Sarajevo, Mostar, Herceg Novi, Kotor and Ulcinj
01.09.2007 36 °C
havene had time to upload the pics for these 2 countries yet so they will come in the next week or so i guess!
Well i set off for Sarajevo first of all. I have to admit i had no real idea what was i gonna see or do while here and first impressions werent all that great as the bus station was in a giant industrial estate. However i made my way to the hostel and the guy kinda explained to me that the side of the city that the bus station is on is basically just residential and industrial so i had no real reason to go there (i say he kinda explained it cos he didnt speak any english, just italian and serbo-croat and i dont speak either of them). So i went out that night in the rough direction which i was pointed and discovered a city which was remarkably busy around 3 or 4 streets and then really quiet everywhere else. I obviously couldnt see many sights this first night so just spent most of my time getting my bareing etc. The next day i headed off proper to see all the sights, i was amazed at how much of a pretty city i had encountered, surrounded on all sides by hills, narrow streets with hundreds of shops selling anything and everything and hundreds of beautiful mosques. Apparently there about 108 mosques in Sarajevo which i had no idea about but i looked round the 2 biggest, Emperors Mosque and Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque, both of them are stunning though i thought the Bey mosque was a lot more grand than the Emperors mosque which was a bit unexpected! I spent the rest of the day looking round all the old town and then going around all the museums, actually there were only 2 and one of them was the worst museum i have ever been in, in my life!!
The next day i moved onto Mostar which is a very interesting place. Its very interesting to look at the parrellels between the two sides of the city. The christian side has been largely rebuilt because it was the more prosperous side of town, but driving through the muslim side of town it looks in places like the war just ended last week. There is still collapsed houses all over the place and shells of houses seem to be about every 4th house. There was some really weird rebuilding bits though, at one point there was a huge new glass DHL building which looked all posh and new and its next door neighbour was the shell of an apartment block, with one side collapsed and u could see all the way through the entire block!
Anyway after really enjoying my short stay in Bosnia i celebrated my birthday by taking a 9 hour busride to Herceg Novi in Montenegro (not the recommended way to celebrate your birthday). I arrived in Herceg Novi without a room so just had to grab a granny at the bus station, this was the first time in my trip i had had to do this so was very curious what sorta room etc i would be given. Basically though for 10 euros (6 quid) a night u just get the spare room in their house (providing the house is in the centre, its a lot cheaper if u go further out but then u have 2 drag ur bag miles!) it was quite nice and Herceg Novi itself was a pretty little walled town but nothing special. But it was a nice stop over for a night. The next stop was the town of Kotor. I met an english guy on the bus called Dave and we agreed to share a room to cut down on costs. We unforunatly picked a really crap ant infested room though! The town of kotor was very beautiful though, it was a walled town in a deep gorge looking out across a bay. Another mistake we made though however was to go to the fortress at about 1pm in 38 degree heat. It seemed like a good idea at the time but what we didnt really realise at the time was that the fortress was at the top of one of the mountains!! we both lost about a stone just on the walk up i think! After relaxing in a cafe and generally trying to return ourselves to the land of the living we wandered round the old town for a few hours before heading out for some Tea. Our tea was really nice, goulash incase u were wondering, but was occasionally broken up by city wide powercuts! Went out for a few beers afterwards which was a good laugh. We split up the next day and i kicked onto Ulcinj and again needed a room on arrival (there are no hostels in Montenegro). After some hardcore bargaining in the bus station i managed to get an entire apartment for 9 euros!! the only catch being it was up a huge hill on the outskirts of town, even so i couldnt turn that down it was just 2 cheap! Ulcinj is a very strange place though, its primarily where all bosnians, serbs and montenegrans go on holiday as it has a 10 mile long beach! but that seems to dominate the town and its all a bit 2 much hotel condos for me too take it serious!
Anyway im off to Albania today, im actually really nervous about going here and to Macedonia because they both write mainly in Cryllic (macedonia writes only in it, no latin text anywhere!) so im thinking it will be very very difficult to navigate my way around! only time will tell though eh, if u never hear from me again im wandering round Tirana cluelessly for the rest of eternity!