The town of Berat clings to the roots of a mountain, atop which sits a ruined castle village. People still live and work there, and our only full day in Berat was spent mostly at the castle. It was massive, with expansive courtyards and walls, ruined mosques and still churches with molding frescoes. Villagers were selling colorful Turkish rugs with awesome patterns. We spent the morning exploring alleys and admiring the views. We got lunch at a small restaurant that overlooks the town and valley below. Sitting on the castle wall in the sun, high above everything sipping a beer and enjoying great food … it was just perfect.
The next day, on our way out of Berat toward our next destination (Tirana, the capital), we stopped in Apollonia, an ancient Greek city named after the god Apollo. A church and cloisters were subsequently built and we peaked around those first and the museum. The ruins themselves were relatively sparse, with one grand colonnade. Beyond that, the views of the farmland below was awesome, as was an interesting pile of separated blocks with interesting designs.