After being a closed state for over 40 years, Albania is now a must see on any European travellers itinerary. Declared by Lonely Planet in 2011 as the number 1 place to see in the world, Albania has recovered from that albatross around its neck and powered on to be a quirky, must see destination.
The people of Albania are still curious, the prices are still affordable and the transport system is evolving to the point where it is still adventurous, but can get you where you want to go.
Whether it be a long weekend getaway or a full blown adventure across the entire country, Albania will deliver. Having travelled through Albania and sampled its uniqueness and history, as well as a large dose of its cuisine, we hope after your visit to The Travel Room’s Albania, you too will be inspired to venture into this formerly lost land.
The domed shaped concrete bunker is as synonymous with Albania as the hot dog is with the USA or a cup of tea is with the English. Following a programme of bunkerisation that commenced in 1967 the entire country was dotted with these concrete behemoths, to the point that there was a bunker for every four citizens, a staggering 700,000. This programme continued until the death of Enver Hoxha in 1985, upon which, the bunkers fell into disrepair, never once having been used to defend Albanian soil.
Ironically in their obsolescence, the bunker have become a symbol of the new Albania with bunker souvenirs and bunker related photos being popular with almost every traveller. It is even stated that more Albanians have lost their virginity in a bunker than almost any other structure.
Travel through Albania and you will definitely see bunkers, you will definitely have a photo taken with one and you will also see bunkers that have been converted into houses, pizza ovens, works of art and even homes for animals.
But thanks to both scrap reclamation and a desire to remove these ugly reminders of Hoxha’s paranoia, the number of bunkers is slowly diminishing. So make sure you get to Albania for your bunker fix soon, before it’s too late!
Click on any photo to start the bunker slideshow.