Traveling to Bosnia

Traveling to Bosnia

I woke up at 6am to someone else’s alarm clock. I was worried that I would wake everyone up while gathering my things in the morning, but everyone else was already awake.

I left my hostel and dropped the keys on the front desk. This hostel didn’t have a 24 hour receptionist, but I’m sure they’ll find them. I walked to a bus stop then took a local bus #8 to the main bus station. I arrived at 7:30am with plenty of time to catch my 8:00am bus to Mostar, Bosnia.

I had a little bit of time to kill, so I grabbed breakfast at a local grocery store for 23 kuna, about $4.

Breakfast from a grocery store
I decided to separate my luggage into the two bags instead of putting one inside the other. I put my large bag in the holding underneath the bus and got a baggage ticket, then went on board with my camera backpack. I didn’t realize, but now it makes perfect sense, that there are assigned seats. I knew to get a window seat on the left side since the bus travels the Croatian coast and there are some beautiful views, but it didn’t work out. Instead I got an aisle seat on the right side. Oh well, not the end of the world.

We arrived at the Bosnian border around 9:00 am. A border agent came on our bus and checked everyone’s passport. In pulling out my passport though, I realized the girl sitting next to me also had an American passport too. She was speaking Croatian/Bosnian earlier, so I asked her about it and it turns out she was born in Bosnia, but lives in Jacksonville. She’s visiting family between Mostar and Sarajevo. I told her I’m from Florida – while I live in South Carolina, Florida is more recognizable with travelers around the world, so it’s my default response.

There were two other girls sitting across the aisle that were also from the United States.. We talk a bit and they work for corporate Target and one of them was from Tarpon Springs, about 15 minutes from Tampa! Its crazy how you meet people while traveling and have seemingly unlikely connections with them. They’re doing a very similar trip, so we exchange tips on where we’re going and how to get from place to place.

Shortly after, we stopped for 15 minutes at a rest stop/roadside restaurant. It had a pretty good view of the coast.

Bosnian rest stop
View from the overlook

We stopped at another border crossing 9:30 am, this time going back into Croatia. No stamp at the first border crossing, but I got one at the second.. 2 hours into the trip and there wasn’t anymore coast in view – mostly curvy road going through mountains while passing small towns.

10:15 am and another border crossing – this one going from Croatia back in to Bosnia. The thought crossed my mind, you know it might be easier if this was all one country. After realizing what I just thought, I decided to keep that comment to myself.

This third border took awhile to get through. While waiting in line, the bus driver shouted at another car. Not knowing what they said, I asked the girl next to me. She said that he was just wishing his buddy a good time in Sarajevo. I told her I always wonder what people are saying when I can’t understand them and that I like to make up conversations with what I think they’re talking about. For example, I imagined that he was mad the guy driving the car didn’t pay him back after crashing his scooter. Stupid, but it keeps me entertained.

Maybe it’s because it’s not a night bus, but this bus experience has been much better than the overnight MegaBus I took from Charlotte to DC in January. It’s pretty comfortable and the scenery outside isn’t just boring highways. As we got closer, we were driving down a road hugging the Neretva river, on the eastern side. Next up – Mostar.