Balkan postcards 4

Balkans, farming

Off to the hills around Albanian Lake Prespa today, we got to see something of the tough life of a farmer here. Though the sight this morning of a shepherd with his small flock – fewer than 40 animals – of sheep and goats and three sheepdogs wandering slowly along as they grazed seemed idyllic, I’m sure the reality of this subsistence-level existence is rather different. We spotted several other such flocks throughout the day. Do take the time to look and listen to the grazing sheep with their melodious bells in the video I link to below. It all seems to be from a very different world.

A shepherd, his sheep and his goats

Throughout the day, we saw solitary elderly women working alone in their narrow fields, weeding and wielding heavy mattocks. We spotted distant farmers working with ancient tractors. The thin rectangular fields set in regular grid formation in the picture below are a throw-back to communist days, but have been retained because they work.

A grid of fields, shared fairly between local farmers.

18 thoughts on “Balkan postcards 4

  1. I was struck by the primitive ways of farming in Yugoslavia when I was there in the 70s. Ox drawn ploughs, hand sowing of seeds. It seemed so very different to the modern farming methods being used in the west and such a hard way of living. We tend not to realise that such ways of live still exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right of course, and we have spent a little time in Korçë, a university town with much to offer. I’ll write more about that from home, as it’s more than the subject of a postcard!


  2. There is perhaps peace amid the hardship of life in the area. Simplicity. Freedom from many of the unnecessary things we fill our own lives with. Maybe I’m being naive. Wishful thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

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