Monday, August 18, 2008

Scenic Albania

This past Saturday, I went with a group known as the "Hashers" on a hike. It wasn't just any hike. No, sir! We piled into five four-wheel drive vehicles and headed west out of Tirana. About 5 miles past the city, the drivers turned off on a small unpaved road. Now, just imagine the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland! Up and down, side to side...I was trying not to laugh too much for fear of offending the Albanians who were riding with us. We passed villages and bunkers (the guide books were right, the bunkers are everywhere!) and finally pulled over into a patch of grass. The hash masters (I think that is what they are called...they set up the trail using flour as a guide) were there to great us. A villager came down and demanded to know why we wanted to kill the livestock. She thought the flour was a deadly powder. After that misunderstanding was cleared up, we were free to roam! It wasn't an "easy" hike like I had been told, it was more like mountaineering! It was hard work but worth it! Here are the pictures!
The beginning: At the lake with my new friends, Linda (from Albania) and Jitske (from Belgium)
The valley filled with grazing goats...they seemed peaceful enough!
Goat stampede! Albania certainly keeps you on your toes!
Can you believe that I live here????
An ancient olive grove. Speaking of olives, they sell homemade olive oil in the markets. They put the olive oil directly in a used plastic water bottle...

After the hike, you must be inducted to the hashers. Brother Matt, you would be so proud. I chugged beer without crying and barfing. It was actually quite delicious! We went to Mr. Chicken for dinner/lunch. Much tastier than KFC! I can't wait for more fun adventures!


Michelle (aka mybelle101) said...

WOW! It's beautiful there, Holly! I'm glad you're getting settled in so well :)
I do have one question though: do they use *your* used water bottle, or someone else's, for the olive oil? ;)

Holly said...

This is for Michelle! The water bottles were used by the families filling them. It's the Albanian recycling program!

Marcy said...

I'm proud of you! Hiking and chugging beer? Sounds like I definitely need to come for a visit! I love the pictures!

Chris aka Razzleberry said...

It's good that you are diving right into doing things and getting to know your "surroundings" -- goats and all! Glad you are meeting new people and already having adventures. Looking forward to more posts.

KIT said...

The countryside looks like So. Cal! This certainly is a NEW day... beer and all!
Aunt Kit

Melinda aka PassionFruit said...

Dude, you ROCK! Chugging beer and a goat stampede, all in one day! What fun!