Enver Hoxha's Communist Paradise - Albania in 1975.

In May-June 1975 we went on a package holiday to Albania organised by Regent Holidays. We flew Yugoslav Airlines to Zagreb and on the next day to Tirana. We returned with an overnight stop in Belgrade. On arrival at Tirana airport, I and some others were deemed to have hair too long and it was cut by the airport barber before we were allowed in!

We stayed at the Adriatik Hotel by the sea near Durres, and went on escorted trips to other parts of the country. We weren't allowed to wander freely and were told not to go outside the hotel grounds ...

Albanian man tending coe

... so I went for a long walk into the countryside and took photos of a nice old man tending a cow (he unwrapped his headscarf for me and posed for the photo) .......

Albanian water cart
... an animal-powered water cart watering the fields ....
Albanian shepherd
... and a shepherd tending his flock. Then the walk came to an abrupt end when I was stopped and arrested by a policeman on a motorcycle, who had to flag down a lorry, tell the passengers to get out and then take us back to the hotel where the film with the rest of the pictures was confiscated.

Church bells in Durres museum

We had a half-day trip to Durres town, museum, Roman amphitheatre and a State farm. Religion was banned and the church bells were gathering dust at the back of the museum.

Enver Hoxha's picture
Meanwhile, at the State Farm Enver's picture was encouraging the tomatoes to grow.
Korca dark brooding hills

We went on a two-day trip to central Albania, through the mountains to Elbasan, Pogradec on Lake Ohrid, the Korca plateau, staying the night in Korca and returning via Tirana. These are the dark, brooding hills near Korca.

Albanian students digging road

On the way we saw 'student volunteers' repairing the road.

Tirana main square
We visited Tirana, the capital. View of the mosque and tower from the library steps in the main square.
Tirana university

Tirana University, down a wide, traffic-free road.

Shkoder castle

We went on a day trip to Shkoder in northern Albania where we climbed to the castle at the top of the hill for the fabulous views and the ruins of the church at the top.

Shkoder main street
Back in Shkoder town there was another bustling main street full of traffic.

Gjirokaster picturesque house

We went on a three-day trip to southern Albania, through Fier and Gjirokaster to Sarande where we stayed on the coast opposite Corfu, visited Butrint Roman ruins and came back through Gjirokaster. Gjirokaster has some lovely picturesque old Ottoman houses ...

Enver Hoxha's house in Gjirokaster

... including Enver Hoxha's house which is now a museum, but it was closed ...

Gjirokaster American plane
...  and a captured United States Air Force fighter plane, now a feature in the castle grounds.
Durres sunset
Back by the sea in Durres, the sunsets were spectacular.

To see our other travels, please click here ....... Globe