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From Albania to Venice

We came to Tirana via Siranda, having taken the ferry from Corfu. That was a story in itself: after getting on the wrong boat, we fled the port so we didn’t have to pay the crossing fee twice. But nonetheless: Albania looks like California, only in different proportions.

The coastal hills that surround Siranda are very much like California’s central coast: rolling grass covered and spotted over near the summits with outbursts of oaks. The air has the quality of dryness; the roads are in disrepair. We were shuttled from Siranda to Tirana by a friend, a native of Albania. Along the way she pointed out the sites and sights.

Some of the more memorable were the ubiquitous bunker complexes, spaced at intervals of 100 meters wherever a town was near, to help the people, she informed us, stave off an imminent capitalist invasion. Perhaps also, she said, if the government had invested the raw materials used up in the bunkers’ construction instead in the construction of a freeway, the road on which we drove would not be one and a half laned and pot-holed.

Tirana is like a bloodletted consumptive: sucked dry by corruption and acceptance, its streets are broken and its sidewalks completely uneven. Everywhere, in peoples family rooms, garages, behind the shell of a burnedout building, you find a cafe or a clothing shop. It is an interesting experience.

Venice: canals, glassworks, masks, tourists.

I had written a much longer post earlier today but then the computer ate it. I am not interested in remaking it. Six days and I return to the States. Tomorrow: Prague

Categories: Postcards.

Comment Feed

3 Responses

  1. It will be good to have you both back! Enjoy the last days of your travels. Hopefully I’ll be mailing the other box back soon…then I can also send you a nice fat check! On a side note, I HATE it when the computer eats my beautifully crafted prose - that seems to be the only thing it eats, never the crap documents! -Kelly

  2. This blog reeks of the Flake. It seems like Europe really taps into your inner pretention. But, hey, that’s why we love you. I hope the trip has been everything you hoped. It certainly seems memorable. ttys — l

  3. Kelly: Yea, most annoying thing when the computer gets hungry. Since I am totally broke, that half check will be very welcome!

    Lisa: Pretention or class, you tell me. Europe rocks, yes.

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