hidden europe 1

The streets with no names

by hidden europe


a navigational dilemma in the Albanian capital Tirana

Arriving in the Albanian capital Tirana not long ago, I went into the excellent English language bookshop on Skanderbeg Square and bought a new city map. My old streetplan was a historical relic, dating back as it did to the Enver Hoxha period, and I sensed that its value as an aide to urban navigation might have been eclipsed by the political changes of the last decade. The new map looked much more promising. It came from a company called ARBA, and its front cover offered a fine view of Skanderbeg Square at sunset, the minaret on the Mosque of Et'hem Bey neatly catching the last rays of the sun.

But on opening the map, something was amiss, for over half the roads were unnamed.

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