Propagation on 10m today is as good as I can remember. I made a few nice contacts using SSB including Japan, India and Bahrain. I heard several Chinese stations as well but have yet to work one.
Not really DX but a new country for me was Albania, in the shape of Dik, ZA1E. Decades ago as a teenaged short wave listener I remember hearing Radio Tirana, a huge signal on 7.065MHz, smack in the middle of the 40m phone band. I wonder whether anyone ever listened to its broadcasts? They were pure anti-capitalist tirades read by a woman announcer who sounded like she had a beard and no sense of humour. They actually used phrases like “capitalist running dogs” if I remember correctly. At least Radio Moscow tried to make life on the other side of the iron curtain sound attractive.
I don’t think there was any ham radio activity in communist Albania and there still aren’t all that many hams there now so I was pleased to work Dik for a new one.
Nice job, Juilian. Yes, hamming was very rare in ZA-land, although there were one or two guest operators over the years. I had the pleasure of visiting Albania a few years ago, taking a day trip on the ferry from Corfu to Saranda. My wife and I visited the Roman ruins, walked around town a bit, and bought a few souvenirs. I understand conditions have improved since then, but at the time it was a poor place and the people were still trying to figure out how to manage after decades of top-down control. For example, the women selling me lace bid each other down. I suggested they form a cooperative and agree on a decent price. Nobody had ever heard of that. Here’s hoping for a brighter future, and more DX from that fascinating land.