Photos from Albania

 

In the Alpet Shqiptare, the Albanian Alps

Bajram Curri, in Albania's north east, close to the border with Kosovo, is a small town of about 10,000 people near Fierze, 15 kilometres from the Drin or Lake Komani ferry terminal of Bregluma. It is the centre of the Tropoja region. It used to be called Kolgecaj; this region resisted the communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha in the early fifties. People of Tropoja itself, 13 kilometres further north east and 7 kilometres from the border, were displaced and settled here in 1952. Kolgecaj was then renamed Bajram Curri, after the great Albanian nationalist, born in Gjakova (now in Kosovo) who lived from 1862 to 1925. He played a leading role, from the League of Peja (now in Kosovo) in 1898 onwards, fought against the Greeks when they tried to take over the country in 1917 and in 1920 against insurgents during an attempted pro-Serbian coup. He was an opponent of fellow tribal leader Ahmed Zogu, later King Zog I, and led many bloody encounters against him. Sentenced to death by King Zog in 1922, he was pinned down in Dragobi Cave, 15 kilometres from the present town, by Zog's police and was gunned down, fighting to the end, pistol in hand, surrounded by his loyal followers. A large bronze statue of Bajram Curri now stands in the town that bears his name.

A dirt road follows the narrow Valbona river to the village of Valbona, 22 kilometres to the northwest in the Alpet Shqiptare, the Albanian Alps, the wild mountains along the Kosovo and Montenegrin borders. There are views of the river, the Lumi i Valbonës, with its rapids, snowcapped mountains, small farms, herd of goats led along the road. The road leads through the small mountain villages Margegaji, Shoshani and Dragobi: the site of the cave where Bajram Curri was gunned down.


Statue of Bajram Curri
Statue of Bajram Curri

Outskirts of Bajram Curri
Outskirts of Bajram Curri

View from Bajram Curri
View from Bajram Curri

Lumi i Valbon√ęs
Lumi i Valbon√ęs

Cliff, Valbona river
Cliff, Valbona river

Herding goats
Herding goats

Lumi Valbona
Lumi Valbona

Water mill
Water mill

Old mill along the river
Old mill along the river

Boy on the cliffs
Boy on the cliffs

Cliffs near Dragobi
Cliffs near Dragobi

Dragobi village
Dragobi village

Albanian Alps near Dragobi
Albanian Alps near Dragobi

Snow peaks, Alpet Shqiptare
Snow peaks, Alpet Shqiptare

Cliff along the river
Cliff along the river

Tunnel, Valbona river
Tunnel, Valbona river

From the bridge
From the bridge

Bajram Curri outskirts
Bajram Curri outskirts

Bajram Curri mural
Bajram Curri mural

Election poster
Election poster

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