Getting ready for my first trip to Albania, where I’ll spend several days in Gjirokastra, along with brief stops in Tirana, Durres, and Shkodra. Evliya Çelebi wrote about all of these places in the late 1600s. I’m now reading the work of a living author, Ismail Kadare. What a revelation! In particular, I hope to see the Stone City of Gjirokastra, Kadare’s birthplace, from the perspectives of multiple eras — including those of its current residents. Thank you, Fulbright Association, for organizing this trip.