On the Balkanian trip we rode through the scenic and bare lands of Albania, probably the poorest country in Europe, still struggling to recover back from the wonders of authoritarian global seclusion. Generally, I would say that of all the Balkans, Albania offers relatively less for the spoiled tourist, but – aside from the views – there are occasionally a few interesting tourists attractions and cities worth visiting and exploring. Kruja is certainly one of those.
Wikipedia introduces :
Krujë is best known as the hometown of Albania’s national hero, Skanderbeg, from where the Ottomans were successfully resisted for nearly 35 years from 1443 until 1478. The castle of Krujë was successfully defended in four sieges conducted by Ottoman forces before final capitulation shortly after the death of Gjergj Kastrioti (Skanderbeg).
Skanderbeg is indeed a prominent figure in Kruja, with statues in every corner, as well as the National Museum in Kruja called after him.
As you arrive in Kruja, the local craftsmen offer their merchandize as you make your way us the mountain towards the castle and through the old bazaar.
Once you make your way up all the way to the castle, there are terrific panoramic views of the area.
More on Kruja to follow later…