Working the land in Thethi valley

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An estimated 60% of Albanian economy depends on agriculture. This is Europe June 10, 2013.

Picture shot at Thethi National Park in northern Albania

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Where the eagles fly..

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Looking at the picture it might seem like a walk in the park.. and actually it was in the beginning, this is Thethi National Park in northern Albania,  after a couple of hours though, the snowy precipices at altitudes close to 2000m, started to challenge us!!!

We had been playing with the idea of returning to Albania’s capital Tirana via a 16km walk over the mountains from Thethi to Valbona valley

It´s a tough trail and neither me or Erisa, my Albanian friend have got a lot of experience in mountaineering..

Furthermore the night before our adventure we received a warning sign that almost made us change our minds!  Three Polish alpinists arrived from the same path exhausted, injured and with pale faces. They told us about the very difficult conditions up there….

What made us finally decide to climb anyway was the confident face of Marash, our local guide who had made the route many times.

I´ll post the rest of the photos from this mountain crossing tomorrow. Picture above taken June 11.

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Thethi valley, a forgotten world


Isolated from the rest of the country during six months each year, due to the snow, the  locals of Thethi valley have to do some serious planning for their survival. There is no shop and no electricity available, so do not forget to buy your own toothpaste before you cross the mighty mountains surrounding Thethi.

Time seem to have frozen in this part of northern Albania. The land is cultivated by hand  or behind the horse.

Some decades ago a large part of the male population died by the 500-year-old “kanun” family feud tradition implemented by Lek Dukagjin. The last blood revenge according to a village woman, happened five years ago!

Luckily these dark age customs lately seem to have been reduced considerably and as a guest it is hard to find a place where you will be treated in a better way.