22-23 July, 2011
Gjirokastra, city of a thousand steps.
You knew there would be a castle on a hill, right…This one is particularly spooky. Parts were used as a prison in Ottoman times, and by the Nazis and Communists. The Hanged Women sculpture depicts two local victims of the Nazis. The aircraft shell was a trainer jet that got into difficulties and landed near here in 1957. The pilot was returned to USA but the plane was kept as a Cold War trophy. The Cold War Tunnel was a large underground complex of tunnels and rooms designed to serve as a refuge for the Communist leadership. I peeked inside, past the rubbish strewn just inside the door. It was dark, so I used my torch and proceeded down the corridor and for a couple more turns. I pocketed the padlock on the door first, in case someone came and locked up. But they might have had a spare, so I did not stick around to explore. The last breakfast pic shows a pot of mulberry tea. The guy in the family pic had invited me to have a shot of his home made raki as I walked past his house in the old bazaar area.