Saturday, April 21, 2007

THE LAND OF THE EAGLES

TIRANA - OCTOBER 2004

Most probably we'll not find many people that would think of Albania as a tourist destination. However, if for some reason you happen to go there, open your eyes...



"VIP LOUNGE, TIRANA AIRPORT. Tirana, founded in 1614 by Sulejman Pasha, is Albania's largest city. It became its capital city in 1920. The International Airport Nënë Tereza (it was named after Mother Teresa, who was of Albanian descent, in 2001) is Albania's only international airport, and is usually known as Rinas International Airport, as it is located 25 km northwest of Tirana, in the village of Rinas"





"THE ROGNER HOTEL EUROPA PARK is located in the centre of Tirana, on the main boulevard between the presidential palace and the Ministry of Finances and is an important meeting place both for locals and visitors"


"WELCOME FLOWERS - The intention was good..."


"DESHMORET E KOMBIT BOULEVARD (National Martyrs Av.) was built in 1930, and this morning was already prepared for the football match between Albania and Denmark"


"GOVERNMENT BUILDING in Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard"


"PYRAMID - The former Museum of Enver Hoxha, inaugurated in 1988, used to show a huge ruby-red star mounted on the top. It was designed by a group of architects under the direction of the Hoxha’s daughter, Pranvera Hoxha, and her husband Klement Kolaneci. Now it is often used as a disco on the weekends"


"MUSEUM ITEMS - Many busts of Enver Hoxha are now in museums..."


"HOXHA'S VILLA - Probably not so impressive as Villa Primavera in Bucharest..."



"THE BLLOKU AREA had the villas and apartment houses of high Party officials. Now these buildings are surrounded by skyscrapers"


"THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HISTORY was built in 1981 and has a revolution-themed mosaic - the Albanians - in its façade"


"THE CLOCK TOWER was started by Haxhi Et’hem Bey around 1821-22 and was finished with the help of the richest families of Tirana. Its installation was the work of the Tufina family. In 1928 the Albanian state bought a modern German clock and the tower was raised to a height of 35 metres. The clock was damaged during World War II and it was repaired in July 1946 (info from Wikipedia)"



"SKANDERBERG PLACE is the centre of Tirana. George Kastrioti, mostly known as Skanderbeg, is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Albania. Also known as the Dragon of Albania, he is the national hero of the Albanians for having resisted the Ottomans"



"ET'HEM BEY MOSQUE - Located in the centre of Tirana, its construction started in 1789 with Molla Bey and was finished in 1823 by his son Haxhi Et'hem Bey, great-grandson of Sulejman Pasha"


"RESTAURANT outside the centre, with a nice view towards Tirana"




"BEFORE THE START - Great fun in the stadium and in the pictures..."


"SPECIAL BOX!"




"IT WAS NOT A GREAT GAME and Edvin Murati, the so-called «Maradona of the Balkans» did not show much of his talent..."


"FINAL SCORE: ALBANIA 0 DENMARK 2"


"SUPPER, after the game"





"NIGHT STROLL"

13 comments:

angela said...

Amazing photos...and I do think the text is a good idea. Were you there for the football match?
Angela

Cuckoo said...

Wonderful pictures !

And watching the live match, it's amazing.

Thanks for sharing.

Dsole said...

I guess everyplace has its character... and maybe it could be not a popular destination but when you are there you like it a lot!
Have a wonderful musical weekend!

CaBaCuRl said...

Thank you for looking at my sunrises. It's great to share them with others who love that time of day. Next week it will be sunsets! I enjoyed reading about Albania. It was always such a secretive country in the past.

Kalyan said...

The shots give an interesting overview of the place. It was nice knowing it...well done!

Sally said...

Gosh - those posters at the beginning took me back! They are like a set I have from China from when I visited in 1978! Peopel gazing with swellign pride into the far horizon of communist nirvana!

Trotter said...

Angela, Yes I was there in the Special Box shown; it could not compare with an Executive Box at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge, but it was fun...

Dsole, you're right: everyplace has its character... The week-end was superb and ended with Maria João Pires playing Beethoven’s Concert nr. 3 for Piano and Orchestra: Absolutely divine!

Cabacurl, I have also one sunset in Albania for the next post...

Sally, I’m sure the paintings at the airport lounge would seem familiar to some Chinese posters...

Cuckoo and Kalyan and everybody else thanks for dropping by.

TeamSplashi said...

Great photos, of Tirana.
I grow up in neighboring Bosna i Hercegovina (part of X-yugoslavia) but never had privilege;age to travel to this country.
I hope your stay was good experience and I looking forward to see more photos from your traveling experiences.

Ash said...

Wonderful photos and write-up!

blueboat said...

Amazing - it looks so very different to the rest of the region. Were there no statues of Norman Wisdom?!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/10/30/wwide30.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/10/30/ixworld.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1251406.stm

Trotter said...

Teamsplashi, Ash thanks for the comments.
Blueboat, it's amazing but there were no posters of Sir Wisdom aka Pitkini. But there were some from Edvin Murati, the so-called Maradona of the Balkans...

traveler one said...

I don't know how I missed your 4 posts on your visit to Albania, but it was so lovely to read them this morning while I'm here in Canada. It's neat to imagine that you were standing in places that I too have been!

Trotter said...

Kim,
I knew you had been in one of my posts on Albania. Actually there is a comment from Traveler One on the «Town of Thousand Windows»...
But it's always a pleasure to read you here...