Books on a market stall
Albania,  Culture & tradition,  Lens-Artists,  Postcards from the road

A postcard from Tirana: the flea market

Books on a market stall

Tirana’s flea market

Enver Hoxha’s regime may be a thing of the past but traces of it remain in odd corners, such as this book spotted in the city’s flea market.

Tirana’s flea market is an appealing mix of stalls selling almost anything from military badges to Enver Hoxha memorabilia; German LPs to old radios; cameras to carvings from (it appears) China to Africa and elsewhere; clocks, compasses and kitchen equipment. Mixed in with these are several stalls of sometimes tacky souvenirs. A Mother Teresa fridge magnet as a reminder of your time in Albania, perhaps?

Alongside it and sharing the same roof is a produce market with wonderful fruit and vegetables, as well as stalls selling garden plants. Normally these would have the attention of my camera, but I can’t resist a flea market and delighted in finding quirky corners to photograph. Imagine how pleased I was later to discover that Patti had chosen ‘Still life‘ as the topic for this week’s Lens Artists Challenge!

So here are a few more images from the same market, to supplement the ‘postcard’:

I’m cheating a bit as we got home from Tirana a few hours ago, but as I started this post while there I’ll include it in my ‘Postcards from the Road’ series


  • Mari Nicholson

    Having read your comments above, I too, am impressed by your organization while on holiday. I’m not that organized even when I’m at home and in my office! Loved all your brilliant photos, and just loved the hats. Unlike you, I’d have had to buy one – and a scarf probably – and then thrown them away a few months later when I realised how foolish I was! I’ve only kept a few souvenirs from years of travelling but they are tied up with personal memories. Look forward to reading a lot more about Albania.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Mari πŸ™‚ I’m not always this organised while away, but we were renting an apartment and had some downtime so I used it to create this post. As to shopping, I’m much more likely to buy a scarf than a hat and I have quite a few from different trips!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Hi Brendan πŸ™‚ We came across this purely by chance! It lies a little east of Skanderbeg Square, between Rruga Luigj Gurakuqi and Rruga Qemal Stafa. If you walk along the former, past the clock tower, and turn left at the roundabout you should find it. Try zooming in on Google maps in that area with the satellite setting on and you’ll see the red roof of the market. This link should get you there:

    • Sarah Wilkie

      You’re right about those hats! We saw a few tourists trying them on and a couple bought some, but they didn’t appeal to us other than as photographic subjects πŸ˜€

  • Wind Kisses

    What a great wander through the flea market. It is always so interesting to see what ares people sell AND are popular in other parts of the world. All the hats were a fun find. Welcome home .

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Donna 😊 It would be interesting perhaps to fish out all my flea market photos from different places and post them together for comparison. Not that I have loads, but there would be a few different locations. I feel a mini-project coming on …

  • pattimoed

    I love these eclectic collections–perfect for still life. How terrific that the timing for the challenge came just as you were getting home. The hat collections in your images are quirky and wonderful. πŸ™‚

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Yes, it really was perfect timing Patti πŸ˜€ I can’t always join in challenges when travelling as I don’t have access to my archives but this one was just right!

  • leightontravels

    I never miss a visit to a flea market, as overwhelming as such places can sometimes be (for me anyway). I find them to be authentic windows into the history and culture of a place. This one seems full of treasures and wonderful photography opportunities.

  • Tina Schell

    My favorite thing about visiting these kinds of places while traveling Sarah is that photography opportunities are everywhere and you come home with mementos that cost nothing and don’t take up any room in the house LOL. Your images are terrific as they give us a true sense of place. I too really liked the format you used in this one – looks great! Perfect opportunity for the challenge.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Tina πŸ™‚ I agree, photos make the best mementos! I’m glad you liked my format too – it’s one I set up to use for these postcard posts after reading some tips from Hugh about using different blocks.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I have this format set up from past posts so can copy it into a new draft and quickly add a single photo and some text, as I did with my first p/c from Tirana, the Enver Hoxha house. Because I only partly wrote this one while away, when I came to finish and post yesterday evening I had the idea to upload a few more photos into a gallery to make it a stronger LAC response, but no, I wouldn’t normally do that!

      And no, I didn’t spend anything there, just took a load of photos!

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