Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Shoffing, shopping and farewells...

As Monday would be Lydia's last full day in Elbasan and Albania Lydia had a look at some of the sights of Elbasan. We went to the Ethnographic Museum, which sounds a bit dry, but is in fact a wonderful old Ottoman house that would have been lived in by a wealthy family. The ground floor was used for making crafts such as weaving carpets or clothes as on this loom.

The house has several large rooms on the first floor, a mans room, the womens room, the main bedroom and also this large airy balcony where the family would sit out during the summer heat.

This beautiful silk blouse with silver thread patterns is one of the many items on display. It is every bit as beautiful as it looks and is very fine to feel.

This baby's cradle indicates you are in the womens room with low seating all round the room as you can see behind the cradle.

Here are Lydia and Ann looking out from the balcony. They both thought they could happily own a house like this as a summer residence!

I should have reaslised from the outset that with 2 women there would bound to be some (a lot)of shoffing and shopping! Shoffing is the Albanian word for window shopping.

Lydia and Ann would disappear only to be found in yet another bag/shoe/jewellery/clothes shop. Here we are in a coffee shop, selling ground coffee, that only opened that morning! We were offered a cup of Turkish coffee each, to taste the coffee, before we duly bought some at a fraction of the cost in the UK. The young woman serving us had just returned from 4 years in Campden, London.

The evening was spent having a wonderful meal at the home of Ilir and Rudina and their 3 daughters. We talked and talked as Rudina and Ilir prepared the meal.

Sadly time comes for farewells, and after the meal Lydia said her goodbyes and away we returned to our apartment. A sound nights sleep, if one is not woken by the call to prayer at 5.20 am from the mosque next to the apartment, and then time for Lydia to pack her bags and us get the furgon for Tirana. Shaban, ever graciously, met us in Tirana and took us to the airport. Here we meet with Robert Cook from Lezhe also returning to the UK to see his parents over Easter. We all had lunch together and caught up on news and then it was time for us to say goodbye to Lydia and express our real heartfelt thanks for her coming to Albania. I know Lydia has made many friends here already even in so short a time.

For us, then back the way we came over the mountains to Elbasan with another exciting week ahead of us.

Love to you all,

Ken and Ann

1 comment:

  1. We love reading your blogs - it gives us a real insight. As I was reading Philippians this morning, I thought that Paul would have called that his `blog'. "Grace and peace to you". Our prayers and love are with you. Anita & Maurie