e hënë, tetor 29, 2007

Shkoder in the rain

Hope this video works.
My computer crashed today, and it has taken me 6 hours to get rid of the virus. I think it is okay now...but i'm a bit scared to restart the computer as the virus wouldn't let me log on.( not even in safe mode!)

Anyway, in the middle of all this, I somehow got internet connection and managed to load this video of 3 people trying to cross the road just after this morning's very heavy thunder storm.

e shtunë, tetor 27, 2007

The Old and the New

Old style Albanian house and new apartments opposite "Kisha e Madhe".

e mërkurë, tetor 24, 2007


Had some e-mails asking for permission to use my photos on other blogs.
Please feel free to use any you find either here on on the Flickr site.
I am more than happy if they are some use to you.
The more photos of Shkoder on the web all the better!
I will try to update my Flickr site regularly. They should be in high resolution there.
If not, drop me an e-mail and I'll send you a high res. copy.

Repair Work

Took this photo yesterday, as the electrician was carrying out repairs. He climbed precariously onto the roof, put up the ladder, started to climb and the ladder went through the corrugated iron. It's bad enough trying to carry out repairs normally, but I hope this time he had an added "risk" bonus to his bill!

e hënë, tetor 22, 2007


If you click on the photos (the link at the right), it should take you to the Flickr site where I have a few photos of Shkoder. I will try to keep updating these with more photos.

My Friends

I have a link at the left hand side mainly for those that have included a link to here in their website. If you have me linked and I have missed you out, then leave a comment and I'll add your site in.

Buying property in Albania

I have been asked about buying property in Albania, so I must post this link to an article from Albania Business Guide 2006-2007. For anyone seriously thinking of purchasing property in Albania they really should read this!

I saw Rick Stein's cooking program in the summer and he was in Corfu. He looked across to Albania and made a comment about how little development there was on the shore of Albania. He said that this would all change in the next 10 years and then we would be all buying property in Albania!
If he is right, then maybe NOW would be the right (and cheapest) time to buy!

Property in Albania

This is a photograph of the "5 heronjtë" statue.
Directly behind it, you may be able to see work in progress on a new building.
I must admit I got quite excited when i saw this, as it is part of the land outside Radio Shkodra. The reason i was excited, was because I thought that there was a chance of them building a little auditorium...somewhere to hold children's concerts, school plays, and even better, somewhere for local bands to play. But, no, I was thinking with my "Scottish" head again and not my "Albanian" head. It is of course, going to be office buildings and new apartments. (see below)

Now, I am all in favour of Albania getting some new buildings and better sized apartments and with better quality...but it appears EVERYONE is building apartments and NOTHING else! I heard that a poll amongst the youth in Albania once recorded their major complaint as being "lack of facilities" for their age group. So why more apartments?

I guess there is more money to be made in apartments rather than a concert hall.

Certainly, I feel with the lack of facilities, young people will continue to look further away...either to Tirana or abroad to meet their "needs". This remains a worry for me.

e martë, tetor 16, 2007

Albania Map

I thought I should really have a map of Albania on the blog, so here is my favourite, although it is an old map. (see Titograd and Yugoslavia)
Shkoder is up the top left of Albania. (and of course is the most beautiful of Albanian towns - but then I am biased!)
I am always on the look out for better maps, but this is the best I have found so far. It is taken from a National Geographic article in July 1992.

(Click on the map to see larger image)

e hënë, tetor 15, 2007

Independence for Kosova - but what kind?

With under 2 months to go till the 10th of December deadline to reach some kind of agreement, it still appears that neither side are backing down.

Serbia want to give Kosova autonomy of sorts - i.e. they still want Kosova to be part of Serbia.
Kosova want total independence. They have even declared that if no agreement is reached they will declare independence.

The worrying thing is not just that neither side is backing down, and no agreement appears even close...but the fact that the U.S. has declared that they will back Kosova in "self"-declaring independence from Serbia.
Russia however are backing Serbia.
This complicates the matter greatly.

Recent talks only show that there is still wide disagreement.

I heard a Serbian politician being interviewed on the BBC, and her attitude was that Kosova would never be fully independent - ever!. She laughed at the very idea. She answered the question on total independence by asking a question...
" Will Montenegro then give their land to the Albanians...then Macedonia, and Greece?"
"Never!" she said.

I find this all quite worrying, as I pray for peace!

e premte, tetor 12, 2007

"Albania - more normal than you'd think"

Had to laugh at this article.

A journalist comes to Albania for a laugh, and finds he enjoys the country.

Though if anyone knows more of the "eco-tours based on hiking an old military trail connecting mountain top bunkers", I would like to know.

Sounds like something I might try.

Islam in Albania

Today is the end of Ramadan, and a holiday in Albania.
The day starts very early with a gathering at the mosque for early morning prayers. Today this is a public message over the tannoy system. Fortunately today was not too loud, as we live almost next door to a mosque!
Then the children go round the door wishing everyone a happy holiday. "Bajram bubareq!"
People give them sweets or fruit, sometimes money. It used to be only "petulla" which is a bit like a deep fried pancake, as that was all the families used to have to give. Now that Albania has improved economically, the children get a bigger selection - although I must admit to liking "petulla"!

It is clear that Islam is growing more popular in Albania, especially amongst the youth. You can see by the dress and their "look", that some are taking their religion seriously. I don't know if I was really allowed to take a video inside the mosque( and I apologise if I was not meant to), but here is a short video from today in the "Ebu Bekr" mosque in Shkoder.

e martë, tetor 09, 2007

Back in Albania

Mother Teresa Airport, Tirana
Sorry, but I was in the U.K. for the last week and just got back to Shkoder yesterday...so hopefully I can get back to blogging.

The direct flight from London Gatwick is a big help - especially when you have small children.

I was encouraged by British Airways efforts to accommodate the passengers.

This included:
1) a very good meal, with a cheese wrap, chicken salad and fruit and nut mix.
2) twice coming round with the drinks trolley
3) a Skypack for little children, including a sheet to colour in, a video game and a cuddly toy aeroplane. My 2 year old is very pleased with that!

The new Mother Teresa airport is also excellent, and a big difference to the last one. First impressions last, and this gives Albania a great first impression.

Still, it appears we will have to wait some time before we can get low budget Easy Jet flights to Tirana!

e hënë, tetor 01, 2007

First for Photos

I have decided that (at least) every first of the month should have a photo of Shkoder.

So, I'll start off with a sunset taken from our apartment.