CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2011
Ramiz Alia Albania's last communist leader Ramiz Alia, 85, who was Albania's last communist president and is credited with opening to democracy one of the world's most isolationist political systems, died Friday of lung complications, an Albanian official announced. He assumed leadership of the Albanian Communist Party in 1985 after the death of his longtime friend, dictator Enver Hoxha. After a series of massive student protests, Alia introduced political and economic reforms that paved the way for the country's first free elections in 1991.
February 7, 2010 |
Somewhere on Earth there must be a cheaper, easier, more exotic cruise, packed with even more beautiful sights and filled with more history, providing even tastier food, but for now, I'm happy to settle on this one: Ionian Cruises' daily excursion from Corfu, Greece, to Sarande, Albania. How cheap is it? Thirty-eight euros (about $55) for the round-trip boat ride, 19 euros (about $27) for a shore excursion that includes a fabulous buffet lunch. That's about $82 for an enchanting day in Albania, an additional dollar if you want a big glass of wine with your lunch.
February 7, 2010 |
If you go THE BEST WAY TO SARANDE AND BUTRINT The only daily cruises to Albania sail from the northern Greek island of Corfu. Communications are quirky in Corfu; my ATT cellphone, with a built-in GSM chip for Europe, worked perfectly in Athens and Santorini but not at all in Corfu. The safest way to buy tickets is to visit the head office of Ionian Cruises, a 15-minute walk from the heart of Corfu, and buy them with cash. Credit-card fraud is rampant throughout Greece. Seats are available even during the peak summer season a day in advance and often on the morning of the cruise.
March 19, 2009 |
The senior U.S. diplomat in Albania and his staff have been cleared of allegations that they were involved in covering up the illegal source of ammunition shipped to Afghanistan by an American military contractor, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday. Justice Department officials have informed the State Department's inspector general that U.S. Ambassador John Withers and five other members of the embassy team are not targets or subjects of an investigation, spokesman Robert Wood said.
February 18, 2009 |
Ismail Kadare is, in many ways, among the most problematic of major writers in contemporary Western letters. But that shouldn't prevent readers from savoring "The Siege" for what it is, a significant work by an important, fascinating author. Though he works completely within the context of the West's mainstream 20th century literature, Kadare's perspective is that of a writer preoccupied with the themes and history of his native land, Albania.
February 8, 2009 |
Once Europe's most forbidding coast, this sparkling stretch of the Ionian Sea is slowly revealing lost treasures that date back 2,500 years and shipwrecks from ancient times. Over the last two summers, a research ship carrying U.S. and Albanian experts has combed the waters off southern Albania inch by inch, using scanning equipment and submersible robots to seek ancient wrecks. In what organizers say is the first archaeological survey of Albania's seabed, at least five sites were located, which could fill in blanks on ancient shipbuilding techniques.