|Dennis’ birthday started out nicely.
We left Dubrovnik a little after 9 this morning to go to Mostar then Sarajevo.
With three border crossings in our way - Croatia to Bosnia, Bosnia to Croatia, Croatia to Bosnia - we thought it might get rugged, especially after all the other long border crossings we’ve made this trip. Piece of cake all three times. No stop was more than about 15 minutes.
Mostar was interesting, The story of the war was and is heartbreaking. It is apparent that in some areas there are still some tensions. The bridge was mobbed, but we were able to appreciate it.
Getting out of town was traumatic. Good lord. How many narrow streets can one city have? We got stuck in more awkward situations than I can count. It is too hard to explain, so I am not going to try. Suffice it to say, Dennis was a bit stressed.
On the drive between Mostar and Sarajevo, we came across two pretty bad accidents. The first one blocked one lane, so it was easy enough to let cars through - several at a time in each direction. The officials were examining a man next to a badly mangled car. Hopefully, he will be all right. Our delay was only a few minutes.
The second one blocked both lanes, so traffic had to be diverted off the side of the road. Fortunately, there was enough room for cars to get by. For buses and trucks, it was a completely different story. They had no where to go and had to wait it out on the other side of the road. Our delay this time was about 45 minutes, an unpleasant 45 minutes.
The countryside is Bosnia is breathtaking. However, there are many severely damaged buildings leftover from the war and an incredible number of cemeteries.
Sarajevo is a sprawling metropolis, but rather dingy. I was getting a little discouraged as we made our way to our hotel. Lots of rundown buildings. Lots of graffiti. Finding our hotel wasn’t hard, but finding a place to park nearby was tricky. Eventually, we went into the parking structure for a nearby hotel and walked to ours. The man at the desk greeted us by name as we walked in. It is a small place and we must have been the last to check in. He was incredibly helpful! Offered us coffee or juice before we got down to business. All he wants was our passports. He didn’t even take a copy of our credit card, so unusual. At any hotel we’ve ever stayed at, we have to give them a credit card upon checking in. The hotel has some reserved spaces nearby, so we collected our car and brought it closer. Next, we had a quick dinner ant a nearby Bosnian fast food spot, then a quick after dinner drink at the bar next to the hotel. I had a Bailey’s (it’s been ages) Dennis had a cognac - nicely warmed, of course.
In Dubrovnik, we became accustomed to people speaking English. In Bosnia, it is much less common. This should be an interesting two days.
On tap for tomorrow is a two hour walking tour and a “Sarajevo Under the Siege, 1425 Days” tour. That should take up most of the day.