Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sweet Tirana


19th and 20th of October, Tirana and Elbasan

I enjoyed Albania. Just posting a few sloppy photos - I have many more but no time to post creatively. Albania is interesting and underrated. Visit - you will really enjoy.

(In Tirana stay at the Antigone Hotel)

John Belushi was Albanian - sweet Albania remember him...

At the National Historic Museum, Tirana.

At the National Historic Museum, Tirana.

At the National Historic Museum, Tirana.

At the National Historic Museum, Tirana.

At the National Historic Museum, Tirana.

Radek Sanda and Vasso at the National Historic Museum, Tirana.

Food is like Greece, but costs much cheaper.

Vasso shoots and posts on instagram.

Everywhere you go, people speak Greek, and many nice acquaintances are easily made. 




Tirana! bilingual Albanian - Greek!!! (Never seen anything like this in any Balkan country).

In Tirana we met this Italian couple with their black parrot...really weird. 



Tirana! Colourful: mix of religions.

International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management - Alblakes 3 

Here... I'm trying to explain that my name has some kind of Albanian root (Zog = Bird). So why I am talking about fish?

Apostolos Apostolou: One of the best Ichthyologists in Bulgaria. Representing Bulgaria (but he's Greek, from Volos). 

Ermelinda Gjeta, Albanian botanist: Discusses floral records from a National Park. 

Sukru Dursan from Turkey. I told him how much I like "Giaour Ismir".

I was very happy to meet Professor Jonathan Titus from SUNY, New York.  

Albanian macrozoobenthos expert, Bledar Pepa. 

Elbasan Fortress with Radek, Vasso and Erica.

Devoll River and a dam near Gramsh Albania

October 22nd 2017. Post conference field trip

Field trip after the conference in Elbasan (Central Albania). Lots of Kosovar beer, raki, fine red wine. Ok.

Posting some snap-shots now, with good company, including the best ichthyologists and hydrobologists and nicest uni students in town. What a relief to be away in such an exotic country. The only country in the world where people will speak Greek back to you. And the hospitality is as good - or better- as Turkey...I am coming back to search for my relatives-ancestors maybe of the Zog family (the royal family) up in the north.

Thank you to all my wonderful colleagues and friends from University of Elbasan "Aleksander Xhuvani" and the Agricultural University of Tirana.

Beer from Kosovo. 


Alluvial filtration in the braided river up/stream of Gramsh. Devoll River (The fish Oxynoemacheilus pindus is common here).

Devoll River upstream of Gramsh.

Italian professor Genuario Belmonte from Lecce, Jonathan Titus from New York, Sotir Mali from Elbasan, Dean of Biology Dept. Elbasan University. 

Professor Sotir Mali, one of the nicest people in Albania.


Squalius platyceps (some kind of chub) in the Devoll reservoir (I'm serious).

Devoll reservoir (look at the amazing new roads in Albania!!!).

Me and my Constantinople girl. 

My best friend in Albania, Ichthyologist Prof. Spase Shumka from Tirana.

Thistles in the Autumn sun in Albania.

Chicken and Turkeys at the pazar on the outskirts of Elbasan. 

A wild Geranium (or Erodium) in Albania.

Echium italicum (i think) near the Devoll Reservoir downstream of Gramsh.
The new Dam.

Huge quantities of silt in the river bed at the head of the Devoll reservoir. Silt concentrates here due to the base level change caused by the new reservoir.

Upstream of Gramsh.

The silt. Oh the silt. Silt...Oh...

Lots of Arundo donax in Albania (foreground).

Huge new lake. The new Dam. We discussed the impacts. 

I liked Gramsh. Gramsh...

The river upstream of the industrial area of Elbasan (12 species of fish here).