Best souvenirs are...
Favorite thing: The best souvenirs to bring away from Sarande are:
leke (although bear in mind that taking leke out of the country is technically illegal)
raki (the local spirit, a kind of white brandy? I'm not sure about in Sarande, but in Ksamili, just down the road, a bottle of the stuff cost 100leke, which was the equivalent of about 50p in 2002!)
Additionally you could always visit the market and get yourself an Albanian flag, or the ubiquitous sheep bell which you will hear everywhere if you go into the countryside. These are a bit more pricey as they are aimed at tourists, but they're still cheap by western standards. There are also some tapes of Albanian folk music for sale for about 200 lek (they hadn't made it onto CD in 2002), and I can recommend the Ali Pasha Tepelene group, although it does take a bit of getting used to (hearing it over breakfast every day for a month ought to do it....)
- Budget Travel
1988, diggings for ancient remains
Favorite thing: The diggings, in the southern part of the bay were not spectacular. As you can see on the photo, only the base of ancient walls has been dug out when a wastewater sewer was installed.
In another part of the city, the remains of a city wall can be seen.
- Historical Travel
1988, the sea front
Favorite thing: This photo was taken in May 3rd 1988. Thus, it is not surprising if the sky is cloudy and the background hazy. It is not surprising if in early May that there are not many people wandering on the sea front. What is surprising is that you do not view a single boat, whatever its size?
Favorite thing: One of the things that will shock you more in this town is the high density of Mercedes Benz cars all around. In fact you can find them in a 9/10 proportion. Everyone seems to have a Mercedes Benz (all the taxis of course!) and that seems strange in a so poor population and not finding a single Mercedes shop in the whole place!
Where do they come from? How can they be bought by people who can't even pint their houses once finished? Muysteries of the Balcans...
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
A tourist place
Favorite thing: You could feel that Sarande is a really touristic place, at least at a national level. It reminded me the "Costa del Sol" in the early 60s, when the tourism boom was growing and most of the buildings and touristic resources were still under construction. I wonder how the place will be in a few years...
- Business Travel
Favorite thing: I was shocked while wandering around by all these unfinished buildings you could see. Most of them were half unfinished, as the lower floors were all finished (even with people living inside!), with sunshades, windows, painted...
It just seemed that the builder had run out of money and decided to leave the rest for better moments, but selling those already finished!
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: If you wander around the town you will soon find many street markets. Some of them are just a couple of women selling old clothes and shoes. Some are food stalls (veggies, fruits...).
Not the stuff a tourist might look for, but useful if you are looking for some fruit as a snack or so. I bought some prunes and bananas. I'm sure I paid much more than usual, as the lady had a curious smile after I left, but anyway it was pretty cheap for home standards!
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: There are a few old houses left in Sarande, I guess they are from a "pre-socialist" period, before they started building those horrible concrete buildings all around (most unfinished BTW). These houses were in a bad preservations state, but you could see the gardens and imagine how nice this town must have been in a not so distant past...
Favorite thing: Apart from taking photos theres not much you can bring back from a trip to Sarande. My tip is to get a small amount of money changed up into the Albanian Leke when you first arrive. This can be done at the reception desk at the hotel. The Leke note will be an unusual souvenir in its own right !!
Fondest memory: Walking up a small track I noticed something move ahead of me. After looking closely I realised it was a wild tortoise , unfortunately before I could get my camera to my eye it scurried into the undergrowth. That memory has stuck with me eversince has I have only ever seen tortoises in zoo's or as pets.
Visit the ancient city of...
Favorite thing: Visit the ancient city of Butrint, a World Heritage Site. It was founded by the Greeks in 8th Century BC and has been continuosly inhabited until the 18th century when it was abandoned because of the Turks. It is the place associated with the legend of Aeneas. Many archiologists among whom some of the best British archeologists regard Butrint as one of the most important excavations of the 20th century second only to the ancient city of Pompei in Italy. It is one of the few sites where different remains from different cultures and periods of time lay side by side and on top of each other giving a clear sense of continuity.
It is only about 20 km from Saranda and it is well worth the trip not only for its ancient remains and history but also its magnificent surroundings.
Fondest memory: The beautiful beaches with the cristal clear waters, together with the relaxing and relaxed atmosphere as well as the excellent food.(particularly seafood)
Favorite thing: The greek coast is really close to Sarande, you can clearly see the Corfu silhouette in the horizon from the beach.
WHERE IS SARANDE ?
Favorite thing: Sarande is in South eastern Albania , not far from the border with Greece and seperated from Corfu by a small stretch of water.
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