Heroes’ cemetery

Tirana Travel Blog

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Mother of Albania

I had imagined I would leave quite early in the morning from Tirana. But instead I start talking to one of the people who is running the place I am staying. It is always a bit surreal to talk to people who lived during the communist era - life back then were just so different from anything I have been used to in my lifetime.

 

He was just a kid during the former regime - but back then when he was 10 years old he had to get up at 3 in the morning to get into the line for the milk. Then at 5 the milk would arrive but there was not enough for everybody - and at 6 in the morning all the milk would be gone. Hence you need the spot in the front part of the line. It was a bit the same with getting petroleum - which was his job to get. Not only for his own family but also for the neighbor family because they were too old to get it themselves.

 

As we are talking something happens to the ashtray - it was empty when we started talking - but by now it is almost full holding about half a pack of cigarettes buts and ashes.

Graves and Mother of Albania
It is one thing you need to get used to in Albania - everybody smokes - and not just a little bit. We are talking chain-smoking. The concept of non-smoking restaurants has not really taken of yet. In some restaurants they might have put up some no-smoking sings. But it doesn’t look like anybody knows what the signs mean and the waiter will naturally but an ashtray on your table and most locals will smoke.

 

After we talked I got convinced I should do one last piece of sightseeing in Tirana before I am leaving. I want to go to an old cemetery just south of the town. Out there are the old partisan heroes from the war buried and on top of the hill is a big statue of Mother Albania. Hoxha used to be buried here as well - after all he was the supreme comrade and he was actually also the supreme commander of the Albanian resistance during the war. But after the fall of the communism he was dug up of the ground and removed to another cemetery on the other side of the town.

 

If gets time for me to leave town and go to the bus station which is somewhere down along the river. I guess it is only a nice short walk. Or maybe not but I get there eventually.

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Mother of Albania
Mother of Albania
Mother of Albania
Mother of Albania
Graves and Mother of Albania
Graves and Mother of Albania
Mother of Albania
Mother of Albania
View from the Heroes cemetery
View from the Heroes cemetery
The stairs up to Mother of Albania
The stairs up to Mother of Albania
The defended area south of town - …
The defended area south of town -…
Tirana
photo by: EmEm