We head north the next day; we men are among ourselves again. Saying goodbye is still difficult and one or two tears flow.
As usual, there is an acute state of war on the streets; the traffic is slow, many cars overtake left and right and jostle wherever they can. Interestingly, however, no one honks their horns to express their displeasure, so the traffic is so ordinary in its chaos. In order not to be left behind, I adjust myself, I press the accelerator pedal and now force the others to drive off into the bushes. It works perfectly and we only get to Krujë with a little delay.
This small but extremely beautiful ancient fortified city is located in the mountains north of Tirana. As usual, there are no signs, and so we take a chance and climb up the mountain through the narrowest streets. This gives us direct access to the fortress and the famous bazaar street, where traders offer carpets, cloths and Albanian souvenirs. In between, a picturesque mosque rises up.
The fortress not only offers a gigantic view over the plain, but also houses the Skanderbeg Museum. There you will find the history of this and thus also of Albania. Old maps show the world of the Middle Ages from the perspective of Albania, where the cities of Frankfurt and Nuremberg can be found as dots on the northern edge.
This fortress, like all others in the country, served almost exclusively to ward off the Ottomans. Skanderbeg managed to unite the parts of the north and south and created the crest of this unit, the two-headed black eagle on a red background. Unfortunately, the Ottomans didn’t take kindly to it, eventually catching and quartering him and Albania going under Turkish rule for centuries.
At a serious young man with a lot of sunburn and his very similar looking brother without tint we can have a refreshment right on top of the building with the magnificent view. But not for too long, because there is still a long journey ahead.
At the end of our trip we return with Rovena to this city that makes such an impression on us and offers the perfect ending to our trip.
Now we make our way into the mountains and we still don’t know what chaos and beauty awaits us at the Koman Ferry.