Thursday, September 22, 2022

Albania: Vicki is awed by the beauty of the country.

 Majestic Mountains Abound and Soothe the Soul.

Albanian Alps,  from the Valbona Pass. 

A beech tree forest on the slopes of the Valbona-Thethi trail. 

The Country's Lakes Provide Solace and a Source of Reflection. 

Lake Koman. 

The Vjosa River, one of the last wild waterways of Europe. 

Natural Mineral Springs Mesmerize All Who Behold Their Beauty. 

The Serenity of the Coastal Waters is Magical!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Albania, Historic Places Enchant in All Directions


Old Stone Towns, Castles and Forts fill the visitor with a deep sense of history at virtually every turn. 

Rozafa Castle, Shkodra. 

Impressive Ottoman Mesi Bridge, Shkodra,  18th Century. 

Butrint is a stunner, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Archeological Island National Park, has been inhabited for over 50,000 years, and is now home to impressive structures from ancient Greek and Roman cities. 

Gjirokaster's castle is a wonder to behold. 

Ali Pasha bridge, over 200 years old, Gjirokaster. 

Old cobblestone road meandering through the Stone town of Gjirokaster. 

Towns, ancient and modern, are the backdrop for daily activity. 

Traditional handiwork for modern designs. 

Berat, the city of 1000 windows, is breathtaking.

Mangalem historic neighborhood at the foot of the Berat castle. 

And the Berat castle is pure magic, exceptionally so at sundown, and beyond words magnificent under a glowing rainbow. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Albania, Artists and their work dazzled my senses, and welcomed me to their studios.

Eye-catching ceramics, and woven fabrics vibrantly stand out on studio shelves and street displays


Handmade Production Ceramics is created with passion, by master potter Vasil Kukaj, in his village studio near Lezhe. 

A son assists Vasil move a just-thrown large vessel from the wheel. 

Extruding clay for handles. 

His is a family run business. In addition to his son, his two brothers and wife assist in the process. 

Even clay is made on site, with material acquired from the local area. 

With extraordinary detail and precision, his wife paints traditional Albanian motifs and colors on the work. 

With an immense and entrancing self-built workspace and showroom, as large and as busy as an airplane hangar, Vasillaq Kolevica creates unique ceramic forms out of his own clay produced on site, in Korce. 

He can make about 4 tons of clay in two days.

There is no shortage of unique
Albanian ceramic artwork to enjoy, and such welcoming artists!

Such a lovely day I spent with Tirana-based artist and professor, Irena Buzi.