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The Far North

The far north of Europe is actually pretty fortunate regarding the weather. The reason being the Gulf stream which makes it possible to cultivate even fruits around the Norwegian fjords (pictures 2, 6). Though if you go uphill from the fjords your surroundings change pretty quickly and you will experience marvellous but very alien ice deserts like the Hardangervidda (picture 1). That’s planet Hoth from Star Wars Episode V by the way – the scenes were shot there. One of the biggest and historically most important towns in the far north of Europe is Bergen at the North Sea. For centuries it was an important port and a center of commerce, especially regarding the trade with fish. Today it is a lovely student town with a lot of culture and museums (pictures 3, 4 and 5).

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A Journey to Albania

Albania is situated in Southeastern Europe just north to Greece. Due to its long periods of isolation and the status of being the poorest country in Europe it is not well known and until recently just few travellers came to visit. This is changing in the last years. More and more backpackers come and discover the beauty of this hidden pearl in the Balkans. At the coastline more and more hotels are being built and the infrastructure is growing. There are even talks of reactivating the railway, which was put out of use in the last decades. Albania is a multireligious country, you will find beautiful old mosques in the Ottoman style (picture 1), as well as orthodox churches and catholic monasteries (pictures 4, 8). The people of different faiths live together in peace and no matter which cultural building you enter you will be received the Albanian way – warmly and with a smile.

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The City of Thousand Windows: Berati

Berati is situated in southern Albania and well known for its history and architecture. Founded in the 9th century it was always a hotspot for different religions, up until today Christians and Muslims live peacefully in the town. Famous though is Berati mostly for its stone buildings, situated close alongside each other on a hillside facing the river Ishull. Visually striking are the large windows on these houses, so Berati also got the name “The City of Thousand Windows”.

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