Wednesday, July 27, 2011
A quick summary - after spending nearly a week wrestling with the Bosnian authorities over paperwork for the Mrs., we grabbed a bus to Mostar (which lost its transmission en route, but was repaired by the driver and bus attendant on the side of the road and continued on to Mostar). We grabbed a local bus to Blagaj and spent the night in a restored, 18th century Ottoman house and visited the dervish house at the mouth of the river Buna. We then made a raid on the tourist stonghold of Mostar, grabbing a few photos of the new Old Bridge before a ¨bus trip¨ (really a bewildering car ride to a minibus) to Tebinje, in the part of Hercegovina known as Republika Srpska, where upon arrival my bag was missing from the minibus. After relaxing in Trebinje, we embarked on another guerrilla-style raid of another tourist-held town, Dubrovnik, Croatia, and before nightfall found quarters in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. The next afternoon we arrived in Kotor, at the end of a bay attached to the Adriatic, for a few days of kajaking and climbing the old walls of the town. Then it was off to the old Montenegro capital of Cetinje (Tse-tin-yeh) for some museums and sights, and a trip around the largest lake in the Balkans, Lake Skadar. From there we were on to Durmitor park, then some Crna Gora hospitality with family in Nikšić (where en route the tire blew out on our minibus, and our driver jumped in a car with no explanation, leaving us on the side of the road). We left Montenegro for Serbia, with a stop in Novi Pazar, in the largely Muslim Sanđak region, then a lot of buses to get to the mountains of Zlatibor and a ride on the Šargan Eight railway. We then spent four nights in Novi Sad, the capital of Serbia's Vojvodina region, with a visit to the largely-Hungarian town of Subotica and a hike in the rolling, fetile hills of Fruška Gora. We also made a day trip to Belgrade - where we will return again before we leave - and now find ourselves again visiting Živinice in NE Bosnia. Tonight we plan to get an overnight bus to Zagreb, then carry on for a day trip to Plitivice Lake National Park in Croatia, followed by spending the weekend poking around the Croatian capital.