192-PART GUIDE TO THE WORLD; PART 2: ALBANIA
Sunday 28 February 1999
The Republic of Albania.
About 3.5 million.
SIZE COMPARED WITH BELGIUM
A bit smaller.
Forested, mountainous terrain, prone to devastating earthquakes. Flora typical of the Mediterranean.
The 13th-century medieval citadel town of Gjirokastra is perched on the top of a mountain overlooking the Drino Valley in the south of the country. The streets and the houses, which have no downstairs windows, are all built of the same black and white stones. The entirety is a perfect fortress.
MOST FAMOUS CITIZEN
Although she took Indian citizenship - and her place of birth was not Albania but Macedonia - Mother Teresa of Calcutta was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, to Albanian parents.
The most widely eaten food is probably qofte, a variation of Turkish sausage.
BEST MOMENT IN HISTORY
Between 1443 and 1468, the national hero, Skanderbeg, led an extraordinary resistance against the Turks from his stronghold at Kruja. In 25 years he won 25 battles and the conquerors of Constantinople were never able to dislodge him.
WORST MOMENT IN HISTORY
The anarchy and financial collapse of 1997.
Antiseptic soap. Bear in mind that this is a country which was recently reported to have only a couple of ambulances in its capital, Tirana.
HOW TO BEHAVE
Nod when you mean "no".
HOW NOT TO BEHAVE
Don't expect anything to work.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Travelling by train, boat and plane in 2015: what's in store from ferries to winter sports services
TripAdvisor reveals the top places to visit in 2015
Chic new hotels in 2015: From Britain's first football-themed property to a Facebook millionaire's debut desert resort
Yakutsk: Journey to the coldest city on earth
Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...