Sitting at Gatsby’s nursing our gin. Conversation is sparse and MacKay just calls it out, “Still low on the energy, probably just drop it early tonight.” “Yeah, that’s fair. We need to book it across town to the station tomorrow early anyways and get the lay of the land.” “Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of shit to get into anyways.” “Famous last words.” It does seem relaxed here though. Mostly family and friends just chilling over a few drinks. It starts to peter out early too.
A few drinks in now and the cogs are turning. Time to discuss the exit strategy.
“So while you were getting a haircut I was planning Escape from Brosovo and the trip in general.” “Ok, what’d you figure out.” “Well flights from any of these Balkan countries are stupid expensive and with layovers they’ll turn into 2-day trips home.” “K, so.. what? We get all the way to Athens or something?” “Ya, that’s what I was thinking. Or Rome, possibly. Flights from either are 1/4 the price and direct.” “Can we do that?” “Well, I could add a couple of days to the trip and that gives us another weekend. Then we make our way to one of those spots, check them out and part ways from there.”
I can see the excitement of yet another derailment of the ‘plan’ light up in MacKay’s brain gears. “I’ve never been to Greece or Italy. So that works for me.” “I’ve been to both but would go back to either in a heartbeat. Never been to Rome actually, which seems dumb. To go to Italy three times and never get to Rome.” “Ok, I guess we need to check ferries then.”
We hop on our phones, pull up some maps and discuss possible routes (which I think may be one of our favorite things to do). The easier route looks like it will be from Durrës, outside the Albanian capital of Tirana, overnight ferry to Bari in Italy. Then on to Naples and Rome, the latter of which will probably need multiple days to take in. Could also do Pompeii on the way so…. sounds sick.
The other route would be through Southern Albania including Berat and Gjirokaster on to Sarandë. Catch a ferry to the island of Corfu and then another to Patras. Possibly get as far south as Sparta and Argos en route to Athens, which will also require a few days to properly take in (again). This also looks like an incredible adventure.
“Ok, well this all sounds fucking awesome but we’re still finishing Plan B, right?” “Oh yeah. Let’s get into Montenegro and we can figure this shit out on the way back. I’ll watch flights and see what is working out.” “Fucking A! I’m pumped. This sounds stupid and great.” “It does.”
Back to the mission at hand, we need to suppress this newfound BEEF energy and get back to the hostel for some shuteye. It’s going to be an early morning hoofing it to the train station to figure out our escape from Brosovo.
We finish up at Gatsby’s and take a roundabout way back to Hostel Bushati through some streets we haven’t been down yet. This leads us passed an old cathedral with a mess of wires out front that reminds us of the madness of Vietnam Telecom.
Down the street a bit is another old Cathedral that’s sectioned off for restoration. I get up on my tippy toes for a shot of it over the construction wall. It’s an old Roman Catholic joint built in 1870.
Back at Hostel Bushati and the Tallish Man is still on call, hanging in the main area. We tell him that we’re taking off early in the momo and offer to pay up for the room now. It comes to 20 bucks. Our dinner of 2 massive plates plus app and 4 beers was only 25. Hard to beat these prices.
We get back to our romantic pink room and kill some time looking into more ferry routes and possible exit strategies. Greece, Rome, it doesn’t really matter which way we go, it all sounds fun. Escape from Brosovo, finish Plan B, and on to the next thing. Love it.