The religion in Albania

Albania, like any other Balcanic country, displays a mixture of religions… what’s not usual is that in Albania, all religions (and atheist people as well) live peacefully, without any kind of conflicts.

Albania has 67% of muslims, 20% are orthodox christians, 10% christians and a 3% of aromanians.
We should say that in Kosovo (where 88% of the people comes from the albanian ethnia) this “religious proportion” is quite different, because muslims are more than that: 90% of kosovar people are muslims.
This Kosovar religious trend is due to the need to separate themselves to the serbs, which are orthodox.

I would like to highlight that a paper [written by Gallup] said that Albania is the most tolerant – in religious terms – country in the world. Is also the country where we can find more interfaith marriages (between muslims and catholics).

Continúa leyendo The religion in Albania

Albanian route and hosting

We will briefly list our route through Albania [by car] day-to-day with information about where we slept and the distance in quilometers.
Our trip starts on the 11th of July and ends the 26th of July.
You can read about our route more extensively by clicking here.

11- Girona (Catalonia) – Pisa (Italy); by plane
12- Pisa (Italy) – Tiranë (Albania); by plane
13- Tiranë – Berati (150km)
14- Berati – Fier – Apollonia – Vlorë (100km)
15- Vlorë – Dhërmi (57km)
16- Dhërmi – Himarë – Dhërmi (30km)
17- Dhërmi – Sarandë (64km)
18- Sarandë – Gjirokastër (62km)
19- Gjirokastër – Ersekë (144km)
20- Ersekë – Korçë – Pogradeci (83km)
21- Pogradeci – Shkodër (268km)
22- Shkodër – Thethi (68km)
23- Thethi
24- Thethi – Krujë – Tiranë (155km)
25- Tiranë
26- Tiranë – Pisa – Girona; by plane once again

And now, we’ll list all the hostels and hotels where we’ve been:

Tiranë: Tirana Backpacker Hostel
Berati: Hotel Berati
Vlorë: Hotel Delfini
Dhërmi: Hotel Dorian
Sarandë: Hotel Xhaferi
Gjirokastër: Hotel Kalemi
Shkodër: Hotel Rozafa

We should add Katie’s and Matt’s houses in Ersekë and Pogradeci respectively (We found Katie and Matt via coach-surfing web site.); and Çarku’s family house in Thethi; which is fully and formaly adapted for tourists.

This post is a simple reference for future travelers. We have to say that there’s no problem in order to find hosting in Albania!


Albanian neighbour

I’ve got an albanian neighbour.

We will call him S, because he seems to be a Salim “namekind”.

S is a tall man, brown skin and I see him sometimes in the flat’s staircase [because I live in a flat with lot of floors]. He seems to come from eastern Europe. In fact, he seems an Emir Kusturica character; allways dressed in white.

S is proud that someone (in this case, his neighbour – ie. me) had been to Albania.

Anytime that S meets my father, he hugs him: S is really excited because of the fact that I’ve been to his country.

When S enters to a bar where my father is also there [in fact, this is the reason why I know that he’s from Albania] S starts to tell everybody in the bar that the son of his neighbour had been to Albania.

S knows that I really enjoyed Albania: this makes him proud of his country

Such a reaction helps us to consider that people from [and living in] Albania will foster us from the very beggining; which is in fact what it really happens.

Thanks to my trip to Albania, I could know that S comes from Albania. And I’m very proud of it.


Berlusconi’s grave in Albania

One of the places that we highly recommend in Albania is the Archeological City of Butrint: the most important complex of ancient greek and roman ruins. All of them are in great conditions.

One of the best details is that in the entrance there are some commemoratives plaques, in memory of the political personalities that have visited the ruins…

But in a place where there are no “contemporary” walls, put those plaques on it’s not so trivial. So they’ve decided to put them on the floor… but the thing is that the entrance seems like a cementery… a cemenetry full of personalities.

One of this personalities is… the unpresentable [among other adjectives] Berlusconi which, the albanian people, with ¿goodwill? dedicate him a premature death… Vaffanculo Silvio!!


Alternatives to McDonald’s

McDonald’s and other bullshit like MTV or Starbucks have got the ability to conquer the “global market” spreading their tentacles like a virus…
…luckily there are still oasis.

The unique european country where you cannot found a McDonald’s is [as you can assume] Albania. But they’ve got an alternative: Kolonat.
You can play the Spot the Difference game with it, which is not easy as you can see!

Althought you can find McDonald’s in Poland, they’ve decided to do some competence on them [with pizzeria included]: it’s the McKucharz.

Finally, we shoud say that the most profitable [and realistic] alternative to both McDonald’s and Burger King is french: it’s the Quick.
In fact, the ones who are able to replicate a succesful corporate model in their own domestic market, are the french. For sure, their extreme narcissism help them to compite with such a giants.


Rehova and Gramozi mountains

Rehovë/Rehova is small and rural town near Ersekë.

In fact, if someone goes to Korçë’s county we recommend to visit the capital (Korçë), Pogradeci and its lake and Voskopojë which is one of the most important cultural centers in Albania, holding an incredible heritage and nowadays an sky resort as well.

But in this post we recommend an “out-of-the-box” town in the unknown Kolonjë district: Rehovë/Rehova. 2km from Ersekë (district’s capital) a non-paved road takes you to that rural town that lies on the foot of Gramoz mountain. It is a starting point if you want to hike those mountains, that will takes you about 4-5 hours.
This characteristic/traditional village is build around its church and it’s nice to just sightseeing the town made of stone houses and its views over the Kolonjë district.
2 hours walking from Rehovë there’s an impressing waterfall (Katarakti i Rehoves)

Continúa leyendo Rehova and Gramozi mountains

Albanian stadiums

When we travel, we use to visit stadiums, specially if they are not far away from the city center… and if it’s far, you can allways try to look at them from the distance in an upper point.

This is the first post dedicated to world’s stadiums and – as expected – the first country that will have the honors is Albania!

Qemal Stafa stadium: the field where the albanian national team and all Tirana’s football teams play: Partizan Tirana, KF Tirana and Dinamo Tirana. As we can expect is the biggest one of Albania with a capacity for 24.600 people.
But the stadium should be past in two years from now because Albanian’s government plans to build a new one in honor to the 100 years of Albania’s independence.
Continúa leyendo Albanian stadiums