This last weekend I went to Berat for a few days, just to check it out. I’d heard amazing things about the city and wanted to see it for myself. Most of the city is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means it should be well preserved and clean and stunningly beautiful. At least that’s what I’d read and been told.
Don’t get me wrong, Berat is a beautiful place. It has an amazing castle that sits on top of a hill overlooking the valley. The old historic town is kind of breathtaking in its own way. But the thing that throws me everytime I see a new in Albania, is just how similar they all are to each other. When you travel or go on vacation, you expect something different. You want to be awed and amazed. You want to eat new food, go new places, try new things. But in this country, every city is kind of the same. The only thing to do all day is drink coffee and the only thing to do all night is drink beer. There are very few restaurants even, and the ones that do exist are nothing special. It’s not like cities in the US or even in Europe where there are movie theatres and clubs and arcades and museums and tourist sites to see. Within a few hours of arriving we had pretty much seen all there was to see and done all there was to do.
It’s a bizarre experience to have your vacation feel the same as you everyday life. Especially since the schools are closed for summer vacation here. That means even when I’m in Shkoder there isn’t exactly a “working day” that I adhere too. That’s where my tough question comes in- to travel or not to travel? Maybe I’ll just save my money for a trip outside the country instead.
“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”