Before heading to Bosnia, I looked at the map and saw the mountain territory. I wanted to see a new culture that I decided to cycle on the mount! But from the first day it is really scary because of the trace of war. What could I see in Bosnia?
It is mountain that the road to reach to the border is an uphill. I like their flag which has stars.
I have to cycle 200 m (656 ft) to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) above sea level today. At the middle of the road, I can see the road I passed.
I think I am closing to the top of the mount.
Reward: Awesome downhill making me feel exciting.
After passing a small border town, I can’t find other village. It is 8:30 pm around getting dark.
Feeling scared, I find a village. Unfortunately, it is a ghost village which was abandoned after a war.
From the start, I feel fear about Bosnia. Mine is next to the main road, there are so many ghost houses in which people don’t live any more and trace of shooting. After the dark, I have to cycle more to find a village.
The first house I reach is actually under the construction. As I close, I see one guy drinking beer at the outside. So, I turn around quickly, but the guy walks to me. Hey.. don’t follow me, you make me scarier.
The second house I knock is elder people’s house. I feel comfortable that I thought I can set up my tent. But he says No. He didn’t speak English that I am wondering he actually understands what I mean.
The third house I go in is farmer’s house. He is really fat and big. He shows me one room, and I am too scary. It is empty room or his room? So, I say thank you and run away from him.
Finally the fourth house I ask is welcome to me. This house doesn’t have a toilet at the inside.
She is 81 years old. She is so kind to me that she shows me eggs. I say no thank (because I am a vegan…).
She brings me some plate with potatoes and bacon. I cannot deny this time, because it is already on the plate.
I start eating, and I feel so happy. It is not a bacon, but cooked onion. hahahahahaha
At the next morning, they offer me to have Rakija which is Balkan strong drinking. When I say “zivjeli” which means cheers and which I learn from other people in Croatia, they laugh and like it.
It is my first time to drink and drive. Hahahahahaha.
I can see so many houses have the trace of war.
In the abandoned house, only trees are growing.
Sometimes, ghost houses and people houses are mixed.
For breakfast, I have bread with olive oil, some seasonings, and banana.
The road is so quiet that I make some photo.
The first image of Bosnia was a poor country which had the trace of war. But as going inside of the country, I can see many normal houses.
I have to pass at least one mount everyday these days. I like to reach to the top.
Actually I pass two or three mountains for one day sometimes.
The biggest reason these days I love the mountain is I can see wide green beautiful scenery.
Around the top, people sell some cheese and honey.
While looking at the map, I am surprised that I take a wrong road. So, I decide to cycle on a small road to go back to other main road. I feel nervous how I can find a house on this small road. But fortunately, there is a little village. A local people kindly invite me at their house, because outside is so cold with a high altitude.
They offer me dinner as well. Something is wrapped with a cabbage like Mandu or dumpling. As my guessing, I see the meat when I cut half. Finally I eat meat after 50 days vegan.
I am traveling around the world that it is not possible to become 100% vegan, and I like to try a new culture’s food. So, I think I should not feel sad about eating meat some times.
It is red juicy and good tasty.
There are some ruined houses with normal houses.
There is everywhere mine beside the secondary road I take today. I should not enjoy and enter to the nature around here.
At the beginning the road was okay. But the more I close to the end of road, the worse the road is.
I guess Croatia and Bosnia don’t build house in one time. They build slowly and add something when they get money and time. I see many people don’t put anything on the Balcony. I’ve been many poor countries in Latin America and Africa, but usually every people finish building one time.
I think Balkan people are more relax.
After reaching 1,200m (3937 ft) above sea level, there downhill is! I enjoy cycling on a downhill so much, but suddenly I hold my brakes.
Because the scenery is stunning and fantastic!! I’ve never heard before that there is a beautiful lake on my way.
It is my first time to think about buying a house at the place I really like. But I am not much interested about making lots of money that it would be not possible to buy a holiday house here. Maybe I will fly sometimes.
Although this village has amazing view, there are no hotels and tourists. The town is around Scit or Gornje Selo? I am not sure exactly. It is my secret place! hahaha
Today I will go down until 200m above sea level. The landscape is so beautiful that I stop many times.
