Of course, I had my usual anxiety just before I left. Mainly about leaving the cats but I also knew I needed this escape. I needed to look at Italy from 12000ft. To get some distance. To wake up the Joanna who feels like she has died inside.
|Artwork on an electricity box in downtown Tirana|
I took the bus into the city. No taxis for this budget queen and strode purposefully off in completely the wrong direction. I can't read maps, it is official. Even when I draw them. The hostel I was staying at was only about 30 metres from the bus drop-off but I managed a goodly hour and a half wandering around Skandenberg Square asking, among others, a very dapper policeman (no clue), a talented crepe-maker (some clue) and finally a handsome waiter ( most clue) where the street was I was looking for. It made me glad I was traveling alone because that sort of lost wandering doesn't bother me. I know I will eventually get there but often I find people get into panics and don't appreciate the wrong turns. It simply means I get to start talking with the locals almost immediately and this is always a joy.
I checked into my hostel. No one else was there which I was kind of relieved about. I don't really relish sharing a room with strangers but budget queens must make do as best they can. Then I went out walking, eating grilled cheese, and drinking a very generous wineglass-serving of wine.
Sigh. It felt good to feel alive again.