Arras, Albania: Agrotourism guesthouse stay

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Arras, Albania: Agrotourism guesthouse stay

August 2019
Albania in summer

In the first half of August, we spent beautiful days in a small rural guest house located in a small village called Aras near Peshkopi on the Black Drin River. I don't want to describe our work here, I just want to mention that this place is good for visiting with family. Northwest Albania is not a popular ecotourism or agritourism destination, but it offers something you won't find anywhere else in Europe.

First, the traditional Kheg Albanians and their real farming culture (with donkeys, horses and real organic permaculture). They are the most hospitable people I have met in Europe. Almost all the inhabitants of this region are Muslims, who have a long-standing relationship with the land and water.

Second, actual cultural landscapes. We are often fascinated by beauty and reality. It reminded me of the Greece of yesteryear (70s). Appreciate the functional landscapes, with bold countryside juxtaposed with wild mountains and such rich biodiversity.

And finally, a wonderful river and spring water. Water is everywhere. And the Sev Drin river. most of the day is clear and cool, but after 14:00 the flood starts from the upper dam of North Macedonia; the water rises a meter higher and faster. The regulated river suffers from floods and overflows. And it is a big river. children swim, play and fish; Older children use dynamite and "batteries" to catch fish. Banks of large rivers and landfills are built near small villages, reminiscent of the distant Asian empire. Snorkeling here in the morning is good. clear, but there is a lot of plastic and other debris in the water. Our friends booked a trip from Pont de Luzley to Pont d'Arras (a four hour journey).

Although this unique country has a bit of a crazy feel at times... it's completely safe and definitely colorful. I love Albania!

Visit Aras village with family and friends, highly recommended.

Black Drin (Drin and Zee) is about an hour down the road from Aras.

Blew Drain descends two hours from Arras, very close to Cook. Don't get off the bridge, we haven't.

On a beautiful dirt road from the village near Aras to the village of Mukhur.

Passing through clear, cold waters. An hour's drive from Arras.

About 18 species of fish live in the river near the village of Aras; One of the rarest species in springs and river marshes is the ocher minnow, Pelasgus minutus (species pending DNA confirmation).

Searching for "prince" in Ketus Canyon. funny but also sad (more fishing problems)
Several species can be seen while snorkeling in the beds of small pools in the beds of wide-branching rivers: this is the Skadar gaden goby, Gobio skadarensis .
Small stones in hand. this small minnow Phoxinus sp. These are cold water species from the springs on the main canal. Some populations have this reproductive coloration at the confluence of the Setes and Drini Ize Rivers (below the village of Araxes).
After the dramatic throat.

Classic evergreen Picus viridis, Robinia pseudacacia ( invasive tree from the Americas). This bird is very common in the territory of Besedka guest house. An early morning walk at the guesthouse brings more than 20 bird species in early August; One of the most common is the Golden Oriole.
I was really shocked by you when the juvenile golden eagle was killed by the power pole on Lower Canyon Road. In fact, I saw a huge nest in the canyon and wondered if it was a golden eagle; But no living specimens were found, a dismal search.
Bed and Breakfast in Gazebo, Arras.

View from the Arbor Inn, Arras.

Bed and Breakfast in Gazebo, Arras.

Bed and Breakfast in Gazebo, Arras.

View from the Arbor Inn, Arras. Great country for hiking (no problem with dogs, but beware of goats and herds of sheep when traveling through the Balkans).

Our host Vladimir Markun at the Besedka guest house - with his family.

Mr. Vladimir Marku is showing new works at "Arber" guest house. He helped us explore the area, made us feel comfortable on the crazy Albanian roads and made us feel at home, he even gave each of us Muslim names... (photo by Max V. Ali).
Escape not far from the city. With Vaso and Donard in Cooks.

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