If you ever wanted to indulge your conspiracy theories, Albania is a great place to do it.
The mountainous little country looks out to the heel of Italy’s boot, and for the last century, has played out as a field for war, foreign occupation and annexation, and the enactment of fantasies of next-level paranoid dictators.
Its capital, Tirana, is a mishmash of architecture ranging from Bronze-age fortress to Ottoman-era mosques and Soviet Brutalist monuments. But the contemporary symbol of Albanian architecture is no skyscraper or soaring minaret: it’s its bunkers.
My story about Albania’s Communist-era bunkers and the grisly House of Leaves, a museum of secret surveillance, shows a dark side to this beautiful Balkan country.
If you’re keen to read more about travelling in the Balkans, take a look at my earlier story about travelling in the lands of honey and blood.