Long day getting to Sarajevo
Trip Start Jun 07, 2009
17Trip End Sep 06, 2009
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Where I stayed
Bosnian Nana's House
Sam and I were getting a little impatient but that could have just been tiredness and grumpiness. The girl in tourist info had told us to be at the Bus Station one hour beforehand. I didn't entirely think it was necessary but as it turned out, was totally impossible anyway when the bus system only got up and running at 6.30am and then was due for an extended smoke break half an hour into his shift
We bought our tickets, loaded our bags and got on the bus hoping and praying for a seat to ourselves for the seven hour journey. By 7.55am the bus was nearly full. Sam still had a seat to herself and I'd slightly reluctantly (but also a little bit sneakily) given up the seat next to me to a pretty cute guy who I'd been watching say goodbye to his friends. He was preferable option over the middle aged guy who'd got on holding a can of beer against his elbow which he then proceeded to drink at, oh, 7.45am. On the following stops we had, he kept buying cans of beer, no longer continuing with the charade of the ice pack. The journey began, cute boy offered me a biscuit and we retraced the route we'd taken when we'd been to Mostar a couple days beforehand - including all three border crossings.
Cute boy turned out to be a pretty annoying person to sit next to! He crashed out virtually right away and kept falling into me as he lulled around or would just stretch out, taking up way too much of the already confined space we had to share on the two seats. At one stop, an old lady got on and ended up sitting next to Sam...freedom and space over for her! The bus had two 15 minutes stops along the way, which I had to shake cute boy awake for so that he'd let me out
At that second stop there was only a restaurant which had three huge spits with four lambs per spit being turned by water that was flowing in wheels. First priority was toilet stop though and we waited for what seemed like forever for the three ladies in front of us to use the toilet. Sam then managed to negotiate a deal with a waitress at the restaurant where we could buy a lamb sandwich and be able to use kuna rather than marks, now that we were in Bosnia. We were excited about getting some food and waited, and waited for it to be prepared. Our time was up and Sam went out to the bus to hold them up while I kept waiting for our sandwiches. After a couple minutes, Sam came running in and told me they weren't going to wait any longer and we had to get on the bus. We ran out - minus sandwiches and feeling very guilty as we couldn't see and didn't have time to tell the waitress that we had to go.
As we set off again, the sun was beating into the window and it was getting ridiculously hot on the bus
The scenery was pretty amazing and I marveled at, considering how close all these countries are, how different they look. The mountains were so mush greener and you could actually imagine bears and wolves roaming around in amongst them. As with Mostar, when we started getting closer to Sarajevo, you were able to see the effects of the recent war. Sarajevo was basically pummeled from 1992-1995 and it was really confronting and moving to see the destruction of this in the buildings as you came into the town. Many were partially destroyed, a lot were just riddled with bullet holes. It was sad to see that there would have been a lot of really old and beautiful buildings around that were now just crumbling shells. The mountain slopes surrounding Sarajevo's town are really beautiful with houses creeping up the hills but you can also envisage why it was so easy for snipers to hide in amongst the hills and attack unknowingly from above.
When we arrived at the bus station there wasn't really anywhere to go or anyone to ask for help about finding accommodation
As we rattled along in the old tram, we saw more bullet riddled buildings and finally made it into the old town. The town Tourist Info lady was extremely helpful and friendly and booked us a room for the next two nights. We'd missed the tour we wanted to do here so decided it was worth staying an extra night to be able to do that. The man that helped out at the office piled us into his car and drove us to our Bosnian Nana's house which was very much like you were staying at your Grandma's house in her spare room. She didn't speak any English and we kept trying to tell that was all we could speak. She would keep spilling out these long sentences to us that we would just smile at apologetically to and shake our heads saying "no understand".
We headed into the old town for an early dinner after not really eating anything all day and came home for a rest before heading out later once the hot sun had gone down a bit. We were both woken by the call to prayer and disorientated and confused, looked at the time. It was just after 10pm and we'd accidentally fallen asleep for hours. We decided to just stay in and do our sightseeing tomorrow after the tour, slightly reluctantly considering the fact we'd been told it was going to be 40 degrees. We'd both noticed some tiny beatle like bugs crawling around in Sam's bed and I killed one crawling on the wall near my bed. It left a big blood spot on the wall and considered that they may be bed bugs but then thought nothing of it. We did think that it was kind of strange that there was a sugar like substance on the base matress at the head of Sam's bed. We were a little grossed out but went to sleep regardless.