balkans. I have them, I promise. After all, any time spent with My Love inevitably produces stories. 2.5 weeks with My Love in the Balkans? You best believe I have stories.

I just have had a hard time sitting down to blog about our Balkans adventures. You see, to blog about them means the vacation is really over, and I just don't want to admit that to myself just yet.

3 days without a shower, 3 countries, 2.5 weeks of 24/7, and 1 one-eyed owl later, I can still say we're head over heels for each other. If we could handle travel through developing countries on buses, I think it's safe to say we can handle just about anything.

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend.

When I haven't been at work or teasing My Love about various stories from our trip, I have been slowly culling through our enormous collection of pictures (I had 1300+ on the thumb drive I brought home. My Love still had a few left on his camera when I left.), trying to get them down to a reasonable number that people might be interested in scrolling through online. I've also been jotting down a bunch of one-line reminders to myself of all the things we did, or saw, or said, or heard on this trip. Because, as My Love is quick to point out, I can be Ms. Forgetful, and I don't want to forget a thing.

Since there are too many stories to cutely sum up in one post (no one would ever read such a long post), I'm also working putting the good ones with appropriate pictures, so the stories will be coming over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here's one more teaser picture to keep you coming back for more:

Dubrovnik, Croatia.

15 April 2009

Amazing.

Amazing.

If I had to sum up this trip in one word, amazing would definitely have to suffice. Lots of pictures and stories will be forthcoming, but right now, this picture will fill in for a thousand words.