Are you not entertained?! Durrës Roman Amphitheatre unearthed

It was just a few years ago. 1966 in fact. An Albanian (Vangjel Toçi) living in Durrës (the country’s largest port and site of the ancient Roman city of Dyrrachium), noticed that a fig tree in his garden had suddenly sunk a few feet into the ground. All very weird. (more…)

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Sacrifices on the Altar of Ambition: Agamemnon’s Daughter by Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. An Albanian who has divided his time between his native land and Paris since the early 90s, Kadare ingeniously captures the disorientating experience of life under dictatorship. In some ways,…

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Hiding the Tirana concrete jungle

How do you make a concrete jungle less foreboding? Well you cover it up of course. Tirana is in some ways an artificial capital. Not long after Albanian independence from the Ottoman empire, the capital was moved in the 1920s…

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3 surprises in Tirana

So I'm back in Albania for the 3rd visit, but this time, we're just 7 in a hotel on the outskirts of Tirana. The idea is to train up a number of folks who can help to pass on some…

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