In June 2017 we were joined by Tim and Linda Messenger, who joined our two-week Mountains to Sea tour by flying into Tivat (Montenegro) from Manchester, and back home from Corfu. Here are their comments on the trip.
“Prior to booking this tour our knowledge of Albania was sketchy to say the least. We had seen it across that narrow stretch of sea separating the country from Corfu. Beyond that there was little more than a vague impression of a European North Korea, dating from the days of the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha back in the 1980s.
“Then came a January visit to Destinations Travel Show in Manchester. Scanning through the list of exhibitors for something ‘different’ we saw Drive Albania.
“Albania??, Drive?? We had to learn more. So we met Ed Reeves the owner, one thing led to another and in June 2017 we completed the Mountains to Sea tour.
“And what to say afterwards? Other reviewers have probably described the experience better than I can. Both Albania and Kosovo are amazing in so many ways. Scenically beautiful and varied, the people are genuinely friendly, the food (and drink!) are excellent and ridiculously cheap. So many unforgettable experiences – the helpful Kosovan whose vehicle broke down while he was trying to show us the way, so everyone, including walking-stick-wielding locals, helped to push. The elderly Albanian couple who welcomed us into their unique home and plied us with yoghurt, honey and raki, all homemade.
“The organisation of the trip was faultless even when changes had to be made due to an unexpected downpour. Individual likes (and dislikes) are catered for with no fuss and endless patience.
“None of this would have worked without Ardi and Nesti, our drivers and friends. Their driving skills were faultless and their local knowledge encyclopaedic. Most of all their sense of humour, not to mention Nesti’s beautiful T-shirts and Ardi’s face mask! Finally, of course, Ed who started it all and on this occasion was assisted (or should that be supervised), by his wonderful mum, Sue. Not forgetting Bubi who – according to Ed – is a ‘good dog’!
“It’s something of a cliché in the travel supplements to say of a country that you have to go now, before it is spoilt. As far as Albania and Kosovo are concerned I think the cliché is actually true.”
Tim & Linda Messenger, June 2017.