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Europe's Last Secret

Greetings from wet and cold Belfast.

With flights on British Airway's new London-Tirana route having begun, the British newspapers are featuring Tirana in their travel sections. The Times, The Independent and The Observer have covered the city in recent editions. Whether this will translate into a rush of adventurous travellers remains to be seen, though the Daily Telegraph did report that BA are claiming that there is 'considerable demand' for the flights.
We will be sampling BA's service for ourselves when we return to Tirana in a little while, when normal blog service will be resumed.


Anonymous said…
Hello! GREAT blog. I am doing my best to get over to Albania to teach book arts. I have formed a non-profit called Project Albania. You can see the site here.

I know that you have spent a great deal of time researching your links and the such. Would you mind if I posted your blog on my blog? ;-).

Feel free to e-mail me at a at projectalbania dawt org.
April said…
i cringe at those newspaper postings of the next hot destination. it all seems so contrived. plus, the rush of anxious tourists always manages to ruin the destination for me.
ourmanintirana said…
Hi April. I'm not sure how many tourists are going to be heading to Tirana anytime soon. The wrtiers didn't exactly give the city glowing reviews.

The flight back on BA was about two-thirds full, mostly Albanians and I think it will be used by Albanians and business people more than tourists.

The nicest part of it was the free food and drink which good old BA provided. Quite a contrast from the misers at Austrian Airlines who provide nothing more that a small bottle of water and charge ridiculous amounts for tasteless sandwiches.

And, of course, not having to change flights in Vienna.
ourmanintirana said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ourmanintirana said…
Anonymous, feel free to link to my site.

I notice from the website that you are coming from the US. When you are planning your flights, you should be aware that British Airways started flying direct to Tirana from London Gatwick about six weks ago.

Flights to London from the US might be cheaper than flights to other linking destinations in Europe.

When you know when you will be here let me know and we could meet up.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …

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The death of communism in Albania brought a flourishing market economy to life just as it did across Central Europe and Russia. On the streets of Tirana people are buying and selling, trading goods and services in predictable, or sometimes novel, ways. The shops are the most obvious expression of this. The streets are lined with little stores selling almost everything you could want. Freed from the choking grip of state bureaucracy Albanians are now at liberty to buy whatever they can afford. No matter how absurd the demand, someone will create the supply. Hence the preponderance of shoe stores in this city of muddy streets and torn up footpaths. Especially outlandish is the fashion for high heeled white boots - about as impractical a style of footware as could be imagined. Dotted across the city are the market stalls, sometimes just one person selling bananas, elsewhere a whole street lined with sellers of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and spices. Those who cannot bring thei…