When I take pictures, I usually try to capture things that I find pretty, appealing or interesting. I usually will frame and photograph places to their advantages, and Travis sometimes complains that I make places seem better than they really are. With this in mind, and considering our experience with Albania, I thought that for once I’d share what I normally don’t photograph.
Albania is a strange land. What makes it strange is difficult to explain, but it certainly has two facets. On one hand, a city like Saranda, set by the sea, can be really beautiful. On the other hand, Albania is dirty. They dump the raw sewage right into the sea, and because of this we never went swimming. They leave garbage out everywhere in a way that reminds us strongly of India. People seem for the most part very unattractive. There is dust everywhere, broken sidewalks, a certain lack of care. Buildings stand unfinished, empty. If you look at the pictures in Albania, the good, Saranda looks like a big city, right? Well, almost all of those buildings are empty or unfinished. Buildings go up like mushrooms, but there isn’t anyone to fill them. At night is when you notice it best – the city stands in the dark (save for garbage fires), without lights in any windows. It’s strange and eery!
Honestly, visiting Albania was interesting but we did not really like it. It reminded us too much of India and much less of Europe. On the other hand, Saranda was a relaxing place to stop and catch our breath, enough so that we decided to stay an extra day.
Here are pictures of the “real” Saranda.