29 March 2016

Albania, among top 10 Places To Travel in 2016

Albania is ranked again among the 10 top places to travel in 2016. This time is Gazette Review from USA suggesting its readers the best tourist destination countries for this year. Albania is the first place to visit according to this article. Discover why: 

"If you’re planning a travel adventure in 2016, you won’t find better destinations than the 10 listed here. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, foodie, or just want to hit the beach or clubs, there’s something here for every traveler.
 First stop, Albania:
Ksamil, Albania
You won’t find Albania on the top of many tourist destination lists.  The crowds tend to flock to Greece or beautiful Croatia, but the tiny country of Albania offers unique adventures of its own.  In Albania, you’ll experience a mix of cultures and customs.  Explore the fascinating history behind the ancient Greek city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Hit the beach and have a drink of Korca beer as you gaze out at the Ionian Sea.  Travel through breathtaking mountain vistas, discover ruins from the Ottoman Empire, and explore this underrated gem before the tour groups start to arrive".

Other places to visit, according to this media are:  Colombia, Cuba, Jordan, China, Romania, Sri Lanka, Canada, Japan, Nepal

Read full article here:

04 March 2016

Exploring Voskopoja, once the 2nd largest city of the Ottoman Balkans after Istanbul

By Gulia Blocal

We left the car right outside the entrance of Voskopoja. The parking lot was empty and the village looked deserted, apart from a few old men drinking and smoking under the porch of the local bar. Our plan was to visit the frescoed churches, which recall a time when Voskopoja was a cosmopolitan metropolis, a centre of arts and cultures and the second largest city of the Ottoman Balkans after Istanbul.

This mountain village in south-eastern Albania isn’t mentioned in guidebooks, so without any information on how to visit its Byzantine churches we just took the first street off the parking lot and walked our way through the village.

The street was unpaved and the air smelled of that pungent mix of cut grass and goats; we walked past small stone houses until we finally found the first church, enclosed by the traditional wall of red stones, with its Byzantine frescoes in plain view under the covered porch.

We got closer, took our cameras out of the bags and pushed the gate, but it was locked and we couldn’t get in.

 Read more: http://www.blocal-travel.com/road-trip/voskopoja-albania/