Albania: From Dusk Till Dawn

Some nighttime impressions from my latest journey to Albania, joined by my two grown-up  sons, late September/early October 2018. What can I say…Albania might be the least known country in whole Europe, some unchartered territory, wild and untamed, enchanting in its own unique way, with very helpful and heartwarming people. Albania is on the list for becoming a future travel destination and will hopefully find its balance and keep its spirit, serving adventurers and tourists alike. Enjoy!

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Earth shadow and belt of Venus appear about 15 min. after the sun has set on the opposite site @ Albanian Alps…

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Stars and the Milkyway appear @ the end of astronomical twilight, Albanian Alps…

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Full Moon setting over the serpentine of Rrapsh, about 20 min. before sunrise, with some Earth shadow and belt of Venus, Albanian Alps…

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Earth shadow and belt of Venus, Theth National park…

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Camp @ Theth National park…

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The two brightest dots in the image are Mars (left) and Saturn (right), using a Cokin diffuser…

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Just before sunrise @ the Albanian Alps…

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Tirana @ night…

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Arriving late at a most beautiful spot to stay for the night, everyone does what needs to be done…

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Terrestrial lights against celestial lights…

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Not much is spoken while enjoying the show…

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Jupiter (top left) and Venus (lower right) @ nautical twilight…

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Looking north @ the Ionian Mediterranean Sea…

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Arcturus (center), the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere…

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Single shot of the towering Milkyway, using the Polarie…

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Just before sunrise…

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Tour de Balcans

Back home since three weeks, but still stoked about our 14-day journey around the Balkans. Joined by my two older sons, we started our tour the last week of September, crossing Austria, Slovenia, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzigovina/Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and again Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. By doing this loop, we traveled more than 4300 km in two weeks time, just camping in the car and enjoying life at its fullest. It is pretty though squeezing all the experiences and adventures into one single post and would go beyond the scope of it so I might come up with some more posts about this topic in the near future. Especially about Albania, the main reason we did this tour and of course a post about something like: “From dusk till dawn in Albania”. Enjoy!

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Stopover @ Mali Alan Road, Croatia…

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The fertile plains of the Neretva delta, Croatia…

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Dusk at Kotor Bay, Montenegro…

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Lovcen Memorial Lookout, Montenegro…

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View from Mt. Lovcen towards Shkoder Lake, Albania…

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After three days of straight driving, we hit the border of Albania…

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The Albanian Alps, notice the road down at the valley…

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Shepherds everywhere along the road, Albania…

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Albania’s downside: great landscapes but also lots of trash everywhere…but I can´t blame the Albanian people…looks like some Germans got nothing better to do than leaving their tags…

Theth National park, Albania…click on the image to go full screen…

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The Pyramid of Tirana, Albania, the main reason I initiated the Tour de Balcans…more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Tirana

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Camp at the Ionian Mediterranean Coast, south of Vlore, Albania, with the setting Moon…

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View towards Llogara pass, Albania…

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South of Himare, Albania…click on the image to go full screen…

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Ionian Mediterranean Coast, Albania…

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View from the town of Nivice, Albania…

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The island of Corfu, Greece, out in the Mediterranean Sea, Albania…

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Syri i Kalter, the Blue Hole, Albania…

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Albania´s East, an untamed beauty…

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The Vjosa River, East Albania…

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Overlooking the plains at Korce towards Ohrid Lake, Albania…

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Along the way at Macedonia…

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Treskavac Monastery, a hidden gem in Macedonia…the paintings in the church looked like a full body tattoo…

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On the way through Serbia…

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Heaps of field burns along the way through Serbia…

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Leaving Serbia and entering Croatia, the party started while one of the Croatian customs officers stated my Sprinter not as a camper van but as a truck…?!

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Vukovar spomenik (monument), Croatia…more info: http://www.spomenikdatabase.org/vukovar

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The wounds of the Croatian-Serbian War from 1991-1995 are still there…

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Back home sound and save after a long drive on the last day…

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Crescent Moon, 12th Sept. 2018

Some more images from the Hallertau, the world largest hop planting area, featuring the Crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter on the third night after New Moon. Enjoy!

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Venus (lower left) and Moon over a hop field…

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Venus, Moon and hop plant…

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Moon over St. Alban church, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Moon in between…

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Crescent Moon on the third night after New Moon…

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Jupiter (left) and Moon over the Abenstal, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Touring The Western Alps

Here is a random set of images from my recent 14 day journey through the Western Alps, the border region of Italy and France. It will take some time to go through the pile of images, even more I will be away again in two weeks time, heading down to the Balkans…Enjoy!

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Colle de Nivolet, 2612 m, Italy…

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Milky Way @ Gran Paradiso NP, Italy…

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Colle del Gran San Bernardo, 2469 m, Italy…

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Crescent Moon @ Colle del Picollo San Bernando, 2188 m, Italy…

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Fort @ Colle de Finestre, 2176 m, Italy…

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Shelter for the night after an unexpected thunderstorm @ Col du Chaberton, 2671 m, France…

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Camp for the night after rain and thunder passed away @ Col du Chaberton, 2671 m, France…

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Sunrise @ Mont Chaberton, 3136 m, France…

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Sunset @ Col de Finestre, 2176 m, Italy…

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Dusk @ Col de Finestre, 2176 m, looking towards Valle di Susa, Italy…

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Abandoned bunker from WW II @ Colle de la Bonette, 2715 m, France…

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Chamois @ Col de la Lombarde, 2351 m, Italy…

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Somewhere along the road @ Parc Naturel Regional du Queyras, France…

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Camp for the night @ Crete de la Lausetta, 2371 m, Italy to the left, France to the right…

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Looking towards Mont Blanc (covered by clouds, to the right)…

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Flock of sheep along Col de la Bonette, France…

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Zen at its best, between Saorge and Tende, France…

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Rainbow @ Col de L´Iseran, 2770 m, France…

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Bunker @ Col de la Bonette, 2715 m, France…

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Fort @ Colle di Tenda, 1908 m, Italy…

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Planets Galore

Being a night out seeing the planets come and go is a special treat, standing on the premises of my family’s farm makes it even more better, but accompanied by my teenage daughter makes it a night to remember for sure. Enjoy!

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Venus over the wheat fields…

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Jupiter over “family ground”…

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While Venus is setting to the west (just above the bushes, center)…

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…Mars is rising to the east…

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Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, the Milky Way…standing on “holy ground”…what better?!  When I was my daughter’s age, I used to work a lot around those fields, doing farm work, these days I´m out there doing star-gazing with my daughter…a blessed father for sure…

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Total Eclipse Of The Moon, 27th July 2018

Impressions of the total eclipse of the Moon from the 27th July 2018, taken out in the fields from where I live at  Lower Bavaria, Germany. Always a treat watching the Moon, but see for yourself…Enjoy!

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Following are shots with a Meade 8″ SC telescope and a Canon 5D3, from moonrise around 9 pm to totality at 10:20 pm.

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At totality, some faint stars of the constellation of Capricorn became visible, though they only have a magnitude of about 9-10…

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Mars has risen to join the party…

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The so-called Blood Moon at the constellation of Capricorn…

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Collage of the telescope shots…

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