We start our visit to the city of Gjirokastër in an unusual way, because first we go to the hotel. This time it will not be a campsite, but a room booked through booking.com. We get to the hotel run by Maradonna, the place is called Hotel Bebej Traditional. The owner runs a grocery store on the ground floor and a hotel on the upper floor.
You can park your car in the yard, but the driveway is quite steep. You need to go up the hill and then go back through the gate. On the slippery stones that the streets are made of, our heavy car had a bit of a problem with it. But it turned out that it wasn’t that difficult for the owner of the property and he helped us to park our car. You can see that he is experienced in how to drive there.
After checking in, we go to the castle, which is the main attraction of this city. We go on foot through the historic streets of the city, then 100 meters through a dark, scary tunnel and we get to the main entrance. We bought tickets and started sightseeing.
Gjirokastra Castle is one of the largest fortresses in Albanian lands, it has 7 towers and is over 200 meters long. It is located on a high rocky hill. On the upper terrace there is a characteristic clock tower and the wreck of an American reconnaissance plane that made an emergency landing in Albania in 1957.
Military exhibits such as cannons, tanks, and anti-aircraft guns were set up in the corridor of the castle. Then we get to the area with a guide who tells us about the history of this castle. Once a prison was located here, where political prisoners were kept. During the tour, you could look into the cells.
After visiting the castle, we went to a local restaurant for lunch, walked around the city for a while, bought souvenirs and returned to the quarters.
In the morning a surprise awaited us, a traditional Albanian breakfast prepared by the hosts. It was delicious! It was comfortable!