Shopping for Books in Albania

Wherever I go, I look at the books. Doesn’t matter if I can read them, although books in English have spread across the globe just like English itself has. I’m always interested to see what books look like, whether they are originals in the local language, world classics translated into the local language, or books in English imported from overseas.

See below for photos of two very different types of book shopping experience.

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Tirana, Albania (Day 1, afternoon)

Albania was constitutionally atheist under communist rule and religious people suffered persecution. Now, religion is back. On my first afternoon in Tirana, on my wanderings, I saw a new church, an old mosque that somehow survived, and a mosque so new it hasn’t opened yet.

See below to find out who the guy on the horse is and see photos of:

  • Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral
  • Skanderbeg Square
  • Et’hem Bey Mosque and the Clock Tower
  • Toptani Mall
  • Toptani Castle
  • Namazgah Mosque (and Downtown One)

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Tirana, Albania (Day 1, morning)

When I woke up in Tirana, I had a vague plan to walk around and see some of the sites I’d seen in a couple of listicles on my phone in the airport while waiting to board the plane in Frankfurt. I had no idea just how far I’d walk, or how much I’d see!

Luckily, the hotel was right in the city center, and the weather was fantastic: a little cold, but amazingly bright and sunny, and I saw in real life almost everything the internet told me to look for.

See below for photos of:

  • Tirana Marriott Hotel, Air Albania Stadium, and some university buildings
  • Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard
  • The Pyramid of Tirana
  • The Lana River at Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard
  • Rinia Park and the Taiwan Center

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A Trip from Hangzhou, China to Tirana, Albania

We did not go to Albania on a train. That was just the first part of a long journey!

I made this on https://www.greatcirclemap.com/. (Yeah, we flew over Russia…)

For the first time in a long time, I got on a plane (two planes, actually) to go somewhere for fun that wasn’t my hometown. But first I got in a taxi, and on a train, and in another taxi, and spent the night in an airport hotel, and took a shuttle bus, lol.

Why Albania? Siqi was invited to a workshop, and I decided to take leave from work and go too. I’d never been to Albania!

We left on the evening of Tuesday, January 23 and returned in the afternoon on Monday, January 29. We had three full days in Albania, which I’m posting about separately, and then we did the whole journey again in reverse.

See below for more on the journey from Hangzhou (to Shanghai to Frankfurt) to Tirana, Albania.

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