Thursday, 8 November 2007

Pilgrimage from Guri I Zi to Lezhe 06/11/07

Before bed last night Kole had asked if I’d prefer an English or an Albanian breakfast. I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not but I figured that since I didn’t know what an Albanian breakfast looked like it was worth a try.

Luckily all the wine last night hadn’t done too much damage to my stomach because an Albanian breakfast turned out to be a shot of espresso followed by a shot of homemade rocket fuel…what a way to start the day! And funnily enough it made me feel great ;)

Saying goodbye and a big “thank you” to the family, I then scored a lift with Kole back to the main road on his bike. He was off to work, but the tradition here seems to be to meet up at the bar first for another round of “breakfast”…I followed suit ;)

The bar was packed! Another espresso and two shots of cognac later I was ready to hit he road.

The plan for the day was to head down the road to the river, then down the railway tracks to Lezhe. Kole had recommended that I stop for coffee next to the river at a restaurant called “Dea”, explaining that it was a big tourist attraction in these parts…

I spotted it about 7kms down the road and was glad for the tip, I would never have stopped otherwise. From the outside it looked pretty normal but once on the inside it was like walking through a set from Jurassic Park!

After a big pasta and a glass of wine, I was on to the railway tracks. The rumour was that there was only one train in the morning and one in the evening, so it was meant to be pretty safe. But after ten minutes I had to jump off as a train approached, luckily it was coming from the direction I was looking…even though, at the speed it was going I probably could have outrun it anyway :)

I had a great walk through the fields, happily talking to the kids that stopped along the way for a chat. They all seemed rather intrigued by this stranger wandering past.

It was dark by the time I got to Lezhe, but luckily I already had a hotel booked through Edward, the guy we met in Shkoder yesterday. He met me in town and was kind enough to escort me there. It was a great hotel and only cost €13 for a room to myself. Wonderful!

After having a quick look around town it was back to the hotel for an early night…

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