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Rr. Durresit


ak said…
Some buildings in very bad shape, some violation of copyright, heavy contrast between buildings....yep!
That's where I live. It's nice though for Albanian standards. What do you think?
olli said…
I like the older buildings. I'm going to try to get a few pictures of some of them. Unfortunately the sun was very bright the day I was in this area. I hope someone somewhere tries to preserve what is left.
ak said…
I wish people here had the same feelings about cultural heritage as you do, but they don't. Those who do have no power on the matter. Being optimistic is very hard here.
I love the first and last pics.(bldgs) I wish somebody would have done something to restore them. The last one, isn't that the one where the Cuban Embassy used to be?
In regard of the Holiday Inn logo, they might get sued for that.
olli said…
Nobody worries about rip-off logos here. I don't think any big company would bother worrying about it yet either. It would not be worth their time pursuing it.

I've only seen two that changed - one little supermarket that had a 'Lidl' sign changed it to 'Big', and the 'Hard Rock' cafe became the 'Tirana Rock' cafe.
Besnik Mehmeti said…
I hear there is also an internet cafe name yahoo, isn't it. Like our man said, no big company bothers worrying about name copyright violations in Albania. Anyways, this is a cool blog with a lot of great info. Keep it up.

olli said…
Thanks Niku. Yes there is a Yahoo here. I have a picture of it somewhere. There is also a cafe nokia.
Anonymous said…
that tin balcony in the 1st picture is a disgace to the old architecture of the building!
Anonymous said…
our man,
a question on a personal level:
How do you cope with this oddities you are experiencing here in Albania? Are you losing your mind?
Anonymous said…
When I was living in Albania I used to dream about being inside these beautiful old buildings in Tirana. Fairy tales with princes and balls. It is sad to see them replaced by new ugly cement high rises or not looked after.
Thank you for these pictures!
Can you please take more pictures of old buildings?
olli said…
Anonymous 1: Yes it does spoil the look of the building. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any controls in place to ensure what little is left from the past is protected. With the constant development that is going on all over the city I can't imagine that too much of what is left will survive at all.

Anonymous 2: I think it is probably better for someone else to judge if I am losing my mind. Perhaps I will come back to your question about coping in a proper post some time.

Anonymous 3: Once the weather improves I will try to get out walking around and take more pictures. If anyone knows any areas of the city that might be good to search for these kind of buildings let me know.
Anonymous said…
the last one is the Vatican Embassy (or used to be, im not sure). Its a shame they are not restoring it... it is one the most beautiful buildings of the city. It looks old but its not hard to imagine how it might have looked in its happy days.
I would like to see it restored in the old way :(
bizele said…
3rd anonymous, when I was in elementary school everyday I would walk (on my way to and back from school)in front of the building in the first picture. I used to think the same as you, that they were grand and inside they would be fit for kings and queens. I had an unbearable desire to want to walk into them. I feel sad that these building have degraded such as the one in the first picture. I doubt that in the midst of all that fury that Tirana is experiencing these days to build new apartments and building all over the place, someone will remember to bring back to life such buildings like the first one.

Ourman, thanks for bringing us these pictures.

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

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

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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.

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Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…