Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Durrës, Albania

Durrës is Albania's second largest city. It's home to around 202,000 residents.

It is also one of the oldest cities in the country. The area has been continuously inhabited for 2,700 years.

Durrës is only 33 km (21 miles) away from Tirana and a one-way ride in a furgon costs 100 lekë ($0.95).



The city was founded by ancient Greeks and today it is the country's main port. There are several ferries that run between Durrës and Italy. Brindisi is 200 km/124 miles away and Bari is 300 km/186 miles away.


To be honest there is not a lot to see here. The main attraction is the Roman amphitheater that was discovered in 1966. It was built between 117 - 78 BC. Up to 20,000 people used to watch gladiators do battle here. Up to 25% of the archeological site is still buried beneath houses. This is the largest Roman amphitheater in the Balkans. Currently it is under consideration to become a UNESCO World Heritage site.



Near the port is the ancient Byzantine city wall.






The Venetian Tower was built in the city center during the 16th century.



The primary reason that people come to Durrës is because it is home to the largest and most popular beach in Albania. Around 600,000 tourists visit annually and many people from Tirana spend their summer vacations here.

I don't get it. There's no way on earth that I would use the beach here. The "beach" wasn't sand or pebble or even rock. It looked like garden mulch!! Looking at it made my skin itch. I saw some kids going out in to the water and they looked like they were having fun. Good for them.

I found this clip out on YouTube. It's not about Durrës per se. However, I found it interesting, and sad, and I'm glad that I didn't hit the beach.

video

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