Departure. Rising before the sun. The clocks sprang ahead an hour overnight and at 6:00 am, all is quiet. I sneak away as the seven bells chime. No one is out, but me. One last breath of the bay, and I’m off. The winding, coastal roads are exclusively mine. Flying free, me & the local radio.
I’m early, so there’s time to see. First, Sveti Stefan, playground of the rich & famous, nestled in the sea. Then, to the roads again, the turn from the coast to the mountains. The roads are even windier, narrower, steeper, slower. There’s a dense fog. I’m gripping the wheel until, finally, there’s a second spot to pause at blue-grey Skadar. It’s all so quiet and still.
And then, suddenly, I’ve arrived at the airport. The 1.5 hour drive is over. It’s all over, and I’m sad to go.
This trip terrified me at the start and for no logical reason. Anxiety, fear. I ignored it and went anyways – and I’ll never be the same person again.