There will be times when we look back and laugh at this but I want to keep this as a memory for these super weird travel experiences during COVID times. I'll update this post as I go to another destination.
Ukraine -> Albania
4 months of sitting at the same place was a big challenge for me. I was ready to go anywhere at that point. So I was checking the countries that were open and found that Croatia was open and they didn't require the PCR test. I did the test just in case and basically threw $50 into the toilet because most of the countries require a fresh test: 72 or sometimes even 48 hours. Mine was delayed because a girl who was doing it printed it on Ukrainian, not on English. Not even sure what decision-making scheme she was using but let's omit this fact.
I still took the test result and headed to the airport the next day. The flight was going through Odesa (Ukraine) and Katowice (Poland). I didn't have any problems until I reached Odessa where they basically didn't let me in on a flight. You know, it's crazy that they don't mention it anywhere but the transit zone in most European countries was closed during COVID, thus you have to enter the EU and for the check-in process. I didn't know that, so I ended up spending some time in Odessa.
The funniest part was that the same day a new low-cost airline started to sell cheap tickets to Albania from Kyiv. That was a low blow for me but I had no choice because the time gap was around 2 hours and couldn't physically move that fast to Kyiv. It's at least 5 hours drive. So I waited. I waited for 1 more week and ended up in Albania.
Albania -> Turkey
It was August 9th, 2016. I had to catch a flight from Albania to Istanbul. I was kind of nervous the entire night and didn’t really sleep well for whatever reason.
I also didn’t have much local cash left and was lazy enough to search for an ATM so I decided to do something cool, yet a bit risky. I found there’s a shuttle that goes from the city center of Tirana to the airport but that’s an express shuttle so they go only from a certain location without stops. I knew that but decided to give them a call. It was 9 pm but they still picked me up. Yesss!
I explained where I stay and they somehow agreed to pick me up near my place because they’re passing it in any case. All I had to do is to call the person 30 mins prior to the time of the shuttle departure. They even sent me an exact location on what’s up. Thus, instead of paying €20, I paid only €3. Yesss!😎
In the airport there were two weird things I had to deal with: A - they forced me to check despite the fact I had a mobile boarding pass 🤷♂️ B - they tried not to let me in on a plane 🤯
The first one is just weird but the second one pissed me off a little. A girl asked me “Why do you go to Istanbul?” At first, I was like “Why not?” I mean, that’s literally what I said to her. 😂 Then she went back and forth asking the same question and I kept wondering why. So based on our little worthless chat she asked me “Why don’t you go to Ukraine?”
After I heard that I realized that there’s something wrong about it. I have 3 a few theories actually:
- She is forcing me to go home because that’s where everyone belongs now (#staythefuckhome kind of thing).
- It’s safer in Albania than in Turkey now. Kind of makes sense but I don’t see why that should be bothering her.
- She knows that I have to make a COVID test when I go home. If that’s so, that’s either revenge or some personal issue with COVID.
- She thinks that’s it’s safer to stay at home rather than in any other country. She actually cares about me. 😂
I don’t know about you but I personally think the first theory makes the most sense. What do you guys think? Which one?