Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saturday afternoon in Durres

I have found often boring spending Saturday afternoon in Tirana, thus I have exploited several ways in spending few hours away from
home. Now I am trying to build a list of activities that could be performed within few hours of the Saturday afternoon in commuting distance from Tirana. I will start with Durres, a relaxing town just 30 KM away from Tirana where different things can attract your attention and I consider worthy spending few hours.

Personally I find pleasant to kill my spare time going there during spring, summer or autumn, although I do not fancy winter. My trip usually starts in the “Rruga tregtare” the “street of the businesses” were a coffee, an ice cream or a desert can be tasted, a long mediation on the roman amphitheatre and occasionally, a visit to the archeological museum, one of the best archeological museums in Albania.

The museum is not so much advertised. It is situated in a modest two storey communist era prefabricated building on the foot of the city hill. The objects there have been found from an ancient burial place discovered in the ‘70s. These are quite interesting stuff and represent a mix of ancient Roman and Greek world, along with the Illyrian natives. Because of that discovery, Albanians learned two Illyrian female names, Nevila and Anila, which were abundantly used for the girls born in these years.

Durres has been known in the ancient time as a city of pleasure for the Roman aristocracy. Pompey the Great fought and lost against Caesar during the Roman Civil War. A legend says that God was so angry with the sins of the town that sent well two very strong earthquakes in the fourth and six Centuries AD. As result, the town was rebuild over and over the old strata without paying re
spect for the predecessors.

Today often happens that new buildings encounters old and ancient ones and try to cover up the discoveries because their business can go astray if the law on preserving archeological discoveries is respected.
Today Durres could also be considered altogether a town of sin. Plenty of small hotels and guesthouses has been erected in the last 20 years for seaside holidays but on the most part of the year are used mainly for other purposes.

There are plenty of seafood restaurants there to enjoy a dinner. My favorite place is called “Spiranca”. It is a restaurant situated along the beach toward south, just about 100 meters down the “Dajlani Bridge”. That restaurant seems to have a highly trained staff to please customers and an excellent chief who, I have been told, had learned to cook in Italy.

The sunset is quite spectacular and very sentimental for couples.

Practical information: If you use your own car to visit Durres, than bear in mind that during the summer the traffic is quite heavy and the parking places are scarce.
If you want to use public transport, the Pullmans departs from Tirana near the train station almost every minute during the day and costs just 100 lek (0.7 euro).
Espresso in Durres cost about 50-80 lek (0.4-0.6 euro) and deserts 150-300 lek (1.1-2.2 euro). A lunch or dinner with seafood and wine or beers could cost about 1000-1500 lek per person (8-12 euro).
A room in decent hotels cost about 30 euro per night. The best that I have found is situated near the ancient walls in the city center. Some hotels usually ask for identification of their guests.
The tickets for the museum cost about 200-400 lek (1.5-3 euro) and are valid for both the museum and the amphitheatre.

1 comment:

nousha said...

thanks for the suggestion.
keep it up!