To the land that pays homage to Norman Wisdom

To my shame I have to admit to knowing very little about Albania, and what I did know didn’t paint a glowing picture. So as I was just next door in Greece I thought I would pay a visit.

What did I know? I knew that Enva Hoxha had kept the country very tightly closed until his death in the mid 80’s,  there are a lot of Mafia type problems both in the country and amongst their diaspora and the country had a strange affinity to long since past British comedian.

Having visited many ex communist countries I was expecting many high rise buildings, grim facades and a general downbeat feeling.

DSC_0072First impressions, it must be said, were slightly different.

DSC_0075The casino opposite our AirBnB flat and the best fish restaurant in Tirana reinforced what I’d seen on leaving the less than austere airport, Tirana wasn’t as poor as I had been led to believe. A fixed tarif of €18 from airport to the centre of the city, with yet another taxi driver who thought he’d been reincarnated as Ayrton Senna, he raced us through fields and fields of wheat and corn before suddenly, the first building appeared on the right, a Porsche garage. As soon as the buildings arrived, so did the traffic, the scourge of all modern cities.

DSC_0077The great big park opposite our flat held this curiosity, a memorial to someone but I wasn’t able to work out who. It was also, in the evenings, THE place for the dog walkers of Tirana to congregate.

DSC_0084There are some sights to see in downtown Tirana, the minaret, DSC_0094The history museum,

DSC_0088The old clock, and:

DSC_0111The pyramid.

A strange thing, now used by the Albanian TV company but originally used as a museum and in the war in Kosovo in 1999 it was used by NATO forces as a base, there has been talk of it being knocked down and the land used for something else but it just doesn’t seem right.

DSC_0159The city as viewed from a cable car, of which more later. That isnt a layer of pollution, its just filthy windows, scratched and graffitied beyond recognition.

What I did see in Tirana changed my opinion of the place, a young, thriving, fairly cosmopolitan place with a huge interest in having a much more open, freer market and trading system, leaving the communist shackles well behind them.

What I didn’t see was a single memorial to Norman Wisdom. More investigation required.

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About bobleponge216

Elderly rotund toothless male seeks wilderness to travel to.
This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to To the land that pays homage to Norman Wisdom

  1. Alan Hammond says:

    Looks o.k. mate, not somewhere I’ve even contemplated about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Was pleasantly surprised mate, cheap as chips, think I paid 30 Euro for 2 nights AirBnB flat right in the middle of the city, bottle of Ouzo for a euro, beer for a euro, it was like Poundland, but foreign.

      Like

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