Albania's beaches were something I wanted to experience. Sarande was known for being touristy, so I wanted to find somewhere smaller and less congested. After discussing locations with several people about beautiful beaches that didn't have tons of rocks, Himare was the name that kept surfacing in conversation. It's a small village on the coast of Albania. I liked how quaint and relaxed it was.
I stayed in a hostel two minutes away from the water. When I wanted to swim, I could leave everything in my locker, go for a swim, and return without carrying anything.
There are some other beautiful beaches nearby, no shortage of photogenic canopy trees or sun beds.
One of the main attractions of Himare was the castle. It required about an hour walk uphill. There was much discussion about turning around and calling it quits! But, my hostel dorm mate and I prevailed. Below was our journey to the top!
Once we had reached the entrance street to the castle ruins, a woman was using a stick to work some donkeys up the hill. Every time she hit one of them, part of me died inside, and wanted to tell her to stop. But, it's coming to terms with how the world works, and not everyone has the resources. The optimist in me enjoyed being able to see how other cultures do things, and a glimpse into the past.