Rumsky Safari through Africa and Beyond 2008-2009 travel blog

Stormy view of the site

Monastery (please note umbrellas)

Check out the cool gargoyles (and rain!)

Roman stautes are the only dry shelter around


3/6/09

Oh, ill-fated Apollonia. In Roman times, Apollonia and Durres were two major towns given independent city-state status by none other than Julius Ceasar himself. Located on the Via Egnatia, they held strategic points linking the Roman empire to its trading centers in the “Near East” (e.g., Istanbul, then Constantinople). I was so excited about my experience in Butrint I decided that Apollonia couldn’t be missed. So while we had decided against it the first time around due to time constraints and frustration with the complicated and potentially expensive transportation available in Vlora, we decided to give it another try from our beloved base city of Berat. However, the effort was doomed to fail. It began sprinkling on our way to Fier, which then turned into rain as we negotiated a taxi to the ruins, which then turned into an absolute downpour by the time we got to the site. We had negotiated the taxi ride to wait for us for an hour, so without any time to spare, we had to go see the sight in the downpour. “See” the sight is a misnomer. The wind whipped the rain into my eyes, covered my face with my soggy hair, and pushed the umbrella around mercilessly as Fran and I attempted to make sense of the confusing map (which, being paper, began to fall apart in our hands). Both of us were absolutely soaked through to our underwear. My new lousy shoes began falling apart. The gods just didn’t want me to see Apollonia. The only good thing was that Christopher was warm and dry in our lovely hotel room watching “Animal Planet” in English. At least one of us had a nice day.

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