Until recently, Albania was a lesser known country for me. Of course, I knew the basics, I could easily pinpoint the country's location on the map, knew the capital, size, inhabitants, a little about the history, etc.. For work I researched the country's energy sector and learnt more about the country, the culture, history and the people in general. And was even more curious. So I visited the country in summer 2016.
Akú predstavu u vás vyvolá Albánsko? U mňa to donedávna bola čierna diera, ktorú som však vedela celkom presne umiestniť na mapu Balkánu. O krajine som vedela iba toľko, že patrila tiež do komunistického bloku, ale tak trochu inak. Tiež mali svojho "otca národa", ktorý sa volal podobne ako náš národný buditeľ a Štúrov kamarát. Neskôr sa ku mne rôznymi cestičkami dostávalo postupne viac detailov a môj záujem o túto krajinu začal narastať.
Tirana became an unofficial capital city in 1920, officially only in 1925. You can see a lot of typical communist architecture, as well as colorful houses and a lot of mosques - the old town was founded by the Turks in 1614.
Albania has 13 national parks and Divjaka is one of them. The national park with pine forests and a large lagoon (one of the largest in the Adriatic) has been protected since 1994. Karavasta lagoon within its territory is home to about 5% of the world's population of Dalmatian pelicans.
Apolonia is an archaeological site, located not far from Vlora. There is a small monastery with a Greek church on a hill. Next to it, there are Roman excavations with an obelisk, an agora, an arc de triomphe, an odeon, a temple of Diana and excavated foundations of ancient buildings.
Kruja is known as Skanderbeg's city. Gjergi Kastrioti Skanderbeg was an Albanian national hero of the 15th century. He was born into a noble family and joined the Ottoman army.
Vlora is a port in the south of the country, founded as Aulona by the Greeks in the 6th century BC. The city is associated with the independence of Albania (from the Ottoman Empire) proclaimed here by the First National Assembly on November 25, 1912.
Berat, a city on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is located about 120 km south of the capital city of Tirana and is known primarily as a city of thousands windows. This refers to the small white Ottoman cottages on the hill, which are frequent subjects of photographs, postcards and souvenirs.
Durres is the oldest city in Albania, founded in 627 BC. It has long been the capital of Albanian territory and thanks to a natural harbor, it kept close ties the old Rome, but also to current Italy.