Sarajevo (Bosnia i Herzegovina), 17.04.2013
Dobro jutro Zagreb! In bright sunshine we left the hotel to discover the city during daytime. We drove through the beautiful, Austrian-style center of town, dropped the car and walked up to the cathedral and through the old town. In one of the many internet cafés we uploaded fresh fotos to our Flickr stream, and then off we went on our ride towards Sarajevo. Eating fresh Burek we enjoyed the good weather and drove quite fast on an impeccable and empty motorway towards Slavonski Brod.
Here we left the motorway and crossed the border into – well, that was actually not that clear. Tecnically into Bosnia and Herzegovina (the country), but right after the frontier a “Welcome to Republika Srpska” sign welcomed us. No mention of Bosnia, and really the biggest “country” sign I’ve ever seen on any frontier. By the way, the border crossing went smooth, but we had to open the car to get the luggage checked. We learned to cover valuable things. And we found a very practical anti-hassle pitch: “We drive to Russia” seemed to explain everything, made the police smile and let us through without any further question. I don’t know what they think of Russia around here, but it solved all frontier problems with Bosnia.
Once we started driving through the countryside, the road signs mentioned Belgrade but not Sarajevo. We noticed an immediate decline in standards once we crossed the Save river, and the roadsides are full of destroyed houses. Many by war, others by abandonment, but all of them creating a very depressing scenery. Having seen Slovenia (already in the EU) and Croatia (joining the EU this summer), it was sad to see how Bosnia seems to be left behind regarding reconstruction after a war that ended over 17 years ago, modernisation or building of modern infrastructure, improvement of living standards.
In all this surreal environment, we found a charming Etno Village, with traditional peasant houses and a bar and restaurant. And the more we drove towards Sarajevo, the more the situation normalised. We finally entered Sarajevo at sundown. You notice the many cemeteries when entering the city, many of them in the middle of parks and surrounded by very simple fences. I’ll not comment more on this, since the last time I wrote about my impressions in the city they were not well received.
To end the day properly we went to eat some Cevapi in the old town of Sarajevo. It has been many years since I had the chance to do so, and I’ve dreamed about this moment since them. VERY DELICIOUS!!! The beer to the food we had to buy in a supermarket and drink at home, since in the Stari Grad (old town) we couldn’t get any alcohol…
Trip data (Day/Total)
– Km driven: 414/2.625
– Hrs driving: 5,5/-
– Diesel l/100km: 10,3/11,4 (9,20 HKM/1,23€ in HR; 2,40BAM/1,22€ in BiH)