Tag Archives: hiking

Hiking to the Maja e Mbrezhanit

On a beautiful spring weekend, I took a trip up into the mountains in Kelcyre! We passed through picturesque farms and hiked to the summit overlooking the Vjosa river valley, and once again the view was absolutely breathtaking!

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 9:45pm

This morning, I woke up bright and early with the sun. I was surprisingly well rested after a good night’s sleep, despite my 6:00am wake up call, and I had plenty of time to eat my regular breakfast before hitting the road with my friend Koli for our hike to the Maja e Mbrezhanit (the Mbrezhanit summit), which is located just outside of Kelcyre opposite the hike we took to the top of Trebeshina.

I was relieved knowing that however difficult the hike may be, it wouldn’t be more than a 6th-grader could handle.

When Koli drove up to my house, I was surprised to find not only his father but his niece in the car as well! I was a bit relieved knowing that however difficult the hike may be, it wouldn’t be more than a 6th-grader could handle. We drove into Kelcyre around 6:45am, picked up the various volunteers from their houses, and then were officially on our way!

Our first obstacle of the day was crossing an ominous hanging bridge (or as my site mate Barb would call it, an “Indiana Jones” bridge) that was swinging precariously over the rushing Vjosa River. It was worn down and there were literal sandbags piled up on one side to help balance out the uneven wooden slats, but I wasn’t afraid as I walked gently across from one side to the other. Continue reading Hiking to the Maja e Mbrezhanit


Snow in the Mountains

In the middle of March, I finally got my wish to go on another hike, this time all the way into the snow! The scenery was beautiful, but the trek was long. Still, what’s a hike without a few challenges?

Sunday, March 11, 2018, 5:52pm

I am exhausted! For some reason, after two stressful days I thought it would be good to follow up those experiences with a long hike in the mountains.

I may have a problem.

As I packed up my backpack, laced up my new boots, and headed out the door, I was feeling a little nervous for several reasons:

  1. I was afraid that the hike would be exhausting.
  2. I was nervous about being the only American in the group.
  3. I was a little anxious about being the only girl in the group.

Still, I had faith in my unwavering determination, my physical fitness (thanks to Blogilates and my new habit of running bi-weekly 5ks), and my friend Koli’s ability to plan a good hike with comfortable group dynamics.

I met Koli outside his apartment building, and we were off! We picked up the rest of the group on the way to the hiking trail, and one by one we became a group of five. I felt pretty at-ease since I already knew half of the group, and with introductions made, we started up the mountain. Continue reading Snow in the Mountains

Waterfalls in Strembec

On a beautiful October weekend, I discovered a waterfall in Strembec, a village about 19km from Permet. I hiked into the Nemërçka mountains with friends, enjoyed the crisp, fall air, and definitely got in a good workout!

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 10:41pm

Whew! It’s been an exhausting go-go-go Saturday! Not only did I go on a five hour hike, I also ran two English groups, worked on editing a document for Cesvi, ran to the secondhand store, and then worked out for an hour before cooking dinner!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My day started bright and early with a trip to the village of Strembec, which is about 19 km away from the city of Permet. My friend Koli invited Barbara and I about a week ago, and he followed through like he always does (he’s a really dependable guy).

The air was crisp and cool, and I could see my breath like wisps of smoke.

I set out for the morning hike feeling relaxed and ready to go. The drive over to Strembec was beautiful, and I looked out at the mountains with a flutter of excitement. When we arrived, the air was crisp and cool. I could see my breath like wisps of smoke, and I kept my hands curled into tight fists inside my jacket. But soon enough we began the uphill part of our journey, and I warmed up quickly. Continue reading Waterfalls in Strembec

On Top of Mount Dhembel

On a beautiful Saturday in September, I took a hike in the mountains in my own backyard. With some friends from the bashkia and Kelcyre, we spent ten and a half hours on a round trip to the summit and back again. My legs are dying, but the views and fun memories made everything worth it!

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 9:52pm

Whew! What a day! It’s been an extremely intense, exhilarating, and exhausting Saturday, and I truly wouldn’t want it any other way. These exciting weekends make the trials and tribulations throughout the week worth it. I love new adventures, and I’m making memories that will last a lifetime.

I love new adventures, and I’m making memories that will last a lifetime.

This morning my friends Klara and Brianne and I woke up around 6:30am for our hike at 7:00am. We had a light breakfast, gathered up all of our hiking gear, and headed out the door. My friend Koli from the bashkia met us in the neighborhood, and we walked over to Kisha e Shen e Premtes (or as I call it, “the church on the hill”) to join the others on the trip.

There were four other guys with us, and they didn’t really believe that we could keep up with them. But Brianne and I did our best to show them that we could do anything they could do. Since we managed to make it back alive after following their route almost step-for-step (albeit at a much slower pace), I think we succeeded! Continue reading On Top of Mount Dhembel

Trebeshina Take Two

On my first of many beautiful autumn hikes, I go back to Mount Trebeshina to take on the two castles (again) and climb all the way to the top of the mountain!

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 9:06pm

Happy Saturday! I woke up very early at 4:45am to go on a hike at Mount Trebeshina (the mountain where the two castles are located in Kelcyre). My friend Koli picked me up right on time at 5:00am, and soon enough we were on the road.

I have to admit, I was less than thrilled to be going on the hike this morning. I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this? I could be asleep in my warm bed right now.” But in the spirit of saying yes to everything (which I still haven’t given up on entirely) and because I was already in the car, I kept my word.

When we arrived at my friend Tim’s house, the sky was still pretty dark. A sleepy-looking Tim greeted us from his porch, we parked the car, and then we were off!

It was a small group of us (Koli, Koli’s father, Koli’s father’s cousin, Tim, and I) and unsurprisingly, Tim and I were the worst hikers of the bunch. But we did our best and continued to put one foot in front of the other.  Continue reading Trebeshina Take Two