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#TBT Throwback Thursday: Albanian Landscapes & Tirana (Tirane)

I never would’ve considered Albania to be a tourist/traveller destination if it wasn’t for a Contiki Tour I signed up for in 2007.

I stayed at Tirana (Albania’s capital city) for one night as part of a stopover. There are three things I distinctly remember about the drive to and from Tirana (Tirane).

1. Hundreds of thousands of concrete bunkers – over 700,000 in fact – scattered across the country, thanks to the nearly forty-year leadership of Socialist ruler Enver Hoxha of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania.

Bunkers near Butrinti, Albania. Image: Lukasz Duleba, Flickr.

Bunkers near Butrinti, Albania. Image: Lukasz Duleba, Flickr.

2. Cluttered neighbourhoods and shoddily built apartment buildings that appear abandoned, with satellite dishes protruding from every window.

3. Rural landscapes 

Digital cameras weren’t so great back then and I wish I had taken better photos, especially the bunkers as those were just eerie to look at. Also because Tirana was only a stop over, I didn’t really get to explore the city as much as I wanted to. Being on an organised tour means if the bus is delayed (which it was), then you tend to lose major exploring time.

Writing this post made me want to add Visit more Abandoned Wonders of the World to my overflowing bucketlist.

I would love to return to Albania one day to spend a few days. For now, click on the links below to find out more.

Albania opens huge Cold War bunker

Bunkers of Albania

Albania Opens Top Secret Cold War Nuclear Bunker To Public

Images from Albania – This one was written in 1993 but John Burger gives a detailed account of Albania a few years ago.

Have you been to Albania? What was the highlight for you?

Featured Image: Feature Image: Flickr MatHelium and inset bunker image Lukasz Duleba – both under Creative Commons license agreement


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