Belgrade (Serbia), 19.04.2013
After a day of rest it was time to get back on the road. We left Sarajevo on the road into the mountains on the east, driving into a breathtaking alpine landscape. After 2 hours we arrived at Visegrad, to see the famous bridge from Ivo Andric’s novel. The bridge is nice, on a turquoise river. Probably carried away by literary romanticism, we expected a turkish or old village near the bridge. But no, on one side there is the road, and on the other side a cement, socialist village, quite boring actually. The best part was driving down the drina valley, admiring the intense color of the river and the mountains on both sides. Since we didn’t want to cross 3 borders (into Serbia, back to Bosnia, and into Serbia again), we drove back for approx 80km, loosing quite some time.
After Visegrad the direction was Zvornik, the border town with Serbia. I got the GoPro camera to work and took first videos.We took a detour to see a village that got sadly famous for the biggest ethnic cleansing, or genocide since WWII: Srebrenica. There were no road signs to lead to the town, and it took us 45 mins through bad roads, partially unpaved, passing several valleys. There was a strange atmosphere in the air, we didn’t speak for most of the trip. We finally descended into the town, that looked like a normal Bosnian countryside village. But the destroyed houses on the roadside left us speechless. The next village was Potocari, where we visited the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial. Graveyards are sad places, but in this case the wall of names of the more then 8300 dead adds even more sadness. You can find fathers’ and sons’ names one beside the other, entire families and communities. We have been asking ourselves quite a lot while driving through this beautiful, semi deserted land: how can people, that seem so friendly when you stop on the road to ask for a coffee or directions, commit these atrocities, start this war, make their country deteriorate this way. We have no answer to this question.
Silently we drove on towards Zvornik, where we met one of Helena’s aunts and cousins. Then we crossed the border to Serbia with no issues, as the night fell. The Bosnian policeman wasn’t really up for any controls. The Serbian one was in good mood, made some jokes and let us through, and the Serbian customs lady was distracted by our Maneki Neko on our car’s dashboard (thanks to the Hamann family!) that she also just let us through. Then came quite a ride on serbian country roads at night, including a 30 minute search for a “autoput” that didn’t want to appear. But finally we made it to Belgrade. We arrived late, tired, with a lot of things to digest from this day. Tomorrow we will discover this city that from the first impressions promises to be quite interesting.
Trip data (Day/Total)
– Km driven: 540/3.240
– Hrs driving: 9/-
– Diesel l/100km: 7,8/10,7