Albania is the latest Balkan country to want to join the European Union. To do so, it will have to convince Brussels it has tackled corruption and organised crime. After decades of holidaying on neighbouring Corfu, Julia Langdon took the hydrofoil to see how formerly Communist Albania was shaping up.
For 30 years I have been visiting the north-east coast of Corfu. And for all that time I have been looking at Albania, often with a shiver at what little we knew about it.
Its bare coastline and forbidding mountains seemed to represent the isolation of the country, cut off by communism for half a century, home to the mafia – the badlands of the Balkans.