Tirana is an attractive City
Tirana is the capital and the largest city (2000 est. pop. 700,000) of Albania. It is the administrative, cultural, economic, and industrial center of the Republic of Albania. Today Tirana's image has changed from a Oriental to a modern European city.Many streets ,buildings and parks has been renovated . The founding and later development of the city of Tirana were made possible by its geographic position on a fertile plain, rich in forest lands and water, and crossroads of the Adriatic and eastern Albania, and through the Qafa e K‘rab‘s valley and the Shkumbin river with the inner parts of the Balkan peninsula.
The area around Tirana has been inhabited since the neolithic age . On the mountainside of Dajti are the remains of an ancient castle dating back to the first century B.C., which happens to be the castle that the Byzantine historian Prokop(sixth century) mentions as the castle of Tirkan.
The name of the city contains an ancient root that is present in other places that have been inhabited by Illyrians. There was a system of castles on the surrounding hills (Petrel‘, Prez‘, Ndroq, Fark‘, etc.) that served as protection for Durr‘s and Kruja.
The National Museum of History is the largest and finest museum in Albania, and you'll find it next to the 15 storey Tirana International Hotel, the tallest building in the country.A huge mosaic mural entitled Albania covers the façade of the building. To the east, the Palace of Culture has a theatre, restaurant, cafes and art galleries, and the Soviet influence is apparent in its clunky architecture. Cinemas,theatres and concert halls are heavy presented in Tirana and the larger Albanian cities. Tirana and other big cities have developed a new cafe society,similar in atmosphere to that of southern Italy, and cafes stay open late ,especially in the summer.
Tirana, weighting booth, 1988
The booth on the first photo did not sell ice creams and at first sight, it was not easy to guess what they were selling.
The second photo shows that it is a weighting station! On top is written " Sport kalitje shendet" and "Peshorë ekzakt", which means "Sport enhances joy" and "exact scale".
I have made a close-up on the third photo to show that this is not only a scale to weight people but that you can also bring anything to weight on a smaller scale.
Backpackers are good. But bring some good clothes for the nightlife as well. The locals tend to be a bit fashionable. You can find almost every little thing. There is a lot of import going on with the neighbouring EU countries.
Tiranë, botanical garden
I do not know if the botanical garden has suffered during the years that have followed the end of the Communist era. In 1988, it was a very large and valuable botanic garden, very well kept, a true jewel as can be seen on the first photo. Such a botanical garden requires a lot of manpower to be kept in good condition. The natural tendency of plants is not to stay in the square space that they have been allotted, under their label and the most powerful are all the time trying to invade the space where the weakest are trying to grow. If abandoned, it takes only a few years to be lost forever.
The second photo shows a group of students from the University visiting the garden and working with their teacher.
On the third photo, Agron, our Albanian guide, explains to the students, that are very likely to have never seen any foreigners, what we were doing here. After that, each of them began to talk a few words with us, in the language he/she new. Several spoke Italian, others Serbo-Croat, some English, others French, one knew German and when one asked us if we spoke Russian, I answered "niet, niet, ne Russki" they all shouted, laughed and clapped their hands, shouting "nuk rusishtja, nuk rusishtja!". The one who had spoken Russian laughed too and mockingly hide himself behind his hand, ashamed!
On the last photo, a guy of our group has convinced one of the students to come with him and takes a photo for her with a Polaroid.
This delicious food is only here......
nice restaurant on the corner side of Tirana near the Tirana Park surrounded by nice trees around, and the terrace gives it a unique place to eat your dinner. The food and the service is very good. A must visit place. all