VLORA: MUSEUM CAPITAL OF ALBANIA? (maybe)

I arrived and searched for a hotel. It´s the low season and hotels are cheap, most campgrounds are closed. The weather is perfect for biking, 75F or 25C. I´m waiting out a rain storm in town, perfect for musueming. The Lonely Planet Guide book really talks up the museums here.
VLORA is a coastal town. Packed with people in the summer and vacant now.

20131024-101657.jpgIT´S JUST AS NICE WITH OR WITHOUT TOURIST.
I rode to both ends of town, my bike was dirty. Albania has more car washes than cars! Not Really, but let me just say, I´m biking in the middle of nowhere and there,s a car wash not one but several. Are Albanians obsessed with a clean car or what? Yes and the roads are rough and dirty so to speak. Anyway my bike needs a cleaning, I toothbrush the chain with detergent. They then spray my bike with soap then power wash it.

20131024-102252.jpgNICE AND CLEAN AND READY FOR SOME CHAIN LUBE (red).
I head for the Ethnographic Museum first.
The Ethnographic museum is built in a traditional Vlora house, the construction of which dates back to the middle of 19th century. The collection of this museum consists of about 300 objects of authentic values like clothes, wood-works, metalwork, carpets and ceramics. In the great number and variety of objects we may mention: the shirt and waistcoat of Kanina, 150 years old, women clothes, more than one century old, rugs, carpets worked out 80-90 years ago, filigree works, utility wooden objects worked by handicraft masters of Vlorë region.

20131024-102637.jpgTHE CARPETS WERE BETTER THAN ANYTHING I SAW IN MOROCCO.
They had a small pile of them, I tried to buy one, NO. It must be a lost art, I tried to find a shop selling them but no again.

20131024-103000.jpgTHESE SHOES WERE MADE FROM A CAR TIRE.

20131024-103124.jpgTHIS COW HORN WAS CARVED INTO A SHARK, PRETTY AWESOME
Next I head to the HISTORIC MUSEUM
The Historic MuseumIt was founded in 1962 and is located in the city center. There are historical and archaeological items of the entire district of Vlora. They date back beginning from the Bronze Age to documents of recent years, and include objects and relics from the medieval, renaissance and modern times. They had a mix of everything, Roman Columns and machine guns. It was being remodeled but I was able to take a quick walk through.

20131024-103709.jpgALBANIA GOT IT´S INDEPENDANCE IN 1912 AND THIS IS THE STATUE TO SYMBOLIZE THAT EVENT.
I´m off to the Independence Museum
Independence Museum is placed in the building where the first Albanian Government worked in 1913. It is a urban two-stores Vlora building and it was declared a cultural monument. This museum consists of eight rooms equipped with original 19th century furniture. Many authentic objects and relics, documents, editions, works of art, etc. are exhibited in this museum. The most important parts of this museum are the office of the first Albanian Prime Minister, Ismail Qemali and the Provisional Government Conference Room. Should be mentioned that the government of the first Albanian state worked for six months in the Independence Museum building.
Many original documents and items of the time like flags, correspondence of the period prior to the proclamation of independence and other objects of cultural and historic value are displayed in this museum.
The U.S.A. sent a peice of art to help them celebrate their state hood.

20131024-104131.jpgIT´S A CARVED SHELL FROM THE USA, REMEMBER IT´S 1912!
The art was great to

20131024-105338.jpgI REALLY LOVE ALBANIAN ART

20131024-105609.jpgCHECK OUT THE ALBANIAN FLAG CARVED INTO CHAIR.
The museum employees invited me for coffee after the tour.

20131024-105847.jpg
Exploring a city by bike is the best. I capture more images than I ever would walking. Like these 2 women weeding the plaza with shovels.

20131024-110552.jpgIT´S AMAZING, YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET RID OF WEEDS WITHOUT USING ROUND-UP.

20131024-110730.jpgA PICTURE OF VLORA TAKEN FROM SOUTH OF TOWN.

20131024-110905.jpgTHIS GUY WAS SELLING SOME KIND OF EEL? BY BIKE!

20131024-111015.jpgTHIS IS THE EXPRESSION AFTER THE PERSON YOU ASK TO TAKE A PHOTO DROPS THE I-PHONE ON THE SIDEWALK.
VLORA was a great place to wait out the storms, the museums were high quality (not quantity). Being the birthplace of Albanians Independence, made it an important place in Albanian history.
It´s time to go, I´ve got a 10 day forecast of 75f or 25c and no rain!
PHOTOS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Thanks for reading and remember to ride your bike!
Jeff
NEXT? VLORA TO SARANDA THE MOST CHALLENING AND SPECTACULAR RIDING OF THE WHOLE TRIP

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