Become a part of Albanian’s hidden treasures
Escape the ordinary and visit this beautiful passage
Original article was published at: http://albania.al/activity/tours/the-mills-trail/
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As you are driving down from the Llogara mountain, while you are enjoying the beauty of the nature that accompanies your road, looking down just a little bit from your car window, you spot a small village between hills and ranges that also has a wide outlet to the sea. With its white-painted houses, gracefully composed one over the other on the mountain slope, where high bell towers of churches stand out, the village of Dhermi is recognized for its climate and magical coast as well as for the great number of small churches and their monumental, ethnographic, aesthetic and historical value. Historical data show that this beautiful coastal Albanian village has been populated from the early ages of antiquity, through medieval to modern times. Divided in three neighborhoods (Hondraqi, Gjileka and Dhermi, which together make up the village), Dhermi with its captivating panoramas has inspired painters and writers, who gave life to their works while enjoying the views and small paths that this village has to offer. If you are a little bit like them or if you are just looking for a motivating amble, trekking through the trail of the old mills is a must-do. The name comes from the 7 mills that were found while building the path, so listen carefully and let the mills tell you a story: This is the very footpath that the locals have trodden for centuries. Visitors can take the route along the running stream, rest under the shade of high trees while enjoying the chirps of birds and gaze the trail that connects village houses with the blue sea. As you saunter along the trail, the history accompanies you in every step you take, you can visit two ancient churches, the picturesque waterfall, the tracks of the first hydropower station ever built in Albania’s villages, the old mills, and other attractive sites. Walking across the trail you see an ancient chapel known as Saint Stefanos church. Built in the 12th century, it still remains on its grounds astonishing its visitors. The church of Ipapandia is a gem of history itself. Built in the 15th century, its walls still remain proud and strong welcoming every tourist. The well-preserved interior mural frescoes, are believed to have been painted by Nikolla Joani, a distinguished Albanian medieval painter. This church stands out for its carved and engraved ceiling decorated with floral designs and portraits of saints. A portrait of Alexander the Great of Macedonia is also featured in this church. As you continue walking, while enjoying the breeze and the fresh air, hidden in the treasures of nature you will find the first hydropower ever built in an Albanian village. The staff that built this hydropower in 1952 were paid with the revenues generated from the sale of power to village households. The hydropower was built on financial and material contributions of Dhermi people who immigrated to the United States. Walking across the trail not only is inspirational but also cultural. It’s time to escape the ordinary and visit this beautiful passage.
Please visit: http://albania.al/activity/tours/the-mills-trail/