Sunday, 6 December 2015

Albania, part 2

1.       People

The Albanians are typical southerners… They just don’t care. They don’t care too much about tidiness (the rubbish on public beach, crammed and stinking trash cans standing along the main street), they don’t care about traffic regulations, they don’t care about punctuality (they never hurry up). On the one hand that could be sometimes irritating for people of different cultures (such as ours), but on the other hand I think we could learn from the Albanians how to deal with stress ;) In general they are really kind, hospitable and open for the others :)

2.       Habits

As in others countries in the south of Europe, the cities starts to be teeming with life not until the evening. At that time a lot of inhabitants come out to meet with their family or friends in bars or restaurants. We can observe groups of young pretty girls, usually dressed up in rather provocative way, and handsome boys who stroll around the city center or who just sit somewhere to talk. During the day there is much less people in the streets or in the public places. You can see some people sitting in cafés to drink their morning espresso, elderly men playing chess in parks and traders who stand along the main streets of the city trying to sell some goods (clothes, chickens, goats, whatever you want!).

3.       Gesture

If we talk about habits I think it’s important to mention about two important gestures. I mean nodding and shaking someone’s head. In Albania they do it inversely to us. It’s good to remember about that in everyday communication and especially when you try to explain to a bothersome beggar that you’re not going to give them a money (yes, it’s from my experience :P ).

4.       Religion

According to the statistics 58.79% of the Albanians adhere to Islam, 17.06% to Christianity and 24.29% of population is either irreligious or belongs to other religious groups. As you can see there are a lot of Muslims, however these are not a radical factions so you don’t have to be worry about your clothing. At least in bigger cities it’s hard to find someone who follow Islamic dress code. In general, the Albanian Constitution declares freedom of religions. In spite of this diversification, people of different beliefs get on well with each other. They say that first of all they are Albanians so religion of other people don’t matter so much.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Albania, part 1

What do you know about Albania? Not too much I guess. When I chose this country for my holiday destination, I was also hazy about it. I’ve read blogs and guides but it was a little bit like a “journey into the unknown” anyway. 

I would like to present you in points several facts about Albania and share with you my personal experience. As I wrote at lenght I decided to divide this text in parts. Hope you find it interesting :) 

Let's start with some basic information: 
  • Albania  is a country in Southeastern Europe.
  • Capital city: Tirana 
  • Official language: Albanian
  • Currency: Lek (ALL)
  • As Albania is not a member of European Union (for now it's an official candidate for membership) so you need a passport or an identity card to cross its border.
Here you can see where Albania is located:

And this is Albanian flag:

Most of situations that I describe concern Vlorë, the city where I stayed. It is a coastal town and municipality in southern Albania. Vlorë is one of the oldest cities of Albania. It was founded by Ancient Greeks in the 6th century BC. Nowadays it is associated with independence movement because it is a city that the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on November 28, 1912 (there is a lot of monuments in a city center which commemorate these times).

view over Vlorë
Old Catholic church
Independence Monument on Flag Square
Muradie Mosque

In next posts I will give you more practical information which I find essential for someone who plan a travel to that place :)

To be continued... :)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Memories :)

A few days ago I found on YouTube several combinations of songs which were hits in the nineties or the noughties... and they made me start thinking about my childhood and my idols of these good old days, which was actually very funny :)

I remember that I was a fan of Britney Spears, I wanted to look like J.Lo and I fell in love with Justin Timberlake! The list is much longer but these names crossed my mind as first.
I also admired polish stars, especially Natalia Kukulska, because of her voice and her long curly hair (which I was jealous of because it's the exact contrast of mine).

And of course all the walls in my room were hung with posters with celebrities! 

I really can't believe that so many years have already passed since these days! However, a lot of these songs are still present now - they are used in films or publicities, they are still played on the radio or at the parties (and people love to dance to them!). 

Music can really bring back memories :)

Do you remember your former idols? (don't be ashamed! :) )

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Save Elephant Foundation

In reference to my podcast project which I presented to you last week I would like to tell you a few words about Save Elephant Foundation from Thailand.

Save Elephant Foundation is a non–profit organization. It's main aim is to provide care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations. They endeavour also, among other things, to expand self-sufficient eco-tourism operations that benefit local communities and ecosystems, to create practical, positive support based on elephant training and rehabilitation programs, to establish an international volunteer community or to more fully integrate with the global conservation community to facilitate cross-cultural networking.
As you can see, Save Elephant Foundation has a lot of lofty goals. I think it's really admirable that people who work there devote their time and efforts to help elephants and to make our world a better place.
There are a lot of ways to support this organization. You can simply donate money to current necessities, you can become a sponsor of particular animal, or even spend some time as a visitor or a volunteer in Elephant Nature Park (that could be incredible experience!).
On the website you can follow news concerning activity of the organization and life of its charges. The foundation has also its channel on Youtube (I recommend to you films about babies elephant - they are sooo cute! :D).
I would like to show you one of the films published by foundation and which I mentionned during my speech. It's about founder of Save Elephant Foundation, Sangduen “Lek” Chailert , who is singing a lullaby to an elephant - its reaction is pretty amazing ;) 

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Good Lie (2014)

Last weekend I watched a really worth seeing film titled “The Good Lie”. This is a story of a group of young people who live in one tribe in Sudan and who lose their parents during the war in 1983. This tragedy force them to move to Kenia where is situated a camp for the refugees. After 13 years they stand a chance of a new life in the USA. However, it turns out that it isn’t as perfect as they imagined. They have to face completely different reality and deal with a huge cultural difference (or rather a chasm). Fortunately, with a help of several good people, they start to overcome all difficulties.

The film grabbed my attention from the start. It’s very moving (in the end I was crying my eyes out) and gives plenty of food for thought. And that’s why I recommend it to you :)

Monday, 19 October 2015

Musée d’Orsay

Today I would like to recommend for those of you who are interested in art a really worth-seeing place in Paris – Musée d’Orsay.

This museum is located in the centre of Paris, by the Seine, nearby Louvre, in the beautiful building which used to be a railway station built between 1898 and 1900 (the museum was established in 1986).

The museum presents mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography.

What I like the most about this museum is that it owns the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, including the works of art painted by such eminent artists as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Sisley, Gauguin or Van Gogh.

A lot of the paintings which you can see in Musée d’Orsay are considered to be leading in their epoch. It’s really nice to have an opportunity to look at them in reality, not only on the pages of student’s books :)

For more information you can visit the website:


Sunday, 1 March 2015

A travel of my dreams

I love to travel and there is a lot of places which I would like to visit. Today I want to tell you about one of them. Although I belong to the groupe of people who prefer warm climate, I really dream of visit Northern Norway. And the reason for which I want to go there are auroras. I dream of seeing them with my own eyes since I was a child :)

The best season to observe the auroras is between late autumn and early spring and the best time is from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. As this phenomenon comes out above clouds, its visibility is better when the sky is clear.

I've read that there are two places in Northern Norway where are the best vantage points. These are two counties: Finnmark and Troms. The auroras come out there almost every day (I don't know if 'day' is a proper term considering the polar nights which occur there from November to January). What's more these two regions offer also remarkable landscapes and the possibility to see interesting animals like reindeers, mooses, red foxes, stoats etc.

And you? What is your dream destination?:)