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Berat, Albania
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The Bachelor Mosque Berat  Albania

The Bachelor Mosque

As mosques go, it’s a rather typical one. It’s really the name that catches the imagination. When I first read about it in the guide book I had visions of young handsome men gathering around its doorways, intensely discussing manly-men topics, dressed to the 9’s and all to the heart’s delight of throngs of girls who hovered in the distance, whispering and giggling amongst themselves as to who was the most eligible.

The reality didn’t match my fantasy, but it was still an interesting spot to stop and people watch. The name comes from days-of-old when the youthful merchants' assistants would favor this particular mosque over the others in town. No crowds of any kind gather there these days but it is located next to a burger shop that does seem to attract a youthful clientele. The best vantage point to observe its street life is from just across the road, on the sidewalk/promenade that runs alongside the river that winds through the middle of town. You’ll have the shops and the mosque to one side and, as you look down into the riverbed, you can watch the occasional fisherman.

The river has carved its way through the middle of the city and the steep window-filled homes crawl up the banks on either side. There’s a bridge crossing the river that seems to be the favored location for wedding photos. Sit here long enough and you’re sure to see a young couple taking the proverbial plunge.