Let us take you back…back to Gatwick, where it all began.
After an emotional reunion (involving many bottles of wine and a big bucket of ice, and we’ll say no more about it) we made it to the airport on Friday morning in time to brave the hideous queues for beer. The 2 hour flight passed in to time, mainly due to the delicious 40 Euros worth of wine and nibbles.
Arrived in Tallinn to find it bracing but sunny and set about demolishing a couple of cans of local cider from the kiosk before getting the bus to the city centre. Which we stayed on until the last stop which was actually a ferry terminal nowhere near where we had to be. So we walked in the general direction of the church spires, hoping that would be some kind of central square, and with the help of Google Maps managed to locate our hostel (The Red Emperor) which was on the top of a nice pub called The Beer Garden which served a nice range of local beers and the food that the table behind us were eating looked quite nice so we decided to get some dinner. Susan had a smoked cheese, mushroom and sun-dried tomato soup with a pastry lid that was basically an Estonian fondue and fupping delicious. Jill had a platter of lards of the world, with gherkins and a shot of vodka on the side. The soup was definitely the winner, but you cannit be having the option of a lard platter and not try it!
Put the rest of this in your face
After some initial panic (running around Bajram Curri in the dark at 5am trying to find the chef in his car, then watching the ferry pull out of the dock as we drove up) we caught the Koman the Barbarian ferry through the Nice Nice t Nice Nice Northern Albanian Alps, crammed in with a variety of locals and their sacks of potatoes (Potato!) who had scaled down cliffs to the lakeside to clamber on board at random points throughout the journey. A furgon filled with old men playing a sitar and singing obviously bawdy Albanian songs (probably about Jill’s buubs) later, and having missed the bus to Thethi as it leaves at 7am, we met a pie fingered Albanian Brummie who arranged a car and house for us in Thethi. 4 nerve racking hours in a jeep with only right side suspension, packed in with 2 Albanians, 2 Spanish, 2 Germans, 1 American, 3 crates of beer and a sack of dubious meat (on Jill’s lap), took us to the beautiful remote mountain village of Thethi – only to find that those 3 crates of beer were not for us and our all inclusive house stay had no beer in the fridge! Only homemade plastic bottles full of crazy fire water that we politely tried to sip and were dismayed only to have it refilled by the little old woman as soon as we managed to get any down! And despite calls from our organiser demanding they give us beer, none arrived :o( therefore we went in search of a bar and ended up lost and stranded halfway up a mountain just as the sun set and had to resort to trespassing across peoples fields and houses, commando style, to find the main path – only to backtrack to let some cows pass on the narrow path (which Susan touched – animal no. 3, check). In search of a bar, a nice loose egg and to touch all of the animals (we are sure the stories of the cackling, large breasted, beer demanding, animal touchers will abound in Thethi for generations to come), we finally stumbled upon a hut/bar where we spent the last of our meagre funds on beer and had a rousing game of dominoes with the mountain men who insisted on giving us lots more beer Put the rest of this in your face