Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Coming back from Dijit National Park, in Albania, part 1

After leaving the coffee shop at the entrance to the park, I went to the cable car station to go back down the mountain and across two valleys back to Tirana. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm was starting, so they stopped allowing passengers on. I sat and read while I waited.

By the time it was safe, it was completely dark. Clouds hid the stars and moon. The glass-walled capsule seemed to be floating in space. Once it started dropping down the cliff face, the lights of the station were no longer visible. There were no lights in the valley below. The city lights could be seen far in the distance, but otherwise there was nothing visible anywhere.

When the capsule arrived at the lower station, the parking lot was empty. All the taxis had left. So, I started walking down the steep hill in the rain.

It was DARK. No streetlights. No moon or stars. No porch lights. Most apartments had only one lit window, which only served to let me know I was in a city rather than the wilderness.

Occasionally I passed a brightly-lit cafe full of 20-something men, all with three-day beards and Adidas tracksuits, watching soccer on huge screens. They looked at me with puzzlement, probably why I didn't just sit and have coffee while waiting for the rain to stop.

There were also occasional metal-roofed sheds lit by a single bulb, selling vegetables and bananas. Rocks sat on the metal sheets, possibly to keep the roof from blowing off when the wind howled through the open front. The only customers were older women, wandering the dark streets with umbrellas and bags of groceries. The men all seemed to be in the cafes.

Most of the buildings were silent masses of concrete. Traces of light shining from under doors was the only sign that this was a densely populated neighborhood.
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