10.09.2008 - 10.09.2008
I took a taxi together with to English girls and an Australian one to the bus station, and than the bus to Berati.
The girls went to a mid range hotel and I looked for a cheaper one when an elder man asked me if I'm looking for a room and offered a room at his home for 1000 leke.
It's one of Berat's classic houses that gave it the name "the town of thousand windows". The entrance is in a small alley a few steps of steep climb from the main street.
When the sun goes down it lights all "thousand windows" with fire as the all are on the hillside facing west.
Immediately after settling in the room I went up to the castle.
There are families living in the castle and keeping it in good condition, "the keepers of the castle". It's the same in the castles of Elbasani and Kruja. They call them castles but actually they are citadels – fortified towns that control the river and land ways.
Berat's castle controls Osumi river and the road along the left bank.
There are ruins of fortifications that controlled the right bank.
There are remains of churches and of a minaret of the red mosque, and one small church that is still intact. I didn't try to find out if there is a possibility to go inside. Seeing the outside was enough for me.
I went down thinking it was too late to see the ethnographic museum, but the girls I went with met me there and told me they are coming from there and that it's open till 7pm. I went in and found an old house, all covered with carpets (not Turkish Kilims like in many other places) with all the old tools and kitchenware as people lived there more than 100 years ago.
It's different than other museums as it's shows specific way of living in this area only.
When I went out to the yard I met my landlord building with another guy a new place for a new exhibition using old techniques.
The old town centre is small and pretty dull but food and drinks are expansive due to the many tourists. The new town is quite far and looks like communist workers suburb, so there is no point going there.