Thursday, May 28, 2009

Independently Speaking

I read the Independent newspaper a lot and have always liked it. Thanks to this recent article, I like it even more. It's a shame most British travel writers continue to focus on Saranda and Butrint only, but it's to be expected. Lord Sainsbury has put a lot of money into the Butrint Foundation which means their marketing probably focuses on his countrymen. No worries. You know the old saying, "Once you go Shqiperia, you'll never go ...." Oh forget it. I can't make that rhyme.

Wait, it works in Albanian, "Ose Shqiptare, ose hic fare!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Finally got a chance to do some travelling a few weeks ago and the photos just got back from the developers. OK, I lied. I finally got around to downloading them from the camera which was buried under a tarp, spare tire, a decrepit first aid kit, and a misplaced bag of red Easter eggs in the back of my car. If it hadn't been for the stench wafting around, these pictures may have waited forever to see the light of day.

So can you guess where I went?
Looks kind of Alpine, right?

Do you feel a little yodel coming on?

Heidi's meadow, anyone?

Socialist-realist bas relief depicting the glorious Swiss triumph over the forces of capitalist... Whaaa?

Hey .... This isn't Zurich!
A gold star and case of rough village wine goes to those of you who correctly guessed I made a tour of the southern part of Albania near the Greek border. The first picture is of the Pindos range in Northern Greece as seen from Sarandapor. The weather was more wintry than springlike with a lot of new snow up in the heights. Just gorgeous.
The next two pictures were taken between Leskovik and Permet. The memorial is in the town square in Leskovik. I couldn't find anything else worth photographing in Leskovik. The surrounding countryside is phenomenal, but the town itself is sad and grey. It suffers from depopulation outward migration. The streets were full of idle old men and some women with children whose fathers were presumably working in Greece.
The last photo is Permet. A small, clean town on the banks of rushing river. Great food, great wine, and beautiful scenery. Another corner of Albania has opened to me and I look forward to more discoveries.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Travellers Tales

I continue to stumble across blog entries written by travellers as they pass through Albania. Here's the latest that caught my eye. Some only come to my attention because they peripherally mention this country in passing. There are a couple of Peace Corps youngsters documenting their integration into life here and here. Folks from as far away as New Zealand are getting in on the act.
The more the merrier!