Friday, September 30, 2011

Again in Albania

Arrived safe and sound in Tirana, as per schedule. Left cloudy and muggy NYC, and found hot and dry weather in Tirana fifteen hours later, discounting the time difference.

It was a long 2 hours sitting on the tarmac at JFK, in a fully booked plane, before we could be airborne due to traffic congestion, but the rest of the trip went perfectly well thanks to the usual efficiency of Austrian airlines. The service and food was very good as usual, and I was even able to snooze for a couple of hours during the transatlantic flight.

In Vienna had plenty of time, as per schedule, to wait for the Tirana connection, but it was fascinating to watch the hundreds of passengers that were boarding at the nearby gates. Every half hour a new destination was posted, such as Moscow, Belgrade, Skopje, Istanbul, Krakow, Minsk, and even one I never heard about before: Chinisau (now I know is in Moldova). The flow of outgoing travelers of all shapes and ages were disappearing and re-appearing at each gate, on a continuing rotating interchange. The transfer buses, and special cars for assisted passengers, were magically coming and going with ease; the stream of operations was run with smoothness of action and clockwork precision. A pleasure to see!

The connecting flight from Vienna to Tirana was a surprise. It was quite an upgrade from preceding, rather small and old crafts I have taken in the past. It was a new Airbus 319, which was also fully booked with about ¾ of the passengers being foreigners, lots of them looking like business related travelers. Time for a quick drink and snacks and 1hr and 20 minutes later we landed at Rinas, actually named Mother Theresa International aiport.

My old driver was waiting for me and within one hour from deplaning I entered to my apartment in the city, where, to my great surprise, I found all sorts of goodies waiting for me.
Fresh flowers on the coffee table, a full basket of fruits on the side, fresh vegetables on the kitchen bin, bread, crackers, and breadstick on the table; the fridge stocked with cheese, cold cuts, eggs, milk, and other vegetables and fresh fruits (some of which, like sweet melon, was already peeled and cut, ready for me to eat!).
My kitchen and living room were inundated, as usual, by gorgeous sunshine, and my plants are all in good shape!
The hot water boilers were turned on in the kitchen and bathroom, so I was able to take a nice shower and go to bed for a couple of hours while counting my blessings!

No comments: