Although we had eaten a huge meal at our hotel, my companion was
in the mood for anything, so she ordered a huge pizza, I thought
well many good, would soak up some of that raki, I was no mood in
carrying 65 kilos 1.5 kilometres along a dimly lit stretch of beachfront
late at night...A passed out blonde might draw undue attention!
Well the pizza arrived and for the 550 Lek it LOOKED AND SMELT GOOD..
I tasted a slice and MMMmm Yummy. I made room in my tummy
and enjoyed half of a great stone baked pizza.
Maybe some Albanian Emigrés had worked a few pizza parlours in Italy
and taken some secrets home with them??? Who knows...
Well after the guests started to leave, I was thinking about the long walk home..
so we paid and left...but the long stroll home was refreshing and
a good time had been had by all.
Our police 'escourt' drove by again and we knew we should be nimble on our toes
to reach home....various 'MAD pictures had to be taken on the route home,
artistic surge brought on by the ambience of Vlora, or just the
2 am we reach our hotel and Rami, the manager is sitting
on the patio with some male friends with the wedding party
still in full swing...
It is at this hour that I must remain alert, as my quite
well inebriated blonde companion will attract undue attention.
Having traveled to many far off and strange places, knew
from past experience when the locals started to get friendly,
when to make a hasty exit without offending or having to flee
with old horn dogs in tow. We had some very near misses at a wedding
party in Bishkek in 1992 and a gas station in Gagra, Abhazia,
also quite a few nights in St.Petersburg drunk bandits and 'Chewaks'
swarming around. Travelling with a pretty blonde who has had a few too
many bring dangers in the most civilised of countries, but in a country
with rules and traditions going back hundreds maybe thousands of years,
aware of the risk of 'Horn dogs' many miles away from home.
Our hosts managed to pour another 2 rakis before I managed to extract
ourselves and they realised I was too good a watchdog..
Also the wife who was also resteraunt manager walking to the
car seemed to have some outcome on reluctance to persue
'other thoughts' further...
We had survived another night...
But alas the raki took it's toll the next day..
All buses and furgones departed without us for
Tirane, so we had to call Ismail our driver to drive
us north for the 150 kilometre journey...
But thats another story..
Next destination was to find one of the discos
supposed to be open after mid night on that lovely Saturday night.
A black van cruised by, it was the local police patrolling the area.
I gave them a wave....we walked and walked past various Hotels and
cafes along the seafront. One had a policeman outside watching a wedding
party in a large resteraunt, I motioned with my hands if I may take a picture of him
with my travel companion? He seemed to be in agreement until a hoard
of young under 10 male wedding guests decended upon us, probably
with their familllies from some distant town. The policeman then had a very stern
face and beckoned us NOT TO TAKE A PICTURE..and show the official line
of prohibition of military or police personel in uniform.
We continued on into the night further away from our hotel and the effects
of the previous Rakis beginning to wear off. The lights of the port were getting smaller and smaller.
Still more lifeless clubs and resteraunts along the beach, probably open
earlier, then our Vlora Police drove by again with the intention to keep a
watchful eye over us, this felt reassuring and gave them a salute to
acknowledge our thanks...finally after about 1.5 kilometres, the steps of the
Hotel Europa leading up to the Hotel and a disco on the hillside, it looked open
and had several guests...some Rap or was it 50 cents blasting out, can't
remember...A strange place but seemed very welcoming with the fact it had people,
was open and it was past midnight! After the compulsory beer for me, they had Dreher,
my favourite Hungarian beer, but this was made on liscence in Italy, never mind,
they have OK beers in Albania, and Raki Rosso for my partner in crime,
we found a friendly alcove in this hillside garden disco.
There was a stuffed fox at the bar and some live small exotic birds in a cage,
also dotted about, sort of sensual greek or Roman looking statues which
enhanced the place up a notch or two.
Then came Maya (Local Vlora singer) blasting out over the speakers,
a group of 4 girls and 2 men hit the dance floor, but no body popping
or break dancing, but to my great delight, traditional Albanian dance,
it looks similar to many Balkan Folk dance moves, close to Greek too.
After a good meal at our Hotel Bologna we decided to
venture out into the Vlora night, the 'Disco' on the left
hand side when walking down the main street away from the beach
with it's muscular door guy with gelled back hair and
white T shirt looked like any regular disco joint one
might find in any Medditeranean seaside town.
But this place seemed to be devoid of action after midnight
and the almost empty of ravers inside give the impression of a
place ready but without guests. There was a very young couple
hidden away on a sofa in a darkly lit corner, our arrival seemed
to jolt them out of their romantic cuddling and kissing.SORRY!
Well we then had a another drink, but only raki for my companion.
So it was back to the waterfront and to walk along the seaside
embankment past all the hotels holding wedding celebrations on this hot
summers night, with fireworks going off into the sky from the endless wedding
parties going on in Vlora.
A good place to hang out at night, nice interior, combination of old and new. Males alone are rarely excepted - so be sure to come with at least 1 lady.
The club starts to get crowdy on weeknights by 1 am.
Dress Code: No dress code