Konjic is?a?famous city for rafting that there are so many hotels. I try to get out of touristic city to find a place to set up my tent easily.
I take some small road and ask some local people. They didn’t speak English, but one of them said his family has a hotel near here. They write down the name of hotel on a paper.
So I got a free hotel tonight!!
I wanted to take the shower and checked something while using WiFi. But an owner’s son and friend ask me to have a beer together. I was supposed to have only one beer and take the rest. But actually they keep order my beer. At the fourth beer which they ordered when I went to a toilet, I say I am too tired to drink, so this one will be the last. After that beer, I fell in sleep deeply without doing anything.
I can feel something difference from yesterday. People are too kind, and sometimes it bothers me a little bit. Many cars honk horn. The way to the capital is not easy. There are too many cars and it is a narrow road. Many of them don’t like to share the road with me and pass very close to me.
Today I cycle from 200 m (656 ft) to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) above sea level.
After few meter, I will have 10% downhill! Yeah!
I am wondering what it is. Later I heard from a local people that they dry grass on wood for a domestic animal. It is very old and typical way, but many people still use it.
When I close to the capital, the weather is weird. It rains suddenly. These days the weather is like this. Rain and stop and rain and stop.
When I am into the capital, I get too much stress with many cars which close too much to me. If I lost balance of handle bar, I might be hit by car many times.
I turn to a small road, and finally I find peace. A car is forbidden to pass here.
I was supposed to stay in a hostel, but I got an answer from couchsurfing’s host.
Thanks to him, I could have a local beer.
The Eternal flame is a memorial to the military and civilian victims of the Second World War in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This is old town. It is said that Sarajevo is the biggest Muslim city in Europe. That’s why here are many tourists.
Mosque and Old town
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife were shot dead in Sarajevo. It is The Latin Bridge in Sarajevo, close to the site of the assassination who led directly to the First World War when Austria-Hungary subsequently issued an ultimatum against Serbia, which was partially rejected.
Actually this city is not much special if one already sees so many European cities. There is another tourist city which is called Mostar in Bosnia. Mostar has old bridge and old town. I choose Sarajebo to see.
This is Bosnian money. I had already Euros and dollars, but I couldn’t find exchange shop in small towns. I was too hungry, but didn’t have a local money. So, I got much money from ATM although I will stay only for a few days. Every time I lose 10 to 15 dollars to take money from ATM. This is the reason why I every time take lots of money from ATM (Actually every time I take between 200~300$).
Always to exchange local money in that country is the best rate in my experience. So, I exchange most of Bosnian money to Euros in Sarajevo.
I take the picture of Bosnian money just before changing money, so I don’t have other money on the picture.
Before becoming a vegan, I always eat cheap slice bread. But these days I am trying to buy whole grain bread. Many things are cheap in Bosnia. This bread is only less than one dollar. I am wondering there is some dairy product such as egg, butter, or milk on the bread. Some people say dairy product is expensive, so they don’t put dairy product on this kind of bread. Anyway I can never deny bread, because this is main energy for cycling. I cannot cook rice every time. Bread is only one I can make myself full.
Three bananas, two tomatoes, five carrots, two apples are 2.5$
Isn’t it okay?
One of lovely things in Bosnia is that I can get mineral water very easily. It is so cool, and it doesn’t have any taste! It means so tasty!
One of my cycling habit is I am looking at the front sensitively to check uphill or downhill by seeing car or road’s degree of an angle. Now there I can see the road on the top.
It is really good to cycle on the uphill, because I can see a clear view later
While concerning where I can sleep tonight, I find a few houses. When I knock the door, an elder lady comes out and lets met set up tent. She asks I am alone in a body language. Suddenly, she is shocked with the fact I am cycling as a solo woman, and she lets me sleep at her inside of house.
It is really good that I don’t need worry about a cold night on the mount tonight.
When I looked at the map, there was a short cut way. I decide to take the secondary road from morning.
It is like African house I’ve seen.
Since some point, the road is changed to an unpaved path. At a forked road, one local guy says something loudly at me. I couldn’t understand a local language at all, and especially I am scared of him. So, I ignore him and keep going.
As I keep cycling, the road is really worse, and there are no any houses or people. What a scary thing is that the guy who said something at me is already in front of me on a really quiet road.
