Albanians are survivors, there are more of the population living outside the country than inside. My first introduction to Albanians was in Loutro, Crete, where I met Goni & Kela. They have become special friends, and that first connection has served to underpin my friendship with Albania and its people.

Visiting this year in March has enabled me to spend time with some of those Albanian friends who I know from the Sfakia area of SW Crete. Bio, Mondi and Spiro treated me to a most glorious lunch in the most out of the way eating place I could imagine. Full of Albanian men, eating and drinking! – not the most pc of places, but such a delight! The meal started with ash trays being set on the table, and then for nearly four hours, dish after dish of Albanian food was put before us, and I lost count of the litre carafes of red wine – what a treat. Albanians truly are a most hospitable nation.