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  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 1 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    While no one was looking, Albania transformed itself into a destination with considerable appeal for American tourists. Reporter Nadine Godwin traveled to the country recently for a first-hand look at its appeal. Shown here, colorful buildings in Albania's capital city, Tirana.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 2 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The Albanian Alps as seen from the four-lane highway from Kosovo to Tirana.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 3 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Many buildings on Tirana's outskirts are brightly colored, a direct reflection of a campaign to brighten the city center with paint.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 4 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The Albania National Museum, on Skanderbeg Square in Tirana.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 5 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The Enver Hoxha Museum is eyed for dismantling in 2011, 20 years after the downfall of communism.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 6 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The Ethem Bey Mosque on Skanderbeg Square in Tirana.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 7 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Tirana government buildings constructed between 1929 and 1931 by Italian architects.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 8 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The Palace of Culture on Skanderbeg Square in Tirana.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 9 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Statue of Albanian hero Skanderbeg in the capital of Tirana.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 10 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Aggressive building has brought glistening modern construction to the once-drab capital of Europe's most rigidly communist country.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 11 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    A high-rise building sits well back from a central city boulevard, with a tranquil park in the foreground.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 12 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Many of Tirana's socialist-era buildings have been brightly painted, an initiative of Mayor Edi Rama.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 13 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    A skyscraper under construction next to one of Tirana's older but brightly painted buildings.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 14 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    View of Tirana's cityscape, with the mountains that form a backdrop for the city.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 15 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Signage for a Tirana university (UFO stands for Universitas Fabrefacta Optime), with apartment buildings in the background.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 16 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Souvenir sellers set up on the roadside in Kruja, Albania.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 17 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Kruja's Ottoman bazaar caters nowadays to tourists.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 18 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The bazaar, minaret and mountains create an evocative image for Kruja in Albania.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 19 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    In Kruja, tile-roofed, white plaster houses with their signs of life: laundry on the line and a chaos of electrical wires.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 20 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Ethnographic museum in Kruja, Albania.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 21 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    The medieval-style Skanderbeg Museum in Kruja.

  • Albania: Europe's last secret - 22 of 22

    Albania: Europe's last secret

    Skanderbeg Museum in Kruja, with souvenir sellers in the foreground.

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