Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

It was one hundred years ago this year that Edith Durham made the Albanian journeys that were to feature in her book "High Albania". We look at Edith Durham's adventures in the Albania-Montenegro border region.

article summary —

Early one morning in the summer of 1908, a small party left the village of Thethi in northern Albania. And, having floundered through the waist-deep snow which still choked the Qafa e Peje or Cafa Pes, the travellers descended into the Ropojana valley, in what is now Montenegro.

The party consisted of Edith Durham, that redoubtable Balkan traveller and champion of Albanian affairs, together with her loyal guide and friend Marko Shantoja, the local Franciscan padre and his servant, and a headman from the village of Okolo (Okol). Their destination was Vuthaj (nowadays Vusanje), a small, predominantly Muslim village in the Ropojana valley which, along with the rest of the Plav-Gusinje area, was then still part of Albania.

Having passed a lake, "very blue and deep but made, I was assured, entirely of snow-water", they continued along the valley, to arrive at Vusanje, where Durham noted the small mosque with a wooden minaret.


This is just an excerpt. If you are a subscriber to hidden europe magazine, you can log in to read the full text online. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 22.

About

Rudolf Abraham is an award-winning travel writer and photographer specialising in Croatia, Central and Eastern Europe. He is the author of over ten books including Peaks of the Balkans, The Mountains of Montenegro, Walking in Croatia, Torres del Paine and The Islands of Croatia, all published by Cicerone, National Geographic Traveller Croatia, and The Alpe Adria Trail, published by Bradt, and he is co-author of Istria - The Bradt Travel Guide. His work is published widely in magazines and online.

Rudolf lives in London, and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild. Find out more about his work on www.rudolfabraham.co.uk or visit his blog at rudolfabraham.wordpress.com.

This article was published in hidden europe 22.