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At the Natural Science Museum

It’s a beautiful morning in Tirana, October, 2009. I am what is still new to me, but what I suspect could become habit, the guest of the Selimaj. The Selimaj are a fis or clan or family and without it having been stated, I am under their besa, and if you remove the old-world terminology, […]

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Back in the Balkans

Pershendetje! I’m writing this from an internet cafe in Qyteti Studenti — “Student City” in Tirana. I made it! Albania is real again, New York a weird Bladerunner-esque dream . . .

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Thinking about Traveling

I have had a stunning new realization. It’s simply this: That when I’m in New York, Albania is imaginary. And when, tomorrow, I get on those airplanes, New York will fade and become strange — just a story I tell. And for these interim days, I’m neither here nor there — existing somewhere in between. […]

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Going Back

Thursday night – next Monday I’ll be getting on a plane to fly back to Albania . . . . Why is it that anything one is passionate about so quickly becomes an esoteric exercise? I’ve been back in New York for two months now. For the first month, it was easy enough to live […]

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Full Disclosure: About your Author

My name is Catherine Bohne, and at least initially, I will be your author for this website.  I am an American woman who owns a bookstore and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York (the world).   Last January, emerging from eight exhausting years of running a struggling independent bookstore full-tilt and non-stop, I suddenly woke up, shook […]

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Welcome!

Greetings! Përshëndetje! Welcome to the online home of Hotel Rilindja and your source of information about travel to the Valbona Valley of the Albanian Highlands or Malësi, the heart of Albania’s wild “Accursed Mountains.” Pleased to meet you! Gëzohem që u njohëm! When you visit the Malësi, in addition to being warmly and enthusiastically welcomed […]

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