Red Corner: Albania’s Bad Rap

Albania doesn’t exactly have the same reputation for travelers as a place like Italy or France. Those who tend to visit, however, come back with glowing reviews. Well, most of them do anyway. We posted a few months ago about a piece by A. A. Gill who basically ripped the country apart.

For those of us who have visited this wonderful country, his article not only disappointed, but angered as well.

The most recent rebuttal to the “disservice” Gill has heaped upon Albania comes to us from Alex Wade writing for The Independent. Wade, who has visited the country four times, passionately defends Albania and fondly reminisces about…

sitting on a veranda in Gjirokaster, sipping a glass of raki, watching the sun set on the Lunxheria mountains. I think of swimming in the glistening Ionian sea, drinking coffee in Tirana, wandering among the exquisite ruins of Butrint.

Wade accomplishes what all good travel writing does: it inspires the reader to pack his bags and visit some far off land. Gill’s piece unfortunately did the opposite. Sure, Albania is challenging and not the ideal vacation locale for everyone, but those willing to rough it a bit will be extraordinarily rewarded.