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Cities Albania  
Country information country code: AL
continent: Europe
capital: Tirana
languages: Albanian

EU membership: no
NATO membership: yes

GSM: 900/1800
GPS: 41 00 N, 20 00 E
electricity: 220V/50Hz

Albanian Lek: ALL
1ALL = 0.010 USD
1ALL = 0.008 EUR

phone code: +355-4

Travel advices and warnings Albania
Tourism Tourism in Albania is characterized by the archaeological heritage inherited from Greek, Roman and Ottoman times, unspoiled beaches, challenging mountain ranges, Cold War artifacts, unique traditions, unequivocal hospitality, delicious traditional cuisine, and the wild and peculiar atmosphere of the countryside. Although still underdeveloped, tourism has seen an impressive increase in recent years. Lonely Planet recently ranked Albania as the no. 1 destination to be visited in 2011. The majority of tourists is made up of Albanians coming from Albania itself, Kosovo, and Macedonia, and expats from Greece, and Italy.
Education The education system in Albania is secular. The literacy rate for the total population, age 9 or older, is about 94%. Elementary education is compulsory (grades 1–9), but most students continue at least until a secondary education (grades 10–12). Students must successfully pass graduation exams at the end of the 9th grade and at the end of the 12th grade in order to continue their education. There are about 5000, mostly public, schools throughout the country and the academic year is divided into two semesters. The school year begins in September and finishes in late May or early June.
Culture The Albania culture has Greek, Roman, Italian, Byzantine, Turkish and Slavic influences.

Art - Painting was strongly influenced by Byzantine art between the V and the XV century, although by the end of the early Renaissance, between the XV and XVII centuries, the Italian influence was very strong. Paintings of religious images were created in the middle of the XVIII century and continued to be common until the XX century. Artists of the XX century, like Vangjush Mijo and Androniqi Zenge, introduced impressionism to the west. Odhise Paskal, another artist of the XX century made sculptures of Albanian heroes. The folkloric art of nowadays includes clothes decorated with ornaments of silver, wood pieces made by hand for domestic use and carpets of wool.
Cuisine The cuisine of Albania is uniquely influenced by Turkish, Greek, and Italian cuisines. Every region in Albania has its own unique dishes. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of various mediterranean herbs such as Oregano, Black Pepper, Mint, Basilico, Rosemary and more in cooking meat and fish. Olive oil and butter is also a main ingredient in different dishes.
In Albania, meat (lamb, pork, cow, rabbit and chicken) is used heavily in various dishes in most of the country. Seafood specialties are also common in the coastal areas such as Durrës, Vlorë, Shkoder, Lezhe and Sarandë.
Vegetables are used in almost every dish. Usually, Albanian farmers grow every vegetable present in the Mediterranean region and sell them at the local Farmers Market. Vegetables are brought fresh at the Farmers Market early in the morning and this market is opened everyday.
The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, which usually consists of gjellë, the main dish of slowly cooked meat, and a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives. The salad is dressed with olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
Language Albanian (gjuha shqipe, pronounced [ˈɟuha ˈʃcipɛ], or shqip Albanian pronunciation: [ʃcip]) is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7. 6 million people, [1] primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro and southern Serbia. Additionally, speakers of Albanian can be found elsewhere throughout Italy and Greece resulting from a modern diaspora, originating from the Balkans, that also includes Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil, Canada and the United States

Tirana, Albania

Tuesday 5, December

From wikipedia about Albania

Albania (, Shqipëri/Shqipëria, Gheg Albanian: Shqipnia /Shqypnia), officially known as the Republic of Albania (Republika e Shqipërisë, pronounced ; Gheg Albanian: Republika e Shqipnísë), is a country in Southeast Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.
Albania is a member of the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.

Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to approximately 600, 000 of the country's 3, 000, 000 people. 's list of ten top countries to visit for 2011.
Description above from the Wikipedia, licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.
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Albania, Tirana