Shpirti i Shqiperisė
Map of Albania
of Albania showing the main Towns and their briefly histories extended
in North, Center and South of Albania.
To use this map as guide click on the towns
To use this map as guide click on the towns
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and FYROM, Kosova and FRY
Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 20 00 E
Coastline: 362 km
Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Terrain: mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, timber, nickel
Geographynote: strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
36 districts (rrethe, singularrreth) and 1 municipality (bashki); Berat,
Bulqizė, Delvinė, Devoll (Bilisht), Dibėr (Peshkopi), Durrės, Elbasan,
Fier, Gjirokastėr, Gramsh, Has (Krumė), Kavajė, Kolonjė (Ersekė), Korēė,
Krujė, Kuēovė, Kukės, Laē, Lezhė, Librazhd, Lushnjė, Malėsi e Madhe (Koplik),
Mallakastėr (Ballsh), Mat (Burrel), Mirditė (Rreshen), Peqin, Pėrmet,
Pogradec, Pukė, Sarandė, Shkodėr, Skrapar (Ēorovodė), Tepelenė, Tiranė
(Tirana), Tropojė (Bajram Curri), Vlorė.
Albania has its own distinctive traditions of etiquette, and enormous goodwill will be created if the foreign visitor is aware of them. In general they are intimately linked with the concept of hospitality. Mikpritesi, the notion of the guest approaching that of the sacred visitor that readers of Homer and Classical literature will be familiar with, but where the guest also has certain clear obligations to the host. While informal patterns of behaviour are gaining ground, particularly in the lowland cities, the old traditions are widely respected in most places, even among the Westernised young.
After fifty years, when it was against the law to invite a foreigner into your own house, Albanians are anxious to meet strangers and to recapture these traditions of hospitality. When entering a traditonal house, particularly a Muslim household, it is customary to remove one's shoes, and to slip on one of the numerous pairs of plastic sandals or slippers inside the outer door. The guest will be shown into the main room, and it's customary to wait to be shown where to sit, which will usually be in the corner of the room. Cushions will often be provided, and a small mat or rug may be put under the feet. The guest will be offered coffee, a glass of water and recently glass of juice of fruit, and a small dishes of jam or preserved homemade fruit.
Tobacco plays an important part in Albania life. The Llulla, or in Turkish language the Chibuk, was a very long pipe, often a metre long with its base on small wooden wheels that was passed round after dinner in Ottoman Albania. Albanians nowdays are often heavy smokers and the guest will be offered cigarettes, unless the guest is a confirmed non-smoker, he or she should accept. Albanian tobacco is very good, light, mild and aromatic. It is polite to carry cigarette to offer to the people you will meet. Western cigarettes are welcome presents. Also a small glass of raki is offered usually for men and liquor for women.
Gestures are important in Albanian social life. As well as the usual handshake, it is normal for men who are friends to greet each other with a light touch, although not a kiss, on either cheek. The famouse confusion, where an Albanian shakes his or her head if 'yes' is meant is common. To place the flat of the hand on the chest is to say 'thank you'. To stroke the shoulder lightly means'good luck'.
Wines and Spirits
Both the quality and quantity of wine and spirit production have increased considerably recently.
is the national drink, a colourless spirit made from grapes and plums.
It can be very good indeed. Famous areas for raki production are Permet
and Skrapar but it is made every where in Albania. It is usually very
strong, and should be treated with respect. The Albanian toast is 'Gezuar'/
The best Albanian brandy is the Skënderbeu variety, similar in character to lighter Greek brandies. A type of ouzo is produced in some places in the south, but as in Crete, is not really regarded as a suitable drink for a man who is confident of his masculinity.
grateful acknowledgement to the :