|The long and bumpy road
Last weekend we went north- far into Northeast Albania to the mountain village of Thethi (If you look on the map on the right side of this page, Thethi is approximately 70 kilometers northeast of Shkoder). Distance wise, Thethi isn’t that far from Tirana; culturally and geographically, however, this tiny mountain village that is cut off from the outside world for six months of the year, is a world apart from Albania’s noisy, pollution filled capital city. This predominately Catholic village is, and always has been, so isolated that through the years invading armies and empires bypassed it entirely. Access isn't easy and visiting Thethi is very much like going back in time.
|Prime real estate
In the village of Boga the road abruptly turned into a rutted, gravel and boulder filled path. Initially Glenn thought the road was merely washed out and the pavement would return. For the next three hours we bumped along hairpin switchbacks as we climbed up through the Qafa e Tërthores pass (1,630 meters high) then descended into the Thethi valley below. The views of the snow covered Albanian Alps were breath taking, as were the road conditions. (Only in Albania would such a road even warrant mention on the national map as an “important secondary road”). We encountered only a handful of other vehicles along our route and when we did, it took a lot of back and forth negotiating for all of the vehicles to pass by each other safely.
|The Shala River in Thethi
|View from the old grist mill
|Family time at Thethi Waterfall