Horrible, but

Four Russians found dead at Albanian resort

Sauna goes wrong, asphyxiation. Horrible.

And the immediate thing that popped into my mind was something entirely different. Yes, OK, Albania, Adriatic. Coastal Croatia is lovely just to the north, so is Corfu just south. Mountains and wine dark sea and all that, why not resorts?

And yet, I’m old enough to find this very jarring. All that commie and socialism stuff. Iron Curtain etc. And Albania was deranged even by the standards of that nonsense.

What, resorts in Albania? No, don’t be silly – ah, hmm, perhaps the world really has changed in this lifetime?

19 thoughts on “Horrible, but”

  1. In the 1990s, without the enlightened leadership of Our Enver, Albania became a Gangster State. The entire economy was run as a Ponzi scheme. Sort of lost track since, pethaps the Russians have bought it, like they have Malta and Cyprus.

  2. I like a conspiracy theory as much as if not more than the next kremlinologist so this is simply too good a story for a mere “Horrible”. The sauna goes wrong and its door cannot be opened and “all hotel staff questioned by police” suggests that at least one of these people was not on Vlad’s Christmas card list.

  3. A more despicable nation of people I have yet to meet (and that includes the ME conflicts). If that weapon in the new Bond movie ever becomes reality Albania would be a good place to start.

  4. I work with a young lass from Albania – even she says that the coast is wonderful but there’s just nothing; no resorts, no hotels, no restaurants, nothing

  5. It doesn’t seem to be Vlad’s (like any other gangster capo) style to assassinate in a way that looks as though it may have been accidental. Ricin, Polonium and Novichok seem to be the preferred methods – used to send a signal to others who might be thinking of making a nuisance of themselves.

  6. Mate of mine- early 2000s bought a couple of off plan bulgarian holiday flats. I thought he was bonkers. But it was one of those things – on the coast and 40 mins to the ski resorts. Worked out well but still a gamble. Oh yes and he was the one who then bought a berlin apartment – which came complete with fixed rent and tenant for life (3o years. Again bonkers but it worked well.

  7. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    Past-peak Graun is a link on that page, to an article from 2020, about how Albanians should stop tearing down statues of their former communist overlords.

  8. @ Bloke in Powys

    The new Bond movie.

    Without giving anyway the plot to anyone who might be thinking of going.

    The ending. Oh, come on. Really?

    Overall I wasn’t hugely impressed. Action good, plenty of gratuitous violence, not enough gratuitous sex, didn’t really get behind the idea of the baddie. What was his back story? How did he get his money? It can’t be cheap having a fleet of 4x4s and motorbikes and an army of expendable goons.

  9. Yeah, I always find the spear carriers in Bond movies less than credible. What does the job description say? “Easy hours. Clothes, accommodation provided. You will be expected to take your turn to fire your weapon in direction of foreign agent taking care to miss, then allow him to kill you, preferably in a spectacular manner. No pension rights or insurance are attached to this employment. This is an equal opportunity position but preference will be given to heavily muscled white men with metal teeth.”

  10. Resorts in Albania? Well, Adriatic coast line, nearly as warm as Greece, dirt cheap because Albania was by far the poorest country in Europe in the early 90s (replaced by Moldova which is still run by Communists) and is still low-wage – less than one-third of Greece next-door and less than one-seventh of UK (both at nominal exchange rates). So if you want a cheap holiday …
    The idea of a sauna on the Adeiatic coast seems a bit odd to me – you’re supposed to roll in the snow outside the sauna half-way through.

  11. TMB – something on the coals? In the water? Taken up in the steam?

    Devilish indeed.

    May be this case requires the careful attention of Benoit Blanc.

  12. I took a boat from Corfu to Sarande in Albania for a day trip a few years ago. It is a staggeringly beautiful area, but I was disappointed that my taxi driver claimed not to have heard of either Norman Wisdom or John Belushi.

  13. @D McD:

    Do they have ricin doughnuts in Albania?

    I’ve long been convinced that it was the cherry pie that did for Laura Palmer, so there’s a possible connection there, perhaps.

  14. Tim the Coder has it right, I think. A wood / gas / petrol fired sauna. Anywhere a bit more modern uses leccy.
    Dozens of people die every year from dodgy boilers. (Not all of them killed by their wives.) The only external sign is redness of the skin, which you would consider normal in a sauna.
    Because the CO binds to haemoglobin there is no respiratory distress. I’m surprised it’s not used at Dignitas.

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