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Morning photo: Sunday in Saranda

Lazin’ in the sunshine …

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By the fountain.

FRISCO —As different and exotic as Albania may seem, the people there enjoy the same simple pleasures we all do, like taking time out to enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon. After I enjoyed Sunday’s sunshine here in Frisco, I came upon a set of images taken a few years ago in Saranda, a harbor and resort town along the edge of the Ionian Sea. Just like Summit County, Saranda is a popular tourist destination, but when Leigh and I visited in late September, it was off season. And just like Summit County, locals were taking it easy and enjoying the respite from waves of visitors. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Harbor scenes

Sail away …

The harbor in Ushuaia, Argentina. Ours was the smaller, blue-hulled boat, and we were thankful.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Long before railway stations and airports, intrepid explorers set out on their adventures from seaside cities where the port was the center of commercial, civic and cultural life.

In many coastal towns, harbors are still the hub, with roads and train tracks radiating outward to carry goods to inland destinations. It doesn’t take much in the way of imagination to conjure up exotic destinations when you’re standing at a quay looking at ships flying foreign flags. So it was fun compiling a few of my favorite harbor shots for #FriFotos. Join the fun by uploading your favorite harbor scenes, tagging them with #FriFotos and join in the Twitter conversation.

Dusk falls over the harbor of Cassis, France.

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Travel: Seaside Albania

From the travel files …

South of Saranda, a seaport on the central Albanian coast, is Ksamil, a tiny seaside hamlet aspiring to become a destination beach resort. It has the beaches for it, but I'm glad I saw it while it was still a sleepy village.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Sorting pictures can be tedious, but pays off when you find some forgotten unpublished gems like this collection of images from Albania, a country that is rapidly emerging from a third-world slumber in a remote corner of Europe. Read about a leaky bus ride in Albania, more on the mountains and coast of the region and the country’s world heritage sites. Continue reading

Morning photo: Here and there …

And everywhere!

A turtle basks on the edge of some thousand-year-old rocks at a Roman-built colosseum in Butrint, Albania. Click on the image to learn more about this outstanding World Heritage site.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The semi-regular randomness photoblog returns, in which the photo editor does the two-finger scroll to see where the cursor stops. This post isn’t totally random, as it does have a bit of a travel theme. Most of the images link to other posts with information about the story, so don’t be shy — click away! Continue reading

A leaky bus, brown bread and techno-belly dance tracks

Strolling the wet cobblestones of Gjirokastër in time to catch the 5 a.m. bus to Vlore.

Random acts of kindness in Albania

By Bob Berwyn

“Some days are leaky,” U2 sang in one of their songs on Zooropa, and today is one of them. Heavy overnight thunderstorms have knocked out the power in parts of Gjirokastër, a historic World Heritage town in the mountains of southern Albania.

Leigh and I pack at 4 a.m. by the light of a single head lamp before heading down the slick cobblestone alley to catch the bus to Vlore, the Adriatic port where we’ll board the ferry for the first leg of the long trip back to Frisco, Colorado.

Click here for a photo essay from Saranda.

More pics from Butrint and Gjirokaster here.

Victor, the tall, craggy night watchman, rubs his eyes and lights a few candles in the entryway of the medieval mansion where we spent the night. Eerie shadows flicker across the thick walls as he hands us a breakfast packet: Hard-boiled eggs, thick slabs of brown bread and a half-pound chunk of Albanian feta cheese. Then he pulls a couple of umbrellas out of the closet and insists on walking us to the station, where he waits until our bus pulls up.

Some Days, by U2. More, after the break, and real all our travel stories here.

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