A Travellerspoint blog

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Munich

12 hours on 2 planes
30 minutes on an Amsterdam city bus
8 hours on 3 trains
10 minutes on the S-Bahn in Munich
20 minutes by foot through the Marienplatz in Munich

Here is my first view of my first destination as I rose from the S-Bahn.

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Posted by pscotterly 19:06 Comments (0)

Munich

Days 2 and 3

sunny
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I have forgotten all the German spellings of the places I visited and threw away the pages I had torn from my guide book - so will just include slightly incorrect English terms.

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DSC00431


I met Christine Wittman on Couch Surfing. She met me for breakfast and spent the entire day taking me of a tour through Munich.
It was "open memorials" day in Munich - Doors Open Denver is based on this European event . We toured the attic of Prince Leopold I to see places that are not always open to the public. Including the inside of the "monkey tower" - apparently didn't save that photo!
However, here are a few views of from our walk and tour of the art museums.
Opera house

Opera house

Church Towers

Church Towers

Christine at Art museum

Christine at Art museum

I was especially intrigued by the beautiful exterior of the contemporary art museum. It is encased in colored hollow rods that control the temperature and lighting of the interior of the museum.

Contemporary Art Museum in Munich

Contemporary Art Museum in Munich

On Monday, I spent the day on my own roaming the streets of central Munich.
Imagine der fuerher speaking here

Imagine der fuerher speaking here

In the evening, I took the S-1 to a hotel near the airport. This time, I did NOT drop $200 and 200 euro as I had the first time I tried to figure out the ticket machine. But both times, I did have to ask for assistance.

Now on to Albania

Posted by pscotterly 10:41 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Cooking Lesson in Tirana, Albania


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Guests are treated royally. I was not supposed to help in the kitchen - couldn't even clear the table or help with the dishes.
Every AM we had Turkish coffee prepared over a bunson burner. Second morning, I asked to try. Oops - I boiled it over. I was not allowed to make the coffee again.

Byrek is a traditional Albanian dish. You can buy it llittle shops and in all restaurants.
It is prepared with 18 layers of filo-like dough with various sauces between layers 6 and 12.
Grandmother planned to make it one day, so I asked for lessons.
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DSC00747


Demonstration

Demonstration


I get to try

I get to try


Faster, Faster says Xherrie

Faster, Faster says Xherrie


Grandma can't bear to watch me struggle.

Grandma can't bear to watch me struggle.


I am allowed to add the sauce

I am allowed to add the sauce

No one in Albania believes I can cook.

Posted by pscotterly 12:36 Archived in Albania Comments (0)

My Host Family in Albania


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Hosts watching out for me from nd floor balcony

Hosts watching out for me from nd floor balcony

Always watching out for me

Always watching out for me

Brothers , Friends, and Cousins

Brothers , Friends, and Cousins


Wednesday evening, we went to a concert at the opera house. This was their first concert, and we were all excited. Xherri had to work and Dirterie decided to stay home.
At the opera hall

At the opera hall

Thursday evening we had a special dinner at a restaurant. Xhestie placed the order and recommended the wine. Xherri had to work again.
The starters have been ordered

The starters have been ordered

Xherri in front of his University

Xherri in front of his University

My Albanian Twin

My Albanian Twin

Mirella

Mirella

Xherri and Mirella at the caffe bar

Xherri and Mirella at the caffe bar

Posted by pscotterly 13:03 Archived in Albania Comments (0)

Religion in Albania


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Religious affiliation was denied during communism. Affiliation is now a majority Muslim, then Orthodox, a smattering of and Bektashi Teqe ( a Muslim Sect), and I read about the occasional evangelical Christian mission in the rural areas.

