e enjte, gusht 28, 2008

Hot weather

We arrived back in Albania in the middle of July.

I thought that would be ok. I expected that like previous years we would get some thunder showers and even maybe a couple of days rain during August to keep the weather cool. But this summer has been particularly hot.
The weather has been regularly above the 30’s and only now are they forecasting a chance of rain at the weekend. We even had some thunder today…but it immediately disappeared.

What is worse is that we have just been given electric meters so rather than paying a set fee each month, we must pay for what we actually use. So we have been using the air conditioner less than normal, until we see how much the bill comes to. Neighbours have been getting from 12,000 new lek, to 20,000 new lek ( approx £130 UK, or $240 US) for a month.

That means, with no air conditioner, I have been really struggling. As a Scotsman I am just not used to this heat, and at nights I wake up soaking with sweat! It’s a bit like living in a sauna!

The thing about Shkoder is that the humidity is VERY high! We had friends up from Tirana last week and they couldn’t believe how hot it was in Shkoder compared with Tirana.

Between sweat rolling down the back of my neck, and the mosquitoes I am not getting much sleep!

e premte, gusht 22, 2008

Think you're fast?

Can you beat the Bolt?

Try here.

e shtunë, gusht 16, 2008

Vllaznia - Napoli 0-3 (Pià 2 - Denis)

Video of yesterday night's game.

It includes the world's worst goal celebration after the first goal.

Romela Begaj, e gjashta në Kinë

Whose Line UK 3x07 - Translation

e premte, gusht 15, 2008

Shkoder welcomes its team

Here is a video of the fans welcoming the teams.
Unfortunately the result was not what we were wanting.

If you want to see the goals of the Vllaznia-Napoli game( including the world's worst ever goal celebration, you can see them here.)

e enjte, gusht 14, 2008

Vllaznia 0 Napoli 3

Vini, Vidi, Vici!

It all proved too much for Vllaznia, and they lost 3-0 to Napoli.
The opening of the game was very positive from Vllaznia and for the first 20 minutes they were the better team and causing the Italians some problems down the left side, but then with their first chance of the game napoli scored.
The game totally changed and the Italians gained in confidence.
We hoped the second half would be different and that Vllaznia would get back into the game, but immediately, Napoli scored again.
There followed Vllaznia's best spell of the game.
They missed their best chance, with a clear strike on goal, had a shot tipped round the post for a corner and then had a shout for a penalty. The referee was unimpressed and booked the Vllaznia player, which resulted in the crowd throwing some water bottles onto the pitch. The game was delayed to clear them off the pitch. Hopefully, this will not cause any problems for Vllaznia as they could easily be fined for this by UEFA.
Towards the end of the game, Napoli scored again.

The most annoying thing is that Napoli scored 3 out of their only 4 clear chances.
The Vllaznia keeper did not save anything. They would have been better with a more experienced keeper for the game.
Vllaznia missed their only real scoring opportunity.

3-0 was probably a little harsh on Vllaznia, but then they were up against a Serie A side.

Vllaznia - Napoli #3

Apparently, you can watch this game live on the internet here.

There are 2 problems.
1) You may need to subscribe
2) You can't watch it on the internet if you live in Albania, Italy or the USA.
( However, if you go here and enter the name of your site, i think you might be able to bypass the proxy server.)

Sorry, but I can't find a better site.

e mërkurë, gusht 13, 2008

e martë, gusht 12, 2008

Vllaznia - Napoli

Hoping to take 2 of my boys to see this game.

Apparently demand for tickets has been quite high.

There are SO many emigrants here at the moment.
I drove down to Fushekruje yesterday and it took half an hour longer than I expected for a trip that usually takes just over an hour.
I counted 50 cars coming in the opposite direction, 30 had Albanian number plates and 20 had foreign number plates....so I guess there is at least 50-66% rise in cars on the road due to visitors.

I would imagine many of the visitors would like to see Vllaznia - Napoli.
There is a big support base for Italian teams amongst the Albanians, so I am expecting the stadium to be full.

Hopefully Vllaznia will make a game of it, and give the fans something to shout about!

Albania Olympic team

Erkand Qerimaj
( watch out for him on the 13th August)

The Albanian team for Beijing includes 11 athletes competing in swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, shooting and judo.

The athletes are
Wrestling - Said Prizreni and Elis Guri, (Aug 19th)
Shooting - Lindita Kodra, (40th in 10m - should be on today in the 25m event)
Athletics - Klodiana Shala and Dorian Collaku who run track and field,
Weightlifting - Romela Begaj( very good display. Hopefully a video will appear on the blog. 4th in the snatch, 7th in the jerk, 6th overall), Gerti Trasha( did not finish) and Erkand Qerimaj( Wed 13th August)
Swimming - Rovena Marku ( Womens 50m Freestyle Fri. Aug 15th)and Sidni Hoxha (Mens 50m freestyle Thurs.14th)
Judo - Edmond Topalli ( beaten today by Joao Neto from Portugal on preliminary mat 2)

You can see the video of Romela Begaj here,( including the handstand!) as I am having problems posting it.

Good luck to the competitors. Some, like Romela Begaj( age 21), and Erkand Qerimaj(who had his 20th birthday on the 10th August and is from Shkoder) are still quite young, so are good prospects for the future.

e premte, gusht 08, 2008

Piaca - work started

So the work on pedestrianizing the "Piaca" has begun, and they expect to be finished within 2 months.
The plans look really good,

and if they do turn the renovated bank into a large museum for "Foto Marubi" then this little street will become very popular and I am sure rent will go up for the shops there.

It does leave me with a couple of questions...
1) Why did they just repair all the pavements on this street only to come along now about a year later and rip them all up again.
Surely that is a waste of money!?
(Especially as they took money from the shops and businesses along that street to help pay for the new pavement!)

2)Why was this not planned earlier? - maybe during winter, so that it would have been ready for this summer and the many tourists that come down from the Former Yugoslavia every day in their bus loads!

e enjte, gusht 07, 2008

Sunset at Shengjin

e martë, gusht 05, 2008

Albania 1989

It is worthwhile going to this page on Flickr and looking at the photos from 1989.
Quite a lot, and although not too many from Shkoder, they are very interesting.