Welcome, visitor! [ Register | Login

At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me: The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song

Culture, Music November 3, 2017

“Why not give yourself a break from the unending cavalcade of modern high-speed insanity, and rest up with this album of deep soul from Southern Albania.” – Ry Cooder

Brazilian Samba, Bosnian Sevdah, New Orleans Jazz, Cuban son – and Albanian Saze! The turn of the last century saw mass migrations to the world’s cities with rural people bringing their music with them, adapting their traditions to new circumstances and modern instruments. Of all these great musical forms, the mesmerizing arabesques, joyful dances and heart-breaking laments of Saze are among the least recorded, and they remain largely unknown outside Albania. Continue reading …

Albania’s Block party – Rocking the Block in Tirana

Travel May 21, 2017

It may now be Albania’s liveliest neighbourhood, but a little over two decades ago it wasn’t even on the map. New bars appear almost daily and at weekends streets and sidewalks are packed with locals and tourists looking for a big night out. Dozens of cafes, bars and restaurants have made it Tirana’s premier nightspot. Everywhere there are references to the West especially the U.S., whose brand of free-market capitalism Albania has adopted with varying degrees of success. There are open-plan outdoor clubs where foreigners dance to thumping house music until the early hours. There are coffee shops where the staff call themselves baristas and care a little too much about coffee beans. The country is also one of Europe’s sunniest…

48 Hours in Tirana

Travel September 29, 2016

Let’s start your first day in Tirana with a fresh cup of coffee in order to fuel your energy for the rest of the day. There are lots of  cafes located at Rruga Ismail Qemali street, so you can choose between them depending on your needs. Lincoln Garden Cafe is a perfect choice during the sunny mornings since almost all of the tables are placed outside. Well, if you are lucky enough, you may grab the table (there are only two!) inside the cafe, but we strongly recommend to stay outside and enjoy the special atmosphere of this place. The garden is huge and cozy, so you can simply relax and leisurely enjoy your morning coffee…

Experience Tirana: A Local‘s Guide

Travel September 27, 2016

Vital and colorful Tirana… The capital of Albania may seem crazy and hectic, but at the same time – peaceful and preoccupied. Tirana perfectly reflects every period of the country’s history: Ottoman rule, World War I, World War II, communism and modern days. Colorful buildings combined with abandoned Soviet buildings give an impression of a constantly shifting city. The beautiful, but at the same time unpolished, city is surrounded by hills, has four insanely beautiful artificial lakes and the Adriatic Sea in the distance. The city has a lot to say and it wants to be heard…

BBC: Discovering the craze for Albania’s Saze folk music

Culture August 24, 2016

For the best part of the last century, Albania was totally isolated under one of the most brutal communist dictatorships. Little came out of that isolation, least its music, but since communism fell in 1990 people like London-based record producer Joe Boyd have started to discover Albania’s unique Saze folk music…
Continue reading …

  • Welcome to my place . . . Albania

    by on January 29, 2019 - 0 Comments

    ‘It’s good to appreciate how far Albania has come since the dictatorship ended in 1991’… Some 40 minutes’ drive from Tirana is the town of Kruja, set on a dramatic escarpment and home to the country’s largest antiques and handcrafts market. Handwoven kilims, bold and sometimes gaudy traditional costumes and carved wood utensils can all […]

  • Kosovo: Life in the land of popstars

    by on January 29, 2019 - 0 Comments

    When people think of Kosovo, they probably remember the war-torn country in the late 1990s. What they probably don’t think of is the fact that there is no place in Europe that can boast as many popstars per capital as Kosovo. Before telling you who those popstars are, let me emphasise that this was not […]

  • Tirana city guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in Albania’s capital

    by on January 22, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Albania is coming in from the cold. After decades of isolation, Europe’s last undiscovered country is set on modernising and attracting visitors. Its capital, Tirana, is at the heart of this plan. The first ever low-cost flights between the UK and Albania started in April 2018, when Wizz Air opened its new London Luton-Tirana route. […]

  • Ava Max: My parents left Albania in 1990 and lived in a church in Paris for a whole year

    by on January 22, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Albanian-American Singer-songwriter Ava Max has had a remarkable few months since the release of her breakout single Sweet But Psycho, which narrowly missed becoming the UK Christmas number one. Ava Max is buzzing. She’s bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and raring to go at the start of what many critics are already predicting will be a stellar pop […]

  • Communist Concentration Camps of the Past Haunt Today’s Albania

    by on January 22, 2019 - 0 Comments

    TEPELENA, Albania—Simon Mirakaj was 4 years old in 1949 when, together with his mother and two siblings, he was transferred to an internment camp a few miles from the town of Tepelena in southern Albania. His family’s odyssey of displacement first started in July 1945, when the communist government of Albania, headed by dictator Enver […]

Categories

Find us on Facebook