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September 6, 2013 / catherinebwrites




So our count was over.  Several centres were still counting but the result was in no doubt. The Socialist party and it’s allies had won.   I flopped into bed and dozed,  I must have slept too for I woke  to a mighty blaring of horns. I looked out.    The street below was jammed with cars and bright pink flags .    Celebrations had started.  ,

Our Hotel was on Skanderbeg Square,, the hub of Tirana.  It was pulsing with cars,  horns blaring,  windows  open,  young people hanging out  whooping and cheering and waving  flags.   The  bumper to bumper procession was making a celebratory circuit of the city.   Pedestrians gathered in groups to clap and cheer and exchange jokes with passengers. Crossing the road presented a conundrum but the the Tirana -ers  were up to it.   They just raised a hand and side-slithered, skipped and shoe shuffled  to the other side.     I met up with Marie from Sweden and Amanda from the U.S and we sat in a cafe under the portico of the Opera House. drank beer and surveyed the spectacle.  The atmosphere fizzed like champagne.


Later, when it got a bit dark, fireworks started.   Not an organised, everyone-stand-clear- event.   Just lads setting them off in the Square.   On this evening, moaning  about  E.U. safety standards would be  churlish.  The celebrations went on long into the night,

But beneath the excitement  was a current of apprehension.   The Democrats had not yet conceded.    They’d said nothing. What could they be up to?   Next evening the defeated Prime Minister was to speak on T.V.   It was delayed… and delayed… what is going on?    Eventually he conceded.  But what about the people in Government jobs?   What would become of them.   Would they be fired from their jobs?   How would they feed their children?

The new Government has a difficult task ahead.   Change isn’t instant.   Problems take time to resolve.    But Albania has a lot going for it.


Their craggy mountains are stunning.

They have a beautiful coastline on the  Adriatic.    Go south for the  clear  turquoise water.

The food is delicious,  They’re Mediterranean so. great fruit, great vegetables. delicious meat,  And they know how to cook it,  Try out the local specialities …Yumm-double-yummmmmmm…

Roads, not bad.   I’ve seen worse in Ireland.

Hotels.  The usual International lot in Tirana but  local hotels make you welcome. feed you great food and don’t cost the earth.

And as for the Albanian people them,selves….

They greet  with hand held to heart.   And  they open their hearts to you.

They have a great sense of humour,    That’s oppression for you, either you hone your funny bone, or you give up.

They are generous with their time, their help, their friendship, and they keep wanting to treat you to food and to drink.

They do have one delusion though… Thy have the notion the all E.U, countries are shiny and bright and that everything works to perfection….   If only!

One Comment

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