Following the long drive from Skopje, I arrived in Himare, Albania, at 11PM. I checked into the barracks (see Bollanos Hotel: Wait, Where Am I?), threw down my luggage, and went across the street to the bar. I met some friendly bartenders there who supplied me with beer while breaking the bad news that Folie Marine was nowhere near where I was. I would have to take a $20 cab to get there, and it would be wise to book the taxi return ahead of time in order to get back.
Since one of the reasons I came to the Albanian Riviera was to go to this club (check out their Instagram during the summer months to to see why), I agreed. Before I left, the bartenders and I shared a locally made poisonous concoction.
I arrived at the bar and was greeted by the hostess. She was surprised that I had made the journey alone via taxi and that I was not staying at the adjacent resort, the only hotel in the city of Jala.
Ready to do some damage, I headed straight to the bar. Since it was early in the morning, 12:30AM, the place was very quiet. This gave me an opportunity to take photos of the pool. The establishment looks like a baby version of XS Las Vegas.
What happens next is a bit fuzzy, but the club went from being empty to completely slammed as I found myself at a table with strangers singing along to American hiphop.
Things went from calm, to crazy, to silly after someone suggested shots of this poison:
After that, there was the traditional throwing of the napkins:
Then just as quickly as everything started, everything ended. The music was turned off, the people went back to their hotel, and I was all alone. I dialed my driver’s number and couldn’t get through. I asked the bartender for a taxi and they laughed at me. I tried to check into the hotel and they said it was sold out. Exhausted, I considered going to sleep on a beach chair. While dozing off in the lobby, the front desk agent somehow contacted my driver and miraculously he was in the area. He took me back to the barracks for some much needed rest.
From what I can remember, it was memorable night out. I was supposed to return the next day for the day pool party, but given the logistical nightmare I decided against it. I regret that decision. I further regret not finding a guesthouse in Jala where I would have gladly spent the majority of my time while on the Albanian Riviera.
Folie Marine: Party Like a Rockstar, Bring Your Own Driver.
TPOL’s TIP: Check out Airbnb for Jala guesthouses as the Folie Marine resort is $500/night when it is not sold out. If that’s not available, wing it like I did or skip it altogether.