Albania is rising from the ruins. After shaking their communist yoke of forty years the country is in a state of growth and renewal. That was very evident in historic Berat, “City of a Thousand Windows.” To learn more about the history of Albania and Berat look at my two previous posts, HERE and HERE, to give you an insight. We have toured Castle Hill and now we are ready for lunch! My first photos give a glimpse of the surrounding countryside from the hill. The photos can’t show you the heat in August, just take my word for it, it is hot! In the middle of the day, when we were at Castle Hill, the men were busy driving trucks, full of sand or stone, up the hill to build the new road. So, that made it noisy and hot. But, in the mist of all that, there is the perfect oasis in the Lazaro Taverna, rising from the dead, so to speak.
This is the parking lot for the buses and cars. To get to the castle, one must walk up another steep hill. I am not quite sure what this stone structure is. Is it old or new, or both? Was there once a building here too? Anyway, it is in the parking lot.
And this was the commotion at the top of the hill and the entrance to the parking lot. I want to stress the growth that is going on in Albania. Everywhere we went from Durrës and beyond, there was construction…….
I took a breather at the gates, before I headed up the hill.
Lazuro Taverna is at the base of Castle Hill. There is also a camping area here. This was our spot for lunch and we were in for a treat.
There is also a home here and I imagine the restaurant is family owned.
and brand new or newly remodeled…………
There were places to sit outside and enjoy the countryside, as well as the interior, cozy, air-conditioned dining room. It seemed like we were miles and miles from anything! I appreciated all the beautiful stone work, because we could see what it took to bring all that stone up here to lay it. And in this heat!
I would have bought one of those stone jars for my garden, if I could have got it in my suitcase!
You just never know what you will be served when you are in a group to eat. The food selection is picked for the entire group and is ready to be served when we get there. Our group is quite diverse, but we always commented on how good the food was! Lazaro Taverna was exceptional! We are always served the local wine and cuisine. We started off with a chicken and rice soup……….even on this hot day it was delicious!
Followed by the main course of huge servings of meat and vegetables. The vegetables were so fresh……….and the meat very tender……….
and as if we needed more, there was this creamy, pudding baklava-type dessert. The meal was made up of Greek dishes and was sooooooooooo yummy!
Next, we will be going back down the hill to the medieval/historical village of Berat, to the local hotel! I’ll meet you there! I can not stress enough, how Albania is trying to bring their country into the 21st century!