Albania, the country of hospitality

Already the last time that I stayed in Albania, I recognised that people are so open and friendly towards foreigners and have a special hospitality and warmth towards others,that I was very impressed. And today, I could feel this very strong again. We did a day trip to Berat, a very traditional old city 150 km south of Tirana, located in the mountains.

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Mangalem, an old part of Berat below the castle

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Our tourguide Eni from Beyond Barriers

I have been there already once in November and stayed with another German girl and a Albanian friend for a night. When we passed Gorica, the old area of the city today, we passed the door of the hostel where I stayed and I couldn’t resits to enter and look if the owner was there. In November we had long talks with him and he showed us the whole house and gave us his slef-made raki to try, so I was wondering if he could remeber me. After a while I found his wife and little daughter in the house. „No, Lorenc isn’t her, but let’s call him“ was the reaction of his wife and immediatly I had her phone in my hands and his promise to be there in 5 minuts. In the meantime, she gave me a little bowl with home-made marmelade, what is eaten as a sweet with a little spoon. When Lorenc arrived, he recognised me and asked me about how I am doing and about my stay in Albania. He offered several times to invite the whole group into his garden to have a coffee with him, but unfortunately the bus was already waiting for us.

Back to Tirana, I went with my flatmate to the local market next to the street to buy some fresh vegetables and fruits. And again, the Albanian mentality confused me a lot: When I took the money to pay my tomatoes and plums, the lady that sold the fruits didn’t want to take it. Insisting was useless. She took me closer, gave me a big kiss on my cheek and pushed me away, giving me the sign to go home. An old man smiled, sayed „corruption“ and also gave the sign that I should be happy and go home. Tomorrow I want to go back with some German chocolte that is still waiting in my suitecase for cases like this. Albaniens are able to confuse me again and again!

 

For everyone who wants to meet Lorenco and likes to stay for a night in Gorica’s oldest house, the contact to Lorence is following. But take care: A winter night can get very cold in this old building. But Lorenc will entertain you signing some operas for you and warm you with his home-made Raki.

 

Lorenc Guesthouse & Hostel

Gorica No.18, Berat

lorencpushi@hotmail.com

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The Hostel owner Lorenc and his family, at the hostel in Berat

Keep in touch,

Sabine

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