Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:55 PM
And like all things good and bad, it comes to an end. The months planning and waiting for the big trip. Oh so soon ...

On our way to Kruja, we passed through the town that George W Bush visited. The cafe where he had coffee and talked to the locals had a sign with his name on it. Here his watch was stolen. It is now called Bush city. The US had pumped in a lot of money to this country, started with Woodrow Wilson who at the end of WWI went against European powers to help gain independence for Albania. Albania loves Americans special W Bush.

The morning was spent in Kruja, the ethnographic museum, another old house and the modern Scanderbeg museum, designed by Hoxha's daughter. An old bazaar full of souvenirs. We lunched at a restaurant overlooking the fortress. Here is Scanderbeg everything.

Back to Tirana in the afternoon barely enough time to visit the museum then hopped over to see the Ethem Bey Mosque with beautiful decorations. Women had to cover their heads. In defiance, I didnt wrap the scarf around my neck. Kathleen didnt even wear hers. I had wanted to explore Tirana more but there was no time. I really didnt get to see much of the capital. Sigh.

The Theranda hotel owner and Gert's boss showed up at our dinner. I was surprised he was a young man, with fluent English. Obviously educated and from a wealthy family. He told us Albanians understood their problem with the garbage. They had no dump sites or refuse/recycle centers. He used the analogy of a dog locked up for years and finally let loose. He said Albania was dirty was not because of its people but because of its system or better, for lack of a system. They're still learning. Like the dog that went wild not because he's a bad dog, but because the dog was locked up for so long. In communist time they didnt have plastic bottles and bags. I'd like to return in 5-10 years and see Albania again. Just to see if they've improved. Give them some more time to catch up. 16 years of freedom and independence was just not long enough.

scanderbeg museum-Kruja



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