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Posts tagged “albania

Ngjipe Canyon

For you guys that want to find it online, most people have tagged this place as Gjipe because N & GJ are two letters of the Albanian alphabet that never go together. The street signs of the Ministry of Transport have the correct name on them, Ngjipe.

Here are some photos of the canyon. It was dead dry this summer and the only being I saw were a couple of frogs and a small snake living in a pond. No photos of them though.

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Ngjipe – Perhaps the best beach in Albania

This place seemed always so close yet so far. I have been swimming around this part of Albania for as long as I remember but I never took the time to visit this particular beach and its canyon. To begin with, there was no road until recently and the road you see on the photos can be done only with 4×4.

It wasn’t on my plans for the last weekend either but an old Belgian couple I met up in Llogara told me they were amazed and considered this as the most beautiful beach in Albania. I decided on the spot to visit it, although I had my 4 years old son with me.

The place can be found easily if you keep an eye for Ilias village as soon as you cross Dhermi Panorama. After the village there is a right turn that leads to a monastery. The road is narrow but paved with asphalt. Drive until the end and you will see a parking space with amenities for campers. Park your car, pay some 1-2 EUR to the lady that lives there and just start walking toward the only path that leads down the hill toward the beach.

The rest can be seen on the photos. I can only say that the water was crystal clear, the beach was sort of sandy with very small pebble stones. There is also a canteen for beers or water, in case you didn’t bring yours. Expect to pay 80 cents for a small bottle of water or 1.5 EUR for a bottled beer (Korca). As for toilette or shower, this place is semi-famous for travelers with tends or sleeping bags and there are amenities.

Best part, this place is almost empty of people. I’ll post photos of the canyon tomorrow or the day after.


Tirana by night

 

Not much going on tonight. What you see on these photos is the fountain of Taiwan, a recreational center in the heart of Tirana, within Youth Park or Parku Rinia. The park itself, once home to hundreds of trees, became home of more than a couple dozen of tin shanties during the mid ’90s. Thanks to then mayor’s persistence (now PM), the park was freed from all the craziness of this lawlessness and the remaining trees started breathing air again. Unfortunately the park is nowhere near its former glory but let’s say it is on the right track.

Now, a funny story about the middle building on the background. First, it is against the law. It sits next to the Swiss Embassy and the Albanian law prohibits buildings of more than 4 floors when they share the same fence with a foreign embassy. Second, it is against the building guidelines since it does not posses an underground parking. It doesn’t have parking at all. Third, its owners were in such a hurry finishing its construction that they forgot about the elevator shaft. Can you fucking believe that? I used to work at the low building next to it and we had to listen to their jackhammers all day for a whole week while they were opening a new elevator shaft from the top floor to the ground floor. To be fair though, the owners weren’t the brightest tools in the shed, if you catch my drift. Violent and scary people, like straight out of a cave. I almost forgot, it’s also too close to the building on its right and that is against the law. So, in all its greatness, this is how we used to fuck the law from all holes here in Albania until recently. If it happened 70 meters far from PM’s office, imagine what has happened in other cities. Now it’s getting better but the pace is toooooooo slooooooow but let’s discuss it in another thread.

I’m sorry my post got dark pretty soon but as you see on the photos, the sun is setting. If you ever visit Tirana, stop by Taiwan for a coffee and if it’s summer evening, the water flow on the fountain follows the rhythm of operas playing on the background. A truly relaxing experience.


Old Churches in Voskopoje, Korce, Albania

I wish I could write the names of each church in particular but my memory is not that good. The best thing is that those churches are well preserved except one that was in ruins. The icons are scratched or overwritten with names and dates by soldiers or youngsters during communism while their faces are erased or heavily scratched from Muslims because their religion says that no one should  worship icons and statues except the one true god. Whatever me and you may believe in, your heart aches when you see such historical treasures abused and destroyed. At least people are becoming conscientious that such practices are not welcomed in the 21st century.

Albeit some of the churches were closed, you can find open ones and you can enter and have a look around. Photos are prohibited but you can take some, as long as you don’t try to look like the trigger happy photographer.

If there is enough interest, I can arrange a tour of Voskopoje starting from Tirana and back. 🙂


Around Korce, Albania

Taking the GoPro for a ride. This was a short walk mostly around RED Tower in Korce and the Old Bazaar. I love this city, I guess I could move there for a couple of years if I had a remote job or smth similar. Plenty of nature around, clean air, nice people…


To the Dry Tree

 

The Dry Tree is the closest point with Corfu. I know I have mentioned it many times but it is quite hidden and more people should know about it. Or better not, this way it stays quiet and not overrun by tourists :))

The hills you see on the third photo are actually on Corfu.


Saranda City

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Lonely Tree

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The hills and mountains seen on the other side of the strait are part of Corfu. I’m on the Albanian side, at The Dry Tree. A fantastic view but full of bushes and snakes.


Spiders small collection

The rest of the spiders, in a small canvas. I hope you like ’em.


Spider

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Watching her back is hypnotizing. Another alien head on my book.