Bunkering with Hoxha

Read / lees in : Nederlands

Tirana / Albania
Nowadays they pose as bench, museum or love nest.

I had had my share of socializing for a while so I drove on from Macedonia to Albania. ‘Only criminals there’, I heard from my friends and family. And they should know. ‘Great’, I thought to myself. So I really expected to leave there stripped of everything in no-time at all. And to be honest I knew basically nothing about Albania. It used to be a very isolated country where tourist where not too welcome, just like in North Corea you could say. Another similarity between North Corea and Albania is the fact that in their communist era they only maintained relationships with China. De Soviet Union and Yugoslavia weren’t true believers of the communist doctrine according to Enver Hoxha, the local presidictator. But that friendship didn’t last either, in ’76 they cut their ties with the Chinese as well. After that they established relationships with France, Belgium and of course the Netherlands, because [check out why later]. And about human rights too they were thinking in Albania just like they do today in North Corea.

Valbona / Albania
Whilst hiking you stumble upon those bunkers too.

Socialism the greatest thing ever

I know all this because I went to two bunkers turned musea in the capital city of Tirana. Because (again) just like in North Corea Enver was like the Kim’s scared to death that the country would be invaded by the imperialists from the big bad west, Yugoslavia ánd the Warsaw pact. That’s why he ordered to build a staggering 175.000 bunkers across the country. Most of them are really just firing pits made of reinforced concrete, but a number were built to protect the people leaders in case of a nuclear attack. And two of those (one with no less then five levels underground) have been renovated and turned into a museum. I had horrible flashbacks from my visit to North Corea. They spied on everybody and his mother and tortured people (m/f/other) until they confessed to something so they could be either executed, deported or convicted to forced labour.

Dhermi / Albania
Floating around enjoying the mountain views.


Fortunately a lot has changed since then. Nowadays you can go there without a visa in your own car. It’s safe, cheap and the roads are excellent. Hotels and restaurants are of our standards and the people are friendly. On top of that you can do some great hiking in the beautiful mountains, of visit roman ruins and old castles. Also you can have yourself castrated in one of the many drive-through clinics and recover on the gorgeous beaches. While I was lying on the beach in Dhermi, baked, I was thinking about North Corea again. Hopefully we can do all this over there too in a couple of years. We’ll start with Kim’s nuts.

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