The joys of Albania. Here’s a “catch-up” post with as many photos and details as we can squeeze in during an hour at the beloved Stephen Center.
This is the vibrant market that is on our block. It is full of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, and it is here everyday – all year. Some of our favorite finds so far have been the super sweet clementines, giant green grapes (!), and the nice people who graciously deal with our lack of Albanian.
On Saturday, we were invited by our friends Tim and Gerta to go up the mountain with them and their cutie, Isaiah. It was a blast! We took the cable car up to the base of the mountains and then went hiking to reach the peak. It was a crisp and invigorating hike! The sky was bright blue and the leaves on the trees were perfectly glowing. We followed some trails and after a while had to start making our own trails and eventually we found ourselves above the clouds. It was so much fun and so refreshing. We loved being out of the city for a while and exploring again. A little slice of heaven.
Finally, it was a historical week here in Tirane – Albanians were just given permission to travel to the Schengen countries (most of Western Europe) without a Visa! This is huge for them. It used to be a bureaucratic nightmare for them to simply travel to neighboring Italy or Greece. And when they would get Visas they were very limited. Mostly, our friends are excited to visit their family members who live in Western Europe over the holidays. : ) As a result of this new freedom, we’ve enjoyed loads of fireworks from our balcony. It’s been fun!
Know that we are missing you all very much… we send our LOVE!