Gallery: boxing clever in Tirana
Opinion is divided on street art / graffiti. Some consider it vandalism, others (including me) enjoy the way it brightens a city. Great street art can be beautiful; it can make you think; it can transform a district. So of course I was on the lookout for street art in Tirana, as I am everywhere I go.
The legacy of Enver Hoxha
Few people are all good or all bad. Most of us hope that in our cases the good will outweigh the bad. But there are some people for whom it is clear that the opposite is true. Such a person was Enver Hoxha.
Sweet freedoms in Tirana
Under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha many freedoms were denied to Albanians. Among them the freedom to travel abroad, the freedom to express dissent, and the freedom to worship. Hoxha declared that ‘the only religion of Albania is Albanianism’.
Gallery: an April selection (2023)
As well as being a successful novelist and poet, Vita Sackville-West is known for the beautiful gardens she created at Sissinghurst in Kent. She will have welcomed April as all gardeners do … but maybe not the April we have had this year.
Gallery: the people of Tirana in black and white
One thing that struck me almost immediately about Tirana was its relaxed vibe. Probably because it was a holiday weekend (Orthodox Easter), the cafés and bars were all busy. People were out strolling the streets, meeting friends, enjoying the spring sunshine. As were we!
A postcard from Tirana: the flea market
Enver Hoxha's regime may be a thing of the past but traces of it remain in odd corners of Tirana, such as this book spotted in the city's flea market.
A postcard from Tirana: Enver Hoxha’s former residence
In Tirana's now trendy Blloku district one house stands empty and isolated, ignored it seems by the bright young things who come here to eat and drink in the many bars and restaurants.