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Albania - Accursed Mountains


Accursed Mountains is a chain of mountains that stretch between Montenegro, Kosovo and Albanian border. In Montenegrin/Serbian and Albanian, the name means "cursed mountains", possibly because they are perceived as unsurmountable and wild.

Albanians also call it Alpet Shqiptare, meaning 'Albanian Alps'), the most inaccessible part of Albania, even during Ottoman Empire this area remained unconquered. People who live in small villages are completely cut off from the rest of the world for months due to the very heavy snow.

In this part of Albania, the common law, so called Kanon, still exists. The term comes from Greek and means 'rule, measure' . “Blood revenge” also exists here and has unspoken but highly valued rules, together with “Sworn virgin” phenomenon..

Many migrants ways lead through this area, which is one of the poorest areas in Europe. I took that (migrant) journey across the mountains in summer/autumn 2011.