2016 Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Out of the EU and into the Balkans

In all I spent 4 days in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2 in each country respectively.  Least expensive countries in my entire trip as well an area with the most recent wars between them (Croatia too) making the walking tours all the more interesting.  In my opinion these are two countries that should not be missed!


Slow start in Budapest as I had to negotiate my Belgrade Airbnb under the table first, then stopped for one last amazing Thai Soup!  M5 to the Serbian border C2/3R7T3V5 - Lots of trucks from Romania heading to their home.  Still had my cough and that didn't change when I changed countries unfortunately :(

Fully covered new cars
Must be fancy!  Alpha Romeos

straight ahead on the M5

Always a sign you're at the border
Truck line

After 35 days in the EU I was exiting

Oh, i've seen line ups at Borders
This wasn't to bad.






























I'm in Serbia, pretty excited since this was not part of my trip plan at all.

You know what, it's pretty much
just like the EU



Border to Belgrade C3R5/6T3V5, Flat land and farms with the occasion memorials which could have been from the wars or may be accidents.  Unfortunately being later in the day I didn't stop to look and to be honest I can't even read Serbia signage.  On top of not being able to read Serbia signage, I forgot to update my GPS maps so I was flying in to big bad Belgrade without a GPS hoping some people spoke English!

Like the Canadian Prairies



Ah crap, Road Tolls

Ah cute, I think my moto is bigger

Running out of light

Very different architecture
Genex Tower

Ah crap, Rush Hour

Please don't miss the turn Brad

From the war I'm guessing
My flash pad in Belgrade, Serbia.

Initially I thought it wasn't the best
location, but it turned out it to be
close to everything


Under one of the bridges that crosses the Sava 

Fisherman beside the bridge



A little walking tour of the Belgrade Water Front

Seems a spot that should be
refurbished


  
Belgrade Fortress

The Sava and Danube meeting point



A nice salad Nicoise with a view from the Fortress



Oh shit, this could be a problem.
"nah, it's been like that for 250 years"


  
WTF? dinosaurs outside the fortress? 

I'm sure Novak Djokovic's kick some ass here

Entrance to the pedestrian mall
on Kneza

These young buskers are likely from Syria.  Serbia has seen a
 large number of Syrians pass through hoping to get to the EU.

Ah, sunny moment after a tasty
lunch at Prolece



The One Man Hot Dog Show

National Museum 


After a good time in Belgrade I moved West to Sarajevo, BIH (300km).  E70 for 40km, just enough time to pay the road toll and get off C1/2R7/8T3V4.  Highway 26 going South skirting the border of BIH on a small road with lots of towns and farm traffic (like Europe used to be before highways) C5R5T6/7V5.  Stopped for lunch near Loznica and...

Chau Belgrade, I'll miss you

No road toll on this bad boy

Lots of farmers on the road



Is that a look out tower?



Crossing the Sava

Free air, just bring it to your car

Hey man, that's a no passing line Crazy!

Who's mansion is this?

Close call Meatball 



We actually had to dodge the
oncoming traffic as the lights
weren't that well coordinated.

These guys are pretty remote

Shit, I hope this doesn't last

Dodgy Restaurant Owner Side Story - Stopped just before the BIH border to use up my Serbian dinars.  The food was ok and the prices pretty good until I went to pay.  The owner assumed I didn't have dinars and told me 10 euros is good enough which was 25% more than what it should be in dinars.  The owner was a little surprised and embarrassed when I pulled out dinars paying the right amount.  He was probably even more surprised when after this scam I stupidly gave him a 15% tip. Tipping isn't customary in Serbia, especially not in a small town (Remember how much your small town Grandparents used to tip, 5% was good enough) to a guy trying to rip you off.  

DON'T RECOMMEND: Restoran GAJIC near Loznica.


Roasted Pepper Salad, tasty!

Salty, but tasty fish with a Cockta (Yugoslavia Coca cola)


Goodbye Serbia

Hello Bosnia-Herzegovina
I was really excited to see BIH and wondered just how it would look after being the main battle ground of the wars in the 1990s.  From the border on M19 to Sarajevo C7R6T3V8.

A LITTLE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA BACKGROUND:  The way I understand it is Serbia is mostly Orthodox Christian Serbians, BIH is mostly Muslim Bosnians (Herzegovinians which is a small population) and Croatia is mostly Catholic Croatians.  This caused some disagreements over the years and was heightened when Russia pulled out ending Yugoslavia.  Most of the battle ground was in BIH and I believe at one point Croatia was with BIH and then switched sides I think. I'm not sure of all the war details only knowing there were 2 major wars, the one fought in BIH to be the much longer and intense one.

FYI if you are of Serbia descent born in one of the other two countries you are Serbe (not Serbian) and Bosniak and Croat, respectively.

Just after crossing the Drina from Loznica, Serbia to Gornji Sepak, Bosnia

Yeah!!! In BIH









Along the Drina

climbing into the mountains

I always see a driveway like that and think when it snows
what a disaster.





Gorgeous pass

Up to 1100 m (3500 ft)

Gorgeous area as I climbed through winter ski resort towns.

On top of the pass



Getting dark and I should watch for Cows!

Unexpected flat highlands

This is not a Tunnel, it's just dark!
Arrived in smaller Sarajevo to a less than welcoming Airbnb owner, Alma, who wasn't impressed at my 30 minutes of tardiness.  Anyway.  the apartment was a good price, but I think I would have paid more for a cosier one considering the temperature in the street was 2 or 3 degrees warmer than the apartment.

Sarajevo apartment.  Too big = chilly.

Inner building parking


Quick video from the rooftop of the Sarajevo apartment


 

Touring Sarajevo which I couldn't believe was 500,000 people as it felt smaller compared similar sized Riga or Vilnius in the Baltics.  Or maybe it was because I was coming from Belgrade a city of 1.4 million.  Sarajevo is a quieter city with a stepped down section of the Miljacka river that passes its quaint old town and in the evening you can find a surprising live Jazz scene especially on the weekends.    

Apartment street view
  
Wild design

Still some areas in need of repair



Miljacka River

Looping Festine Lente Bridge in front of the Fine Arts Uni.

More interesting design



Old town

A type of Cupavice, tasty!

Bascarsija Square

Ali Pasha Mosque

University



Nativity of the Theotokos Church

Grappa, homemade fruit wine (20 to 60% alcohol)
  
The non smoking section is outside
the restaurant. I'm a total black sheep
Found this famous photo
Outside of Pink Houdini Jazz Club

Man, here's a good spot to buy.  Look at the view in the video.

Up on the East hill side of the city


Cool to stumble upon something most tourist don't




Ferhadija Mosque

Children's War Memorial



Post rain streets come alive

A movie box or something?




National Opera House

Great Freestyle session at the Pink Houdini

Using up my Bosnian marks
on tasty beer



Yeah baby,  Jazz!! at the Pink Houdini.  Watch the video, 5 minutes of freestyling, great!

Tough to see, but this slanted column
is covered in mirrored glass



Other Stuff

Whoa, there must be a football game on.  Streams of people wearing the same colours going the same direction, that's a hint.

Toilet tank on plant pot holders



8 STEPS TO WASHING HANDS, REALLY???


Tough to find Vegan food in
a Muslim town. 

Relief from those tripping stones


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