The bus journey to Sarajevo took about seven hours, and when I arrived at the bus station in Sarajevo, I realized that I had no idea how to get to my hostel! There had been no directions on the website; it has only said that there was a pick-up service available, but I hadn’t thought much of it. After five minutes of trying to have the bus driver show me where we were on the map, and getting absolutely nowhere, I got off the bus. As I stepped down, someone standing next to the us said “Ljubicica Hostel?” “Yes!” “Elizabeth Miller?” “YES! …How did you know that??” The driver’s English was not good enough to explain how he knew that it was me, but that didn’t matter because I was delighted that I wouldn’t have to figure out the tram system. Once checked in, I went right to bed because I was quite tired after my long day of travel.
On Wednesday, as I was sleeping in, I was awoken by the arrival of two South African girls, Zoë and Astrid, who I befriended. I set off to explore the city, and to seek internet, as the hostel had none. The city was charming and beautiful, nestled among forest in a manner even more beautiful that the Norwegian cities I had been so enchanted with. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a large Muslim population, and consequently, when walking through town, I was reminded of walking through the souqs (markets) of Morocco and Egypt. That night, I went out with the girls to watch the World Cup South Africa vs. Uruguay match; to the girls’ dismay, Uruguay won 2-0. After ice cream, the end of the game and a couple of beers, we headed back to the hostel.
Thursday was quite like Wednesday in that I just wandered the city and sought internet; that was basically the extent of the day. I cooked myself dinner and had an early night because I had an early departure to look forward to the next morning.
On Friday, the girls and I woke early, checked out of the hostel and headed to the train station to head our separate ways. They were heading to Budapest, and I was heading to Mostar. My train departed just after 7AM, and I arrived about three hours later. The girls had told me that Mostar was worth a stop, but spending a few hours there would be sufficient; they were correct. Giant backpack on my back, I walked through the city and found my way to the old town, after which I returned to the bus station and bought my ticket to Dubrovnik. As I waited, I was approached by three little gypsy girls, who must have been around four, five and six years old… they begged me for money in words I could not understand, and my heart god damn broke for them… so I obliged their wishes. By 12:30, I was on another bus and headed down to Dubrovnik, where I planned to begin my “holiday.” Traveling, and going on holiday are TOTALLY different things, and I had decided that a holiday was in order to end my adventure filled year.
The Latin Bridge, surrounded, if you can tell, by the forest that lies around the city.
Cathedral of Jesus’s Sacred Heart in the center of the town
The beautiful Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque
The Sarajevo souq
The river Neretva running through Mostar
A view of the Old Bridge, which is certainly the most popular sight in Mostar
The cute little gypsy girls who damn near broke my heart
OK, now time to head to Dubrovnik to soak up some sun!