Happy Independence Day, Albania!

Hi, Guys! I hope you’re all coming out of your turkey-induced comas so you can read this blog. I am making my way home from Tirana, Albania today. I’ll write about and post pictures from my trip as soon as I can (have you been following along with me on Instagram?).

In the meantime, I thought I would share a few facts about Albania. Geography is not a particular strength of mine and up until a few years ago, I had no idea where Albania was. (But now I’ve been there!) If you are similarly geographically challenged, here is a map:

tirana-map

Today, Albania is celebrating its independence. Here is some more information on that (pulled from the CIA World Factbook):

“Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy.”

Another thing I find interesting about Albania is that it was once an officially atheist country. Here is a Newsweek article, if you want to learn more about religion in Albania today. I thought I read somewhere that Albania was, at one time, the only country ever to become officially atheist, but after a quick Google search I couldn’t find anything reliable to back that up.

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