Both in the city and in the country, there are often vine rooted in front of the houses and growing on top of the roof. In a city, like here in Gjirokastra, that makes sense, as there is not much space. In the country, when the same grows on an isolated house, that was more surprising. In 1988, our Albanian guide explained us that the people could not own privately more than 100 m2 of land, including the house and that, like that, even with a 1m strip of land around the house, they could make their own "raki" anyway! However, even in 2007, there were still vines growing on top of some houses!
This sight of laundry drying on a wall or on stones reminded me the same in Morocco, in the mountains of the upper Atlas, near Oukkaimeden, south to Marrakech. When it is possible to dry the laundry "naturally", without tightening a rope, why not to use what is readily available? More over, this is very pretty for the landscape. If there had not been this laundry, I would never have taken a photo of this wall.
As everywhere in the world, I look for School warning road signs. In Gjirokastra, I was lucky and found two.
The first one, with a blue background is obviously the oldest.
The second one is of a modern design but as everywhere in the world, the boy is taller (older ?) than the girl. May be some day, I will find somewhere a road sign with the girl taller and both walking towards the right!
We found that they sold only clothes, shoes, etc…
Photo 1 shows a chaos of shoes that do not seem to be arranged as pairs. If you find a suitable shoe, you have to search for the other!
Photo 2 had clothes piled on both sides and a flower booth.
Photo 3 shows clothes with a tea shirt to number 8 Ibrahimovic and a booth with sun-glasses. Strangely, Wiki tells that Ibrahimovic is a football player born in Sweden from a Bosniac father and a Croat mother.
The man on photo 3 asked me to take a photo of his father, who was sit by his side. The old man was happy to have his photo taken (photo 4).
Photo 5 is another part of the market with more shoes !
In the whole Balkan area, it is usual to have the death advices on display at every street corner. Unlike what I had seen in Bar, Montenegro, nothing allows guessing what is the religion of the deceased, if any.
However, we can notice that there are two types of advices . I do not know if that has any meaning:
- Lajmërim vdekje (death advice)
- Përkujtimore (commemoration)
Former President Enver Hoxha was born in Gjirokaster and the name of Hoxha is not infrequent in the city. On this slab of stone where the name of 20 partisans has been carved, the name of Hoxha shows twice.
We had already visited a great part of the old town (it would not be true to say “all” the old town as it is so extensive!) and we wanted to have a look to the modern town, to the city center. After all, this is where most of the life of the city was! We found that on top of Boulevard 18 Shtatori (18th September), there was a market standing in the middle of the Boulevard on more than a hundred meters.
At first, all what we could see was only white tents and nothing more (photo 1).
Walking closer, we found an entrance into a double line of booth on both sides of a passage which had to be narrow as that was the middle of the avenue! (photo 2)
Each time we came to Albania in May, we met busses of college students visiting their country as an end-of-the-year travel. They had all on their bus large posters reminding what was their class. In Gjirojaster, we found that on the front of the college, there were also the same kind of posters.
Photo 1 is from class IVb in Gjimnasi Asil Zenelli and gives the name of all the students that attended the “matura” (final examination).
Photo 2 shows the entire front of the “Gjimnasi” with a few other posters.