He he. I got an e-mail over the weekend from Gavin and Bea, who had a funny story to tell about getting back into Australia with their Bosnian souvenirs.
Sarajevo was full of souvenirs which had been carved out of old shell casings. I had read about them before the holiday and they were absolutely everywhere. Some had patterns on them, others had been converted into keyrings or pens.
But Bea says that Australian customs confiscated her bullet-shaped pen when she got back home. Aw!
I got a new book today which was quite a treat – the autobiography of Alija Izetbegovic, former President of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He led the country to its independence from the former Yugoslavia and during the wars in the 1990s.
We passed by an impressive looking grave on our way up to the fortress to watch the sunset above Sarajevo. We saw a soldier praying beside it and wondered who it was and it turned out when we looked closer on the way back down it was President Izetbegovic’s.
I have started adding photos to some of the posts and will do more over the next few days. To start with here’s the little Bosnian girl from the bus to Sarajevo 🙂
Yikes, I just nearly spent 1000 pounds on something by misconverting the price from Kuna (Croatia money). It was actually only as I was entering my PIN that it came up in pounds. I thought it was 100. Well a lucky escape that means thankfully I’ll be able to eat when I get back to London.
I am now in Croatia and they don’t do any of my favourite Bosnian things here, Bamboos or Bosnian/Turkish coffee!
In fact last night at dinner I asked for a Bamboos and the waiter said “we don’t serve bamboos” so I asked for a red wine and a coke and I mixed it myself. Pschf!
I’m noticing this place is a lot less Yugoslav than any of the other countries on the trip and I think the Croat people like it that way.
Tomorrow at 5.45am(!) we depart for Sarajevo, Bosnia.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about anything in my whole life. I don’t know quite what to expect but I know it will be just incredible and indescribable.
Hope I don’t cry…
No, the title of this post is not a sport in Belgrade.
I’ve been thinking a lot, and the whole group has been talking, about how great it is that we have come here now, before this place really gets ‘discovered’, especially by the hordes of English stag parties who seem to be tearing through Prague and Budapest.
We have no doubt that much of the uniqueness of this place will slowly be diluted over time as it becomes so much popular. But it’s fantastic to have come here before that happens, and to see so much of it untouched.
You see the younger population walking around so westernised/homogenised and you can’t help but wonder if one day all that makes our cities special and unique could gradually be eroded.
This has been a great experience so far, and we all picked a great time to see this amazing part of the world.
I spent today (Day 5) with Gavin and Bea walking round Belgrade (a free day with no ‘group’ activities planned).
Not long into the day Bea turned to me and said from nowhere “You’re really good company, back home you must have a stack of friends”. Well I’m not sure how true either of those things are 🙂 but it was a very nice, sweet and reassuring thing to here, so far from home, surrounded by so many new things, new people, new experiences and even new concepts.
They love their cheesy music this part of the world, I feel at home. Rick Astley, Kylie & Jason, lots of 80s movie music, its everywhere! 🙂
Welcome to my holiday journal.
This is my blog from my 2 1/2 week trip around the former Yugoslavia in September 2007, I’ve recently rearranged it to list all posts from the start so you can read the journal as it was originally written. The trip was booked through Intrepid Travel; their Balkan Adventure package, and I was with about a dozen other travellers. I’d highly recommend it. Enjoy!