Practioners appear to be less radical and emphatic than in the USA (isn't everyplace?) and other Muslim countries. My guides and hosts claimed to be Muslim, but very relaxed practioners. My hosts were also Bektashi Teqe practioners and showed me photos of when they went on the anual retreat to the mountains for a ceremony and sacrifice/feast of many sheep. My host Mirella and I stopped by the Orthodox chapel one evening, and she lit a candle and touched the icon as is the Orthodox custom. I think that many embrace all faiths.
Orthodox Chapel

Orthodox Chapel


Orthodox clock and bell tower

Orthodox clock and bell tower


Chapel through the gate

Chapel through the gate


Duress Mosque

Duress Mosque

Chandelier in Duress Mosque

Chandelier in Duress Mosque

Tirana mosque

Tirana mosque

The women's balcony

Bektashi Teqe  mosque (muslim sect)

Bektashi Teqe mosque (muslim sect)


Green is the color of honoring death

Green is the color of honoring death

Bektashi Teqe  meeting room and place of prayer

Bektashi Teqe meeting room and place of prayer

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Posted by pscotterly 09:10 Archived in Albania Tagged churches_mosques Comments (0)

Dures, Albania

City on the sea


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Duress is Albania's largest seaport. There are also many, many tourist apartments and restaurants along the shore - A place for families to come and stroll on Sundays.
Our Friendship Force guide lived in this city during her youth. At that time, she was a true Patriot for the Communist cause.
Duress, Albania

Duress, Albania


Street scene in Duress

Street scene in Duress


Fishermen

Fishermen


Beachfront cat

Beachfront cat


Fishermen II

Fishermen II

My name in graffiti

My name in graffiti

Toys for sale

Toys for sale


Street Cleaner in Duress

Street Cleaner in Duress


Going to work at Shipyard in Duress

Going to work at Shipyard in Duress

Tourists and a transient

Tourists and a transient

Sunday is the day for weddings

Sunday is the day for weddings

In honor of defense against Italy in 1940

In honor of defense against Italy in 1940


Honoring soldiers

Honoring soldiers


Honoring Soldiers 2

Honoring Soldiers 2

One day in the 1960s, a tree in someone's back yard sunk into a hole in the ground. Upon examination, a Roman amphitheater was discovered.
Would have seated 18000 spectators

Would have seated 18000 spectators


We were able to walk through a maze of former gladiator rooms and cages for lions.
Roman Amphitheater in Duress, Albania

Roman Amphitheater in Duress, Albania


Previous cell turned into baptismal font

Previous cell turned into baptismal font


In the 7th century, the area was converted into a church and Christian burial ground.
Current depth

Current depth


The city plans to demolish 5 current residences and complete the excavation.

Posted by pscotterly 21:31 Archived in Albania Comments (0)

A Trip to Kruja, Albania


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I enjoyed this day trip immensely. I saw so much of Albania's glorious history before the 20th century.
Skanderberg is a National Hero in Albania, who lived in the mid 1400s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanderbeg

Kruja is an ancient city where his castle and fort were located. As late as the 1990s, only rubble was on this spot. It is now a spectacular museum.
This is a good example of the accomplishments of this country in the last two decades.
http://www.albanian.com/main/countries/albania/kruja/index.html

Statue of National Hero Skanderbeg

Statue of National Hero Skanderbeg


Footprint and partial wall of 15th c Skanderbeg Castle

Footprint and partial wall of 15th c Skanderbeg Castle

Next to the rebuilt castle is an 18th century ethnographic museum of a typical wealthy Muslim household. This is beautifully created.
18th C Muslim home in Kuja

18th C Muslim home in Kuja


Garden at the ethnographic museum

Garden at the ethnographic museum


The home had a room only for the women of the household.
Women's room in Muslim ethnographic museum

Women's room in Muslim ethnographic museum


And, of course, a room where the men met to smoke, eat, and discuss important matters.
Men's Room in Muslim ethnographic museum

Men's Room in Muslim ethnographic museum


Accessible only by a narrow stairway between the Men's room and the kitchen was a concealed balcony. Small holes were in the wall so women could place serving platters on the shelf and also peek at the men. Notice the oval hole in the blue painted area above the shelf.
Women's serving and peeking place into the Men's Room

Women's serving and peeking place into the Men's Room


Sauna in 18th C Muslim home

Sauna in 18th C Muslim home

A bazaar that has been selling goods for centuries is also in Kruja.
Bazaar shop in Kruja

Bazaar shop in Kruja


Shoppers at the Kruja bazaar

Shoppers at the Kruja bazaar

A feast of Albanian grilled lamb and potatoes

A feast of Albanian grilled lamb and potatoes


All that touring made us hungry.

Left to Right - Jane from Chicago, Diana our Albanian Friendship Force tour leader, Itonka President of the Albania Friendship Force chaptr.

Posted by pscotterly 13:55 Archived in Albania Comments (0)

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