Well, That’s Another One Then


So, having moved up to Edinburgh, I’m now somehow sat in a Manchester pub on a Friday afternoon waiting for everyone to finish work so the proper drinking can begin.

More interesting though, is what I did yesterday, which is book another pair of flights (on top of London next week and two trips to California later in the year). These two though, are a bit more interesting – and thankfully due to my ability to rack up airmiles, another trip in Club Europe. This time I’m flying into Tirana, Albania and then back out of Venice two and a half weeks later.

Where Russia (and especially Moscow, before I got there) was a bit scary for dropping well behind the Iron Curtain, Albania’s near terrifying, a bit because of the brand of balls out on their own stance they had during Communism, as well as the sheer difficulty that is apparently involved in leaving the place.

Aside from the airport, it seems surprisingly hard to go North (which is where I shall be going) to Montenegro. There are no international trains (and the domestic ones are “for those who can’t afford the bus” [LP]), and no cross-border buses either! It seems that it’s one bus from Tirana to Shkodra (near the border) which seems almost definitely require an overnight stay, a taxi across the border to Ulcinj (in Montenegro), then a Montenegrin bus or train from there.

But aside from that, it should be pretty cool! Following the ‘how far can I go on my airmiles?’ rule (After Russia and Turkey, which I’ve done) it was basically down to The Ukraine, Bulgaria or the Balkans, and as I left it late (and couldn’t be bothered with a Ukrainian visa) Tirana and the Balkans it is!!

Saying all this, I am quite looking forward to hitting most of (the former) Yugoslavia on the way up, although I don’t think I’ll get Macedonia or Serbia. And on top of that, I think that if I can figure out the timing, I’ll get a good bit of beach in too along the coast in a couple of countries.

In all, I think I’ll aim to hit Albania, Montenegro, maybe Dubrovnik in Southern Croatia, into Bosnia through Mostar to Sarajevo, and then back into Croatia through Zagreb. After that, Llubljana in Slovenia, which I was told a good few years ago is a gorgeous, must see city, and then out of the old bloc, through Trieste, with my flight home out of Venice.

How (or if) I’ll fit that in to the 17 odd days I’ve got booked, we’ll have to see, but one way or the other it’ll be fun finding out, and I’m looking forward to it!

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