What a nice start to 2016. Our New Year’s raki hangover had barely dissipated when we discovered we’d been recommended by writer Sarah Dury, who had penned a lovely article about Albania for the famously posh British weekly political and lifestyle magazine The Spectator (better known as the “Speccie” to Brits).
We’d got chatting to Sarah at our cramped stand at one of the London travel shows (we forget which one, maybe Destinations at London Olympia in 2014), so it was great that she finally managed to come out and discover Albania for herself. And it was great too that she had such a good experience, and was able to share it with her readers:
“Being interested in the wartime activities of Britain’s Special Operations Executive, I had ploughed through a lot of literature, but while this prepared me for the scale of the country-side, it had also given the impression of an unforgiving, suspicious race. The greatest delight was to discover quite the opposite: the Albanian enthusiasm for eating, dancing and music, together with telling jokes against themselves, is instantly endearing, as is their natural generosity and hospitality. ”
We think this is a pretty accurate summary of modern-day Albania. The days of Enver Hoxha’s socialist utopia are long-gone, and people are living ordinary lives without fear now. Hence the smiling faces and incredible from-the-heart hospitality – one of the most rewarding aspects of travelling here.
Our favourite comment on the way we operate: “No patter from bored guides, no beaten track, more a series of discoveries.” That sums up our tours very nicely, we think.
You can read Sarah Dury’s article at The Spectator website (no paywall, you’ll be pleased to hear). If like Sarah you have an interest in the Special Operations Executive, when we’re the guys to speak to. Drive Albania owner Ed Reeves is even supposed to be writing a book on the ill-fated SPILLWAY mission led by Brigadier “Trotsky” Davies in the winter of 1943/44.