Connect with us


A place to visit in Albania after the pandemic: Gjirokastër



Gjirokastër is a small town in southern Albania. It is the capital of both the homonymous municipality and the larger Gjirokastër County. Gjirokastër is located in a valley in the southern part of the country, close to the Greek border. The city was founded in the 14th century by local lord Gjergj Elez Alia, who had built a castle in the area. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in around 1478, and by the 15th century, it had established itself as one of Albania’s major cities. The Ottoman rule over Gjirokastër lasted for five centuries.

Located in close proximity to the Greek border, it has been inhabited since ancient times, one of the oldest cities in Albania, inhabited continuously since at least the Bronze Age. The city was mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD and was named “Argyrokastron” (Silver Castle). The city was the centre of a region where a uniquely Albanian written language developed during the 14th century. The Turkish name for Gjirokastër, “Gjirokastra”, derives from the Greek “Argyrokastron.

Gjirokastër was formally founded as a city in 1826 by the Ottoman Governor of Albania, Midhat Pasha, who had been commissioned by the Sultan to develop the city. The city is located at the foot of Mount Gjirokastër, where it is believed that Saint George slew a dragon.

There is so much history in Gjirokastër

It is also said that this was the birthplace of the Albanian flag. Gjirokastër is situated in a valley, surrounded by the mountains of Shëndelli and Pashtriku to the south-west, Sopot and Shebenik to the north-west, and by Mount Tomorr to the east. To the southeast, Gjirokastër is overlooked by Tertsi.


Unesco World Heritage Site from 2005, registered together with Berat as “rare examples of the typical architecture of the Ottoman period”, this city has a small historical centre with buildings with wooden facades and slab roofs of stone, many of which had been converted into guest-houses.

The city’s architecture is dominated by a number of historic buildings, including palaces, mosques, and churches. The most significant among these is the Gjirokastër Castle, which was built in the late 13th century by Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos. It was originally known as “Castelrosso” and was used as a summer residence by the Byzantine emperors. There are also fortifications on top of the hill and an incredible bazaar that is over 300 years old. 

With the pandemic, the success of the town has stopped in a country where tourism is such a large slice of the GDP is a disaster. It will be good to visit the narrow streets of Gjirokastër and this lovely place is really looking forward to having tourists again. 

SaleBestseller No. 1
Albania (Bradt Travel Guides)
  • Gloyer, Gillian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 03/19/2018 (Publication Date) - Bradt Travel Guides (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 2
The Ultimate Guide to Albania Travel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Berberi, Sara (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/07/2019 (Publication Date)

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply


New York City, An interactive civil rights museum will open in Harlem



The new Museum of Civil Rights will be a welcoming, inclusive and accessible facility, managed by the Civil Liberty Structure; will host not only permanent and temporary exhibitions but also promotional events for local artists, workshops, discussion forums and discussion spaces

The museum will also have a green space for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, dedicated to education on sustainability and food consumption: this is the Roof Training Yard , a “didactic garden” located on a large terrace.

The museum will also include the Harlem Discussion Forum , located on the top floor of One 45 Tower. In this place it will be possible to attend talks, conferences and shows, enjoying an incredible panoramic view of the city.

At the centre of the cultural program will be the history of civil and trade union rights, feminist struggles, LGBTQI + associations, religious groups such as Jews, Muslims and Sikhs and in general all minorities persecuted for social, racial, sexual orientation, political reasons. and religious.  The museum is created by activists to promote a greater understanding of the history and legacy of the modern civil rights movements in the United States.  Keep it in mind next time you visit NYC.

Continue Reading


Not more red light district in Amsterdam, at least not in the centre



It is down to Femke Haselma, mayor of the city, who wants to protect the women and trans people who work every day in one of the most populated and visited neighbourhoods in the whole of Amsterdam. We are talking about the De Wallen district, the one commonly referred to as “red light”. According to the new plan, the area will be redeveloped and a new centre for prostitution will be created.

The first citizen of Amsterdam has thought of a new way for all women and trans people who used to offer their services among the over 300 windows of the neighbourhood to work safely. The new  facility is a  building of 5 thousand square meters with  100 rooms, bars, restaurants, spaces for erotic performances and shops located in the suburbs.

According to a survey by 2019, the red light district workers union, for the 93% of sex workers, is against moving to another area Many of them are not satisfied, many fear that the new space is not big enough for all the workers in the famous neighbourhood. Furthermore, instead of helping and protecting women and trans people who work in this world, there is a risk of increasing clandestine work, making all these workers very most vulnerable

But according to some, the mayor’s idea is an excellent start to develop Amsterdam in a safer and more inclusive level, however, leads to the marginalization of all the sex employees who have always contributed to creating an identity of the city.

  Femke Haselma would like to move the district to protect all the workers and to discourage tourists and curious people. By moving the district to a new area, the centre of Amsterdam would be less chaotic and overcrowded, giving dignity to a profession that, over the years, in the red light district, has become a tourist attraction.



Continue Reading


Are people willing to travel again and how?



Not many people made travel plans in the past year but in 2021 we will resume travelling even if we have to face a maze of rules and restrictions. To guarantee safety, serenity and precisely the possibility of returning to see the world. New research conducted by, the leading d travel platform with nearly 30 millions structures, there are now five types of travel that are emerging for the foreseeable future

We start with solo travel, which according to the platform they will most likely see an increase, to be even safer and limit the risks. In fact, data from before the pandemic showed that only 17% of travellers age interested advertisement solo holidays, against the current 30% ready to organize such a trip in the future. In short, the important thing is to leave. 

 51% of people said they will no longer take the freedom to move for granted in the future which is a big lesson to learn in our age. Only 13% are actually planning a luxury stay (e.g. in a 5-star vacation home or resort).

Last year, and still in this phase, many have been away from friends and family for long periods, for reasons of geographic distance as well as safety. According to the 61% of the interviewees, a good part of future trips will be dedicated precisely to re-establish relationships and relationships

But people are worried to book in case there are changes. Over half of the interviewees (53%) prefer to take short breaks abroad in 2021 rather than a long holiday. 

Not all are prepared to travel abroad for the same reasons, people are still worried and although there is a strong desire to travel again, the mood is to err on the side of caution for the time being. 




Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Concerts coming up!



%d bloggers like this: