What's for byrekfast?

Tirana/Schkodra - 27/08/2010

A word of advice here, should an earplug dislodge itself during the night, do not pop it into your mouth and chew it like a tasty treat, it most certainly is not. Our bus north did not depart until the afternoon so with a few hours to waste we ate a leisurely breakfast of the local speciality byrek (a cheese filled triangular pastry) outside the mosque while the Muezzin warmed up. The Museum of National History provided a comprehensive if at times scattered record of Albania's past and its hero Skanderbeg's defiance of the Ottomans. Our green, German-engineered steed stood behind the train station in readiness for the journey to Schkodra. Whilst what sounded like one of Hitler's Nuremberg orations blared out of the buse's speakers we sped through Tirana's suburbs. One of the contrasts in these countries (imho) is that the people seem unburdened by strictured regulation. Onerous rules are not devised, unnecessary laws are not obeyed. They do not attempt to corall the vagaries of life nor control the essentially uncontrollable. I'm beginning to enjoy the sweat of travel on my back, the labour of momentum. It feels earnest and uncluttered. A simple goal but not straightforward means make for an intoxicating combination. I can even ignore the wrath travel has inflicted on my nails. All these thoughts swirl in my mind as I close my eyes and let every muscle go. Great waves of air break over my face from the open window and I am in a feather-light harmony.
The bus pulls into Schkodra bus station (again, a bit of road) too late to make our next connection. We sit at the foot of a tree eating kebabs and devising the next move. No campsite is closer than an hour it seems but there is a hostel round the corner. A most welcoming proprieter finds our passports both linguistically challenging and rather amusing. She has added Birmingham and Bristol to London and Manchester on the list of Inglese cities she knows. As the stuffed eagle with its wings outstretched watches us warily from the corner of the room, myself and Michelle are signed in and led to our room. Rudimentary would be an adequate and wholly accurate description but anything else would be a trip into debauched luxury and unnecessary expense. A few beers are had on Schkodra version of Broad Street and then bed, it's Montenegro in the morn.

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