If you're looking for a post about Cait Riley, click here

Want new Blog posts sent to you automatically when the Blog is updated? Enter your email address & click the GO button. I won't spam you.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Albania under Communism 1987

It was dark and raining. Behind us, the brightly lit Yugoslav border post, ahead a track heading towards a faint light that we hoped was Albania. About half way, the border guards materialised out of the bushes. I could tell that's what their job was by the grey uniforms, caps with a red star, dark glasses and guns on their backs. They did smile though.

 That was 1987, when communism and the "cold war" were real. In 2008, I found the photo album again….

This sign greeted us in the customs shed. We were also asked to declare any religious or pornographic literature

 One of the guides told us that we may have heard that we wouldn't be able to wander around freely but assured us this was untrue. Next morning in Shkodra, I tried this out. People easily identified me as a foreigner because of me clothes and when I got out my camera they were sure. They were still very shy and very few actually came up to talk to anyone in the group.

The party was everywhere... were the leaders.

This was the grave of Enver Hoxa who died in 1985 having ruled the country since the end of the Second World War. I hear his body has been removed to a humbler resting place now.

Transport was basic with few cars

They were proud there was no unemployment in Albania. Here, someone has a job weighing people and discretely writing down the kilogrammes on a piece of paper.

Keeping the streets clean

A foreign currency shop in Tirane. Local people gathered in the evening to marvel at the goods on display.

A greengrocers shop near the centre of the capital, Tirane

Outside the cities we caught a glimpse of the largely unmechanised agriculture.


In the museum in Kruja, a statue to Skenderbeg, a national hero from way before the communist era. He fought the Turks.

Street scene in Durres, the major port.


Tirane street scenes

Looking towards the University

Albania became an officially atheist state in the 1960s. Note the derelict mosque in the background

A medieval bridge

 A giant mosaic on a museum in Tirane

1 comment:

Conor Owens said...

Very interesting pictures from the most repressive country in Europe since the war. Such a fascinating visit this must have been, would love to know more. Thanks for posting.