Albanian forestry workers sitting round barbecue, with cut logs piled up behind

Albanian barbecue

Vatochori to Kastoria

“Beware bears, snakes and… Albanians!” was the advice as we hiked ever closer to the troubled Albanian border. We’d spent a restless night, lying trembling, as something large paced around our tents. Was it a bear? Maybe.  

So we were nervous when we came across a group of Albanian loggers. A dead sheep hung from a nearby bush, and they were preparing a barbecue. “Come and join us,” they cried. 

Then it was on to the lovely deserted village of Upper Kranionas, with its crumbling mellow brick houses. And finally Kastoria, centre of the fur trade – a wonderful place to relax beside the lake.

Route: Vatochori, Kranionas, Kastoria

Albanian stirring the pot over an open fire at the barbecue
Albanian forester : stirring the pot
Sheep carcass hanging from a tree ready for the barbecue with the Albanian loggers
Sheep carcass for barbecue
Albanian forestry workers cutting up the sheep carcass on improvised low table in meadow
Albanian foresters: preparing meat for barbecue
Ladopotamos clear stream between meadows, upstream from Korestia
Lush valley towards Kranionas
Lovely red brick of a deserted house at Upper Kranionas
Upper Kranionas.. Loved the crumbling old houses.
Albanian shepherd with crook and sheep
Shepherd, Upper Kranionas
Old stone church at Upper Kranionas with porch
Camped at Upper Kranionas church. Only problem was the hungry shepherd dog….
View over the deserted houses of the old village with the new village beyond
View from Upper Kranionas
Tortoise close up
So many tortoises on the road down to Kastoria
Pelican on peaceful Lake Kastoria
Kastoria, beautiful lakeside town, known for its fur coats!
Inside a tradtional Kastoria house, now a museum, with low seating areas and white fireplace
Traditional mansion, Kastoria

Travelling Slow

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