Category: From Catherine

Valbona with Young Children?

I mean, it isn’t compulsory to drag them up mountains, is it?  If you spend a day or two in Valbona first, you can always get a sense of how the kids are doing against some comparable-to-Theth hikes (but don’t leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere if they melt down).  In general, I think […]

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A Very Good Question! Where to Stay to Avoid the Hordes?

Dear Catherine,   I was looking for information about Albania when I stumbled upon your sweet and inviting website. We are thinking of visiting Albania in August, and we might want your help in planning our trip. But first and foremost I would like to know: how busy is the Valbona valley in August? I […]

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European Wilderness Society

Wilderness in Albania in peril! “A short glimpse from the outside can create a feeling that finally at least in this country a large piece of real European wilderness can be secured. Several protected areas have been established in the past years to create conditions for longterm protection of biodiversity and natural values of this country. […]

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We visited in 2014 . . . .

Just as I was thinking I’d better put more cheerful stuff on here, an email arrived from “Niki and Martin”! “We visited Valbone in October 2014 and had Rilindja all to ourselves one rainy day, at the end of which we chatted to you both while the thunder rumbled around the mountains and the lights […]

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It’s winter. And days are long and slow and boring, and silent. And sliced up by sudden changes between sloth and imperatives. When the wind blows, and the snow falls, and various natural things howl, the electricity is prone or likely to go out. In which case, at which time, a small wood stove is […]

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On the Dubious but nonetheless Glorious Triumph of Being [Recognized]

About 7 years ago, I uprooted my (hurly-burly) life in NYC and moved to this small, remote, isolated village in Northern Albania. I did this quixotically, with no planning or financial strategy, in a few suitcases. And no legality. After 6 years of uninterupted life here, I am now (I guess) firmly illegal everywhere. Not […]

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What Passion Feels Like

                                                             

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Long Dark Days

The electricity was off all day.  I ate at noon, got sleepy, and went back to bed. My nose was cold, so tucked everything under.  Woke up at 3pm.  Just in time to feed the trout, before so-called “sun-down.”  Started writing a book, and drew this, as first illustration: Fig. 1.  The dogs are barking. […]

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Edward Lear Memorial* Breakfast Nonsense

O Krepa, Krepa – Nice and Round Your effect on me is quite profound So to the chef let’s all bow down And touch our heads upon the ground   *As some of you no doubt know, Edward Lear was a runcible traveller in Albania.  I hereby inaugurate some extra nonsense on our website in […]

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From Ashes . . . What Comes Next? We decide.

Dear Friends.  A few days ago, strong spring breezes blew a few sparks from a fire into the house of Pavlin Polia in Theth.  It is chillingly easy to image the small quiet minutes, seconds, that rapidly turned into the conflagration that destroyed not only his 300 year old house, not only everything he and […]

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