The second day of our recent trip focused on the spectacular natural beauty of Albania, in particular the area around the Osum Canyon, southeast of Berat. It is honestly a bit of a challenge to get there- an SUV would have come in handy (rather than our Mercedes minibus aptly named "Sprinter"), but for me, part of what made this trip memorable was the sense of adventure we felt in the journey itself. Sure, a new road would make it easier, but in this case part of the wonder of a remote place like this lies in the excitement of the actual drive. Luckily, all of us had strong stomachs and no one seemed to suffer from any motion sickness. The road is bad in some places and very, very bumpy, but no worse than many other country roads.
Rafting trips can be arranged on the Osum River through a local adventure company in Berat, and we all agreed it would be a lot of fun to do sometime in the future. The water is clean and if we had been down in the canyon we would have been tempted to go for a swim somehow. The canyon is not as immense as the Grand Canyon, but it is really very impressive. At the moment there is no development in the area at all, though there used to be a hotel (now demolished). It is a rare place nowadays where you can stand and look around you and not see any advertisements or buildings, but here in this very special part of Albania you can experience just that. And that is an awesome feeling.