Given that the slopes are steep and the street narrow, some inhabitants have built their own private paved parking (photo 1)Others have preferred to build a terraced garden but the season was to early to know what it is possible to grow. Potatoes, a mountain crop, should do well.more
Dardhë is at an elevation of 1300 m and therefore is cold in winter. As the village is surrounded by forest, the inhabitants rely on wood for heating (photo 1). All roofs have one or several stone chimneys.Houses that are not covered with slates are exceptional (photo 5). Let us hope that they will remain an exception !more
What is striking in Dardhë is, that there are almost no ruined houses. In mid May, many houses were uninhabited and seemed to be holiday houses, inhabited during the vacations of their owners. Obviously, even if they are closed, they have been open recently and will be open soon.more
On the other side of the street, a house bears an engraved post that says :"Ne hete banese me 1922 lindi gjeneral leitnant Vaske Ilo Gjino"In this house was born in 1922 the General Lieutenant VASKE ILO GJINOI wondered who was VASKE ILO GJINO. I have found that he was awarded in 2002 the Golden Eagle Medal (Medalja e Artë e Shqiponjës). This medal...more
“Kroi I fshtatit, Dardhë ndertuar 1922”I have been able to understand that this fountain was built in Spring 1922. Like the other one, it flows under a small building but here, water flows through the mouth of the carved face of a lion and there is a tap.I have noticed that the girl that was at the fountain with a bucket (photo 2) goes back home...more
Here is another barn but contrary with the first one that looked like a house used as a barn, this one seems to have been build as a barn. It ha a large opening closed with rods. Thus, it is closed but air can easily dry hay inside. It has the same structure, that mixes wood and stone.more
A little further, a small building is in moderately good condition. May be it has been in the past a very modest house but it seems that it has now be turned into a barn. The interesting thing is that the structure of the house is better seen : there is a wooden structure and stone has been added between the logs.more
Almost at the beginning of our walk in the village, we spotted a large house standing at the bottom of Mount Dardhë (photo 1).It was built on a square pattern, on three levels in traditional Balkanic style (photo 2) with the large covered terrace between the two parts of the house. The house is not in very good condition and would need some repairs...more
Dardhë is famous for its “uji i qelbur” (stinking water), supposed to cure stomach and kidney disease. It has to be a spring with hydrogen sulphide in the water with a very characteristic smell of rotten eggs. We are disappointed to find that the water that flows in the road side fountain is pure mountain water with no foul smellmore
We are slowed by a herd of cows led by a mule riding cowboy (photo 1) and by a flock of sheep with their shepherd, looking for a better pasture (photo 2 and 3). A foreign car is obviously an unusual sight for a group of peasants, gossiping on the bank of the road. (photo 4)more
When we arrived in Dardhë, around 10 PM, the village was quiet but that does not mean that the citizens were still sleeping ! Actually, many houses seemed to be holiday houses, uninhabited in May. I feel they are mostly inhabited in winter, for skiing and in summer for mountain hikes.more
Behind the church, the villagers have erected a statue to commemorate the memory of a famous Dardhanëse. He is so famous that they felt it was not necessary to write his name : everybody knows that! Sure, but I did not.I have found four famous Dardhanese, I quote here :Sotir Peçi (1873-1932) was an Albanian politician, educator and mathematician....more
Most of the time, when you arrive in a mountain village, you have to climb. This is true hear also but at the very end, you must go down : Dardhë is well hidden in a suspended valley and can be reached only by the top (almost, see following tip). Remember that it was founded by rebels that wanted to hide from the authorities in charge! They chose...more
For my collection of school warning road signs, I was glad to find this unique (locally hand painted ?) sign (photos 1 and 2).Photo 3, though we are apparently not yet in Dardhë, there is a sign of welcomePhotos 4 and 5 warn that we are entering a touristic zone, give the direction for the church and for the Skiing complex of Dardhë.more
On the other side of the road a small plant bottles Dardhë water. Is it the famous stinking water ? I bet that if that was the case, there would be something in the posts that would tell that it is for cure, which is not the case, it seems that this is regular mineral water ! I am afraid that we will not find the stinking water!.Dardha water,...more
As much as we climb, the road turns and turns and is now surrounded by forests. The trees are mainly deciduous (photo 1) such as birch, charm and a special species of oak. There are only a few coniferous (photo 2), darker on the photo. The more we climb, the more coniferous (photo 3). A little higher, trees are scattered and this is not a forest...more
A road sign (photo 1) tells that when it is snowing, you must have snow chains fitted on your tires and that there is a hazard of avalanche. Fortunately, in may, this is not a worry for us ! As Dardhë is a ski station, I guess that the road is cleared when needed.The meadows are now almost gone (photo 2). The road passes through a narrow gorge...more
The more we stroll in the streets of Dardhë, the more we discover that the village is large but from nowhere can we view the village as a whole.
All these streets are perfectly suitable for driving, but we chose not too : to walk suits better to visit, of course, but we might have tried to go further than Dardhë, to the next villages.
The map says that there is a road following the border with Greece and going to Arëzë (8 km, dead end) and Miras (8 km), From Miras, it would go to Menkulas (3 km) and several other villages before connecting with Bilisht (20 km from Dardhë), on the main road Korcë-Kastoria or Korcë-Florina. However, I have found on several occasions that the map was inaccurate and not reliable. What was printed as a secondary road could as well be a trail or even a path suitable for donkeys only! Moreover, the road is narrow and there might be no opportunities to make a U turn! I would not like to have to drive backward on a long distance !.Dardhë is well signposted but no road sign gives the direction for Menkulas and Bilisht. So, we will not try to drive back to Korcë through Bilisht ! At least not this time !
Just outside the village, swallows landed to drink in a puddle. They were Delichon urbica, the window swallow or Common House Martin. They were not easy to photograph but I succeeded to get a few shots.