So as I explained in the last post, we had settled down about 20km outside Sarajevo so that we could arrive early the next morning and get a full day looking about the city. We had chose a, what looked to be, abandoned lot to camp in. In the morning, shortly after we had gotten up some man arrived. A different man than our friend from last night. Our friend last night had made us feel very welcome in his lot. This guy, after some gesturing and some English sounding words had been spoken, seemed to think we were NOT welcome in the lot (despite the coffee we offered him!)
He had a younger guy with him too who seemed to be a bit friendlier to us. The older guy, we think (very hard to tell what was going on) tried to get a bit of money, “€10 parking”. We insisted that the owner had been by last night and allowed us to stay, so eventually we dropped it. We made to leave and they went over and started splitting logs. As we were heading out of the lot the younger dude started shouting after us for money, but the older man gave us a knowing smile and waved us out of the yard with his hatchet shouting “Go, go. good luck, good luck.”
So began our day into Sarajevo. Not long after we left, less than an hour, we were in the outskirts of the city. It was still early, and having been chased off the lot before we had eaten we were hungry. We stopped at store and got some breakfast.
We rode into Sarajevo without much of a plan in terms of where to stay, we couldn’t get any hosts in the city so we figured we’d find a hostel when we got there. We rode into the city and came to a stop at some arbitrary point, figuring we’d look for somewhere to stay from there. “Oh look” said Finn “that’s one of the hostels I was reading about yesterday across the street, we can just stay there”.
Sarajevo is a crazy city with a complicated past that I don’t entirely grasp so I won’t get into it, but it is an amazing place to visit. It nestled right in the mountains so they are almost always in view. Our hostel was situated in the old town, which is the Muslim area of the city with five Mosques within five minutes of each other. The old town also has the old bazaar and lots of other market places, but since the place is mostly populated by tourists these tend to all sell the same stuff.
Within walking distances from the old town though, are Christian churches, orthodox churches and a synagogue – the whole places is a total hodgepodge of different cultures and its a really interesting place to spend a few days.
When we finally left two days later it was late in the evening. We rode out of the hostel and up into the mountains around the city, then back down into a gorge not ten minutes later as it was getting dark. we camped out and got ready to really get cycling again properly the next day.