Saturday 2 to Saturday 9 March
Albania was off-limits in our travelling days of the 1970s – a colourless part of Europe that no-one knew anything about. As we travelled down the beautiful Adriatic coast, by road or by boat in old Yugoslavia, we were forced to turn inland to reach Greece.
So this off-limits country created a sense of curiosity. If any news popped up you would focus on it, about closed borders, extreme poverty and dictatorial leadership.
In recent years I had seen articles about tourism in Albania, so we were drawn to one of the newest destinations available.
We entered the country from Kosovo and found history, old and new in Krujë and Tiranë. From there we journeyed to Berat in the centre, Gjirokastër in the Dirno Valley and the seaside resort of Sarandë. From there we crossed the Straits of Corfu to Corfu.
On the Mediterranean side of the Albanian Alps we found milder weather and a wealth of stories.
And the very red Albanian flag.