Monday, August 24, 2009

A GIFT FROM ALBANIA


Rosa [my cleaning lady, confidante and friend] has returned to Italy from her holiday in Albania. She had a good time, looks well and happy and was thrilled to learn that so many of you had wished her well on this blog. Rosa was as delighted to bring me this lovely gift today as I was to receive it. She tells me that her home town, the port city of Vlore [Valona in Italian] is beautiful and that the ancient tree in the foreground of the picture is a glorious sight to behold. Can you see the two-headed eagle of the Albanian flag depicted at the bottom of the tree?

I am invited to visit Albania with the family when they go next year and that is something I would really like to do. Rosa is convinced that I would like Vlore as it is a city where no one goes to bed before 5 am. I have to admit that that sounds like my kind of place!

Certainly I shall always treasure this hand-crafted gift, brought back across the Strait of Otranto by one immigrant for another with so much love.

10 comments:

Michelle said...

Very nice gift! I hope you are able to visit Albania next year. I am going to try Rosa's delicious looking polpette. I love the way she told you the recipe in general terms. It's funny how those recipes usually end up being the best ones.

James Higham said...

She's been in Albania? What did you do in the meantime?

Winchester whisperer said...

Rosa's back - hurrah!

Gledwood said...

Albania is one place I've always wanted to go... so remote, cut off, mysterious, etc ...

Channel4 did a documentary presented by Rupert Everett a few weeks ago about the romantic poet Lord BYRON.

Aparently he voyaged to Albania during his "Grand Tour" in the 18-whatevers... became great friends with the country's then chief-warlord... and is to this day an Albanian national hero!

sally in norfolk said...

so nice to receive such lovely gifts.....though i often think its as nice to give as to receive :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Michelle. I hope so, too. I agree with you - those recipes are usually the best. Rosa will be pleased to know that someone in the US is going to try her recipe! Hi, James. I managed, with Simi's help! Triple hurrahs, WW! Hi, Gleds. I wish I could have seen that documentary. I hadn't realised Byron was in Albania. Thanks for the info. Hi, Sally. I do agree. It's lovely to be able to give.

jmb said...

How lovely of Rosa and I certainly would be taking up her offer of going to Albania with her next year.

Sean said...

Rosa may also tell you that her beautiful native town, Vlora, is in serious danger today. Placed on the Eastern side of the historically important and environmentally sensitive Vlora Bay, the city faces irreparable harm due to large oil-based developments in its vicinity.
Only within one mile radius, an Italian company called La Petrolifera Italo-Rumena, has built large oil storage facilities and terminal under e permanent - I repeat - permanent concession by the [should I say corrupt ?] Albanian government. As a result, large oil Petrolifera tankers are planned twice a month to visit the Bay. Thus, the issue is not whether or not an accident will happen, but when it will happen!!
Despite massive protests from locals, the Albanian government bowed to Petrolifera's pressure and its friend, Berlusconi, thus going against the wishes of its own people for a referendum on the matter.
Similarly, the World Bank, the EBRD and EIB, financed the building of an oil-based combined cycle thermo power plant at Treport Beach, only 4 km north of the city, in one of the most beautiful, sandy, pristine beaches of the Mediterranean, and at a site which de facto is within the protected nearby Narta Lagoon area.
It should be noted that the EBRD refused a loan to La Petrolifera terminal, whereas the World Bank Inspection Panel has investigated this strange power plant.
To make a long story short, beginning this year the people of Vlora started to get the results of such a development strategy; for example, it was reported that tourism this year in Vlora Bay fell significantly.
Oh, did I forget to mention a UK-Swiss company, Zumax, which is planning to build in Vlora a super large port for tankers? And that would be right in the remaining portion of the sandy Treport Beach, and the only forested area in the Bay. What does Rosa think about all this?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Sean and welcome. That is all very interesting and thank you for the information. Rosa is not a very political person but she is certainly not naive, I don't want to upset her by mentioning what you have said but if she brings the subject up I will let you know.

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