Minutes after we parked at our van at campground Villa Juri in the city of Berat, one of the owners, showed up with a plastic water bottle and two shot glasses. He offered Dan a shot of his homemade rakija (fruit brandy) as a welcome gift. Dan was actually not feeling so well all day today but he couldn’t say no.
So why did we choose to pay for a campground instead of continuing with our boondocking in a parking lot streak? This is going to sound silly but we truly wanted to a place where we can set up our camping chairs and have the kids are spread out and play. Parking lots don’t allow us that luxury.
Once again, we’re camping all alone. Not complaining. We actually enjoy it that way, especially after peeking at photos of this place and any other campground in Europe during the summer months. How are we going to avoid that this summer? Hopefully by being in Scandinavia. But only time will tell if that plan will work.
Luka’s first choice of toy to play with it is the Kinetic Sand that one of the girls bought for him this last Christmas in Croatia. He loves hiding things in packed sand and then using little tools to chisel his way to his treasure.
The girls, on the other hand, wanted a chance to use Ava’s new paint set that Luka bought for her this last Christmas as well.
They repurposed some used canvases by painting on the back sides of them.
Mila painted a little girl and Ava painted a fox from a photo she searched for on Google.
The campground is really convenient. Just outside of camp, there is a grocery store and within a few minutes walk is the center of Berat. That’s one of the things I really love about Europe. We have the ability to leave our home parked as we walk to do what we want/need to do.
There’s a storm heading our way today but it’s not here just yet so we decided to take a peek at the center of Berat.
The town was settled in the 6th century BC and traded hands by many empires along the way, giving it a unique look. It is also called the City of a Thousand Windows. No, we didn’t count them.
Berat is an old fortified city and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
On one of the sunnier days during our stay, we decided to walk up to the fortified walls on the hillside.
The walk was pretty intense today. My iPhone Health app said we walked up 44 flights of stairs and about 5.5 miles in total.
It was totally worth it.
This is the entrance to the walled city portion of Berat. We could have driven up here but what fun would that have been. Ha. Dan and I paid 100 leks each (which is about 80 cents) and the kids were free.
A panaramic view of Berat as seen from the tower on the hill.
The tower part of the wall was so windy that the kids huddled together on a bench to play tic-tac-toe on Luka’s watch.
Once we walked through the streets of the city, we were sheltered from the wind and got to take it all in.
Albania has a real trash problem. There is plastic everywhere. So for part of today’s roadschool adventure, we did a small part to make this city a little cleaner. The kids love showing off their “treasures” to each other. Haha.
Love the grooves in the mountains.
The walk back down the hill was actually harder on us adults than on the way up. Our knees really started to bother us. Yup. Getting old.
The cutest little coffee roaster we’ve seen yet.
I really wanted to snap some photos of this place so I ended up asking for a couple bags to go.
Caught the last rays of sunshine just as we were passing the bridge.
For Valentine’s Day, we did secret valentines. After picking out treats at the local market, we started to make cards for our secret recipient. Luka was unsure what to write so I told him to talk about his feelings. He immediately asked me how to spell “I’m bored.” After another explanation on what I meant by feelings, he ended up creating a card for his sister telling her it makes him happy when she plays with him.
Here a vlog from our time in Berat!
And a video tour of the campground.
Thanks for following along on our adventures,