Valbonë, Shqiperise (Albania) – Surrounded by Unbelievably Pristine Nature

14 September 2016

Pristine aquamarine

When I sailed past Albania in 1972, I was told the ship had to keep a clear birth of its coastline. “They will fire on us,” a Greek shipmate said. Cranky Albania was still isolated, Communist, and anti-social in 1972. I didn’t know Dictator Hoxha had built 750,000 bunkers to defend a country the size of Maryland – that’s a bunker every 40 acres, a bunker per family. All of that has changed, though the bunkers remain. With little fanfare, hardly a glance at my passport, and little more than five minutes and I am in Albania. And for the next 95 miles, I am introduced to what must be one of the most isolated, beautiful, and pristine areas in the world.  (more…)