Saranda: Butrint National Park.
Wednesday – We arranged a car and driver to take us to Butrint National Park. The park was amazing and a stunning setting. The first settlements date back to the 8th century BC and were added to through time to the Ottoman defences created in the early 19th Century. Butrint owes its growth and early fame to a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine.
There were warnings at the entrance to the park that there were snakes and other wildlife – so we were a little wary.
A view across the lake to another fortified settlement. A vast viaduct connected Butrint to this settlement.
One of the first areas we came to was the Roman colony…
…which has now been taken over by turtles. We were not wary of this wildlife!
The Baptistery with its mosaic floor. We were lucky to see this as it is normally covered. The design has eight circles circling the baptismal font.
The Basilica built in the 5th century – this was the bishops church. The floor was originally covered in mosaics however in medieval period it was rebuilt and flag stones covered the mosaics.
Us in front of the Lion Gate – the romans must have been short!! The lion was not part of the original wall but was added in the 5th century AD to make the gate smaller and therefore easier to defend.
A view over the lake that now has fish farms
The Venetian Castle – re-constructed in the 1930’s
Nesting swallows? with mum on duty
View from the Venetian fort over the Albanian countryside