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'A Capital Full of Contradictions'

In the New York Times the 'Frugal Traveler', Matt Gross, writes about his recent visit to Albania taking in Tirana and Gjirokaster.

Comments

ITS said…
Yeah, I read that article too. I think the writer sounds rather bitter.

Maybe he set out for Albania with unrealistic expectations, which is the quickest way to disappointment.

Anyway, I will be there first and third week of September. You up for a beer and a talk on how to solve the Middle East conflict?
Klea said…
It's interesting to read visitors' first impressions about Tirana. I found the article was showing a true and fair picture of our beloved capital. Yes, it is confusing, depressing and more but somehow it manages to make so many wanting to return.
ardit said…
Everytime I go back home, it takes about 24-48 hrs to get used to the place.
Then everything seems natural and normal, even the noisy and dusty streets, and the trash everywhere.

You just get used to it.

People like the article writer go to places like this, without high different expectations, and thinking that they can have a good time and guide themseves in the country.

You can't really enjoy albania if you don't have somebody local with you. There are no street signs, no good guides, nothing to direct a normal toursits.
ourmanintirana said…
ITS - I will be away the third week but around the first week - shouldn't take more that a week to sort out the ME anyway. Keep me posted and we will sort something out.

Welcome Klea and Ardit. I did hear somewhere that there was a scheme funded by USAID or some similar agency to train tour guides for Tirana. Not sure whether it is up and running yet, but it could be fun. Perhaps I should apply for a job.
Klea said…
Sounds interesting. I have been guiding foreign friends through Tirana and sourrounding towns a few times. Imagine what I can do if I was trained :) Let me know if you get any details please.

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Welcome

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.

Whimper

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 …