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Archive for March, 2007

An acquaintance of mine, from TravellersPoint, was in Sarajevo around New Year. I gave him a few advices about accomodation and places to see. Here’s what he wrote when he came back from the trip:

Sarajevo was wonderful! Except the WC on the bus station, I can’t think of anything wrong with your city.

Let’s start from the accomodation – hostel Marko Polo is in fact an appartment modified to serve for renting (one double room, two rooms with more beds, shared kitchen and bathroom). Location is great, it’s practically on Baščaršija (which doesn’t include the noise, on the contrary, Logavina is a quiet street – the fact that the Police is few meters away probably has something to do with it :-)). Double room (french bed) is decent, with a few silly things like porcelain giraffe and elephant, which adds to its charm. The owner (Emina, very dear and kind person) is especially proud of big TV with DVD player and Stereo system. The bathroom is ok, and there’s even a washing machine for those who are staying longer. The only little minus is that Emina (or her son) sleeps in the kitchen, so the kitchen is mostly unavailable in the early morning hours. All in all, considering the location, cleaniness and comfortable room, huge range of TV programs and DVD’s to chose from, I think 15 € per person was a good price. An advice: we heard many horror stories about Ljubičica agency, so try to warn any future travellers!

Red, Yellow and Paja taxis are all very cheap as you said.

The most wonderful thing about Sarajevo, except Baščaršija and view from Vratnik, were the people – they’re so kind, good hosts and open for conversations!

I was especially impressed by the lady working in Bosnian cafe Behar. She cooks a great coffee and pours the stories from her sleeves along with it. The ladies at antique bookstore Tarih were also kind and warm, as well as old gentleman in Preporod bookstore. There were many more such people.

I hope I gave you some information you can use to help future travellers.

So, in the spirit of helping fellow travellers and forwarding information from insiders, I would appreciate any comments or reviews like this one.

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Road to Mostar

I travelled through Bosnia&Herzegovina a lot. Mostar is one of the places I’ve been to many times. You’d think I’d get bored of the same road I take every time. But I’m not. It goes through canyon of Neretva, Herzegovian beauty, and passes by many beautiful mountains.

Road from Sarajevo to Mostar 1

I haven’t taken many photos of this road though. Any road actually. I usually keep my camera somewhere out of reach while driving and miss many beautiful shots. But browsing through my old photos, I found a few that might be interesting to those who are wondering about the quality of this road.

Road from Sarajevo to Mostar 2

This is one of the best roads in Bosnia&Herzegovina in terms of quality. It’s pretty straight and with less number of bumps and obstacles than the average. There are a few places where stone avalanches (what the English term for this?) are possible during the winter, but they are mostly well secured with proper wires. Speed limit is mostly the usual 60km/h (40km/h on some parts) and I would suggest to anyone not familiar with the road not to drive too much above it.

Road from Sarajevo to Mostar 3

The road goes through quite a few little towns and villages and passes by Jablaničko Lake. The railroad follows it constantly, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right side. Sometimes it’s above and rarely below the road. There are many cute bridges and deserted old train stations on the way.

Road from Sarajevo to Mostar 4

I think road from Sarajevo to Mostar is one of the most beautiful roads I have ever seen (not that I’ve seen too many :-)). It takes my breath away each time.

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Having my own car, I don’t find myself in a situation to need a cab quite often. But I know many people who do. I’m amazed with some horror stories about Sarajevo taxi drivers I’ve heard.

Sarajevo Taxi was the first and, for the long time, the only taxi company in the city. Considering the monopoly it had and a limited number of licences for taxi drivers, lots of them became quite unpleasant to drive with. And to my knowledge, this behaviour has changed only to worse since other companies gained taxi licenses.

It’s not unusual for drivers of Sarajevo Taxi to refuse to take you in just because you won’t drive far enough (which is half way across the city for them). They often charge extra 2-4KM per bag (!?) which they won’t even bother to put in the car or take it out. And you constantly have to stare at the taximeter, or it magically skips a few digits as soon as you turn away from it. Some of these drivers are also rude, bad smelling and smoke a lot, in addition to listening to bad (and loud) music. If these are the stories I hear from locals, I can only imagine the things they’re capable of doing to tourists!

On the other hand, I’ve heard mostly positive things about drivers of other taxis, such as Crveni (Red) Taxi, Žuti (Yellow) Taxi or Paja Taxi. If I remember well, one of the Crveni Taxi‘s drivers returned a significant amount of money to a popular Croatian singer Gibonni who left it behind while driving to the airport.

None of this has to be completely black and white. I’m sure there are some good and some bad taxi drivers working for every company. I just hate it when any group of people starts doing whatever they like just because they can. So, be aware, you naive tourists out there! 

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