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Old 2 Mar 20, 10:32 PM  
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BONZO
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A weekend in Tirana - King Zog, Enver Hoxha, Norman Wisdom and me! Part 1

A weekend in Tirana - King Zog, Enver Hoxha, Norman Wisdom and me!

Cast:
The usual – me and Alison!

Pre-amble:

“What the heck?” I hear you ask and yes it’s another very, very random upcoming trip.

Last trip of the year and this time its Tirana, Albania – but why?

First off I’ve never been there so that that’s reason enough for me and secondly, this will give us enough Tier Points to maintain Gold Status with BA – 7 months before current expiry, crikey, we’ve really hammered things hard this year. A side bonus is that there should be a Christmas Market in the main square to get us in the festive mood.

Friday 13th December

This time we were going from Gatwick and being mindful that it was a work day we set off quite early. Luckily I’m used to travelling the first part of the route towards Clacketts so well aware of what “normal” morning traffic looked like. The M23 was a bit sluggish but that was mainly down to ongoing roadworks which we navigated easily enough.

We parked up in the Long Stay car park and had a short wait until the bus turned up, happy to report that no glasses were damaged this time around. Interestingly a lady armed with a clipboard asked us a few questions about the new robotic parking facility – all very interesting if it comes off. Gatwick itself seemed unfamiliar as we prefer to go from Heathrow where possible. As we went through Fast Track security Alison’s bag went off for a secondary swab check. Wouldn’t have been so bad if they had this facility manned a lot better.

Eventually we made our way to the lounge and filled up on breakfast and champagne – as you do!



Finally we headed to the gate and boarded fairly quickly afterwards. The cabin crew on board the plane were quite young as far as crew went, and can I say very accommodating! I mean, they just kept serving up double Gin and Tonics every time we asked for a refill.





The food was good too!




The lovely crew even handed me a couple of bottles of the red wine I’d been drinking as a take away just before landing.






Gingerly we stepped off the plane and queued up for ages at immigration, all very slow but thorough.



We found the bus to take us to the town centre and settled in as the sun was going down over the mountains.





Alison was understandably a bit tired after the morning's boozing activities.

The bus pulled up at the city stop and we made our way to the Hotel Rogner, first impressions were very good, wasn’t really expecting it to be this good. The room was very spacious and clean but a tad warm but the air-con wasn’t working. We thought we’d take a look at it later before we went to bed but in the meantime we just crashed out for a while. Nice view from the bedroom window overlooking a local park.





Rested up ok and we headed out for something simple to eat and as we strolled around we spotted Kung Fu Chinese restaurant. Looked promising, light bite Chinese food and so we ordered some items up and settled down. The only trouble was that they must’ve been cooked previously and left under the heat lamp for a while, on reflection we should have gone for the fresh stir fry but hey ho.



We took a few photos of the hotel pool (nicely lit) and some photos of the area around the hotel all decorated for Christmas









We wandered back to the hotel and called it quits for the night.

Edited at 10:34 AM.
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