A place called Tirana
I was about to start this article by saying “have you ever been to Tirana”, but re-thinking it the line now reads “have you ever heard of Tirana”.
For most people it’s the sad truth. I am good with locations and geography but Tirana and Albania have also slipped my attention. Simply because I had no connection to this country and it never appeared on global news (which could also be a good sign). This has changed altogether for us. Ever since we met Mirela Sula, Albania is always present somehow in the context of Global Woman. Mirela shared some wonderful insights about her country and culture but for us as globetrotters this was not enough. So when Mirela invited us to come to her conference in Tirana, we did not have to think twice. Thus we will fly to Tirana this weekend to be part of the wonderful Global Woman Conference “You can change the world” with Mirela Sula and Dr. Ervin Laszlo.
Before going I thought it would be helpful to get some insights into Albania and as I am researching Albania I am sharing this info with you.
As you know or might have guessed: Tirana is the capital city of Albania. Albania is a country of the Balkan region with Mediterranean access on the Adriatic Sea. On the other side of the Adriatic Sea you would find Italy. It’s on the same latitude as Naples and what I heard the food can compare to it’s famous neighbour.
Tirana’s history dates back to the Bronze Age and with its Mediterranean location was occupied by man folks throughout history.
Our Opodo travel guide describes Tirana as “a mixture of Western Europe and the old Russia, interspersed with influences of the Middle East.” As I have been to the Middle East and just started to learn Russian, I am very much eager to experience these different influence. Do the citizens of Tirana speak Russian? I am going to find out this weekend and will report.
The article goes on to say that “Tirana itself is an enticing mix of stern Soviet Bloc cement buildings, Ottoman minarets and 1930’s Italian architecture, which juxtapose the wild colour schemes of newer buildings that have been redecorated by local artists.” I am sure we will return with great impressions and pictures.
As Albania is not in the European Union (yet started negotiations) and not part of the Euro countries I was wondering about the Albanian currency. It’s Lek and qindarka. 1 Lek is 100 qindarka. Apparently the Euro is widely accepted and we will find out for ourselves.
I was surprise to read that Tirana is among the wettest and sunniest cities in Europe. Maybe we will have time to stop at the beach (which is not around the corner) and suck in some more sun before the European autumn kicks in.
We hope you stay connected on our social media and read the follow up report.