I thought why he caught me and waited me on this small road. He says something again loudly at me. He doesn’t use a body language, so it is really hard to understand. He keeps saying something, and I start guessing something.
The road I take is too worse uphill that even it is not possible to pass this road with his car.
Thanks to him, I can avoid worse road. I feel a bit upset, because I wasted whole morning. I should have not taken a small road, but a main road today. Nah… it is already pass that there is nothing I can do.
Actually the road he shows me is also very bad condition. I cannot imagine how the other road he strongly said to me I must not take will be. Anyway this road will connect to the main road.
At the beginning it is hard uphill, but after 30 minutes it is amazingly fun downhill.
I wish I have a mountain bike without luggage, then I can enjoy so much ever.
Now I am on a main road. Haha. Today I have to go up to 1,100 m (3,608 ft)
After an uphill, always the scenery is fantastic. Actually pictures I’ve taken look similar, but to me who sweat a lot to go up to the top every view of the top is totally different.
There is some flat road after downhill to the national park.
Here another amazing view is on the road. Every day I feel like I got a gift from Bosnia!
There is some short tunnel.
It will get dark soon, so I should not stop to see the view for a long time. I try to enjoy as much as I can on my bicycle. I prefer this amazing nature view to too many European old towns or too touristic places.
I set up my tent at a restaurant’s back yard. A worker says to me that she will never sleep here.
I wanted to say her “Hey common, me neither!!!! I want to sleep at the inside of house. But I don’t have a choice! Hahaha”
And actually I realize what she meant later. In the middle of the night, there is nobody. It is actually a wild camping. Hahahahaha
I wake up around 4:30am and start cooking. Actually I put first pasta and soybean. Then I feel lazy, so I put onions, potatoes, and garlic together. The water keeps overflowing. Hahaha
I have used the gas only five times. But already it is done. I try to use a new one I bought in Croatia for $11. And I realize a new gas is not fit. Oh..no…
I am hungry!
I close a lid and wait for twenty minutes just in case who knows. And I become so happy when I find it is well cooked. I save half of them on the pasta plastic bag which is really stronger and good at keeping for a leftover.
Today’s best part is to go up to 1300 m (4,265 ft).
I feel so happy with the fact of which is I don’t need to cycle faster to reach to the top. The only thing I have to do to be on the mount is that I just need keeping pedaling. That’s all!
It is the longest tunnel I’ve seen on my trip. 2km (1.24 mi)!
I install lanterns on the front and rear. And I turn the volume up to block a scary sound on a tunnel. If I feel so nervous with too loud sound of car passing, I will lose a balance and be hit by car. The best thing I can do for overcoming this long tunnel is to ignore car’s sounds. The music will help a lot. One funny thing is I hit the top on the tunnel. Hahaha. Half of the way is kind of a downhill.
After getting out of tunnel, I feel proud of myself and have some past and fruits.
From now I will go to 0 m above sea level. BUT it will be hilly. Hahaha.
After one uphill, it is downhill to the town of Gachko
A village market
Of course, I stop and buy a few things because I am a vegan. Hahaha.
One strawberry basket, three apples, four peaches, three bananas, six carrots, three tomatoes
I refilled the water from the bar. (I realize every bar kindly helps me to refill the water from a tap since Italy.) I used WiFi. I bought fruit. It looks everything is perfect.
But I feel a bit weird…. what else….. what else……….. Oh…………..NO……………….I forgot bread…..
I turn to the left to check a village, but it is too small to find anything.
I try to make myself full with fruits. And actually I feel full with only fruits. Haha.
After few hills, I pass a big lake.
I’ve seen in Croatia and Bosnia that people enjoy having a small vegetable garden. I guess many old people are too bored, so they start something to have fun. And the weather is really good to grow something.
I find another different culture is they enjoy a raw green onion as a salad with salt.
Usually many young people live with parents although they are over 20 years old in Balkan countries so far I’ve visited. I guess because a salary is too low compared to Western Europe, but everything is so expensive. And they are very close to each other in a family. But I think they try to respect their each private life.
I check what I bought around the lake. I bought some seeds and dried fruit. I wanted to buy a chocolate. But it is so funny that always this word is on the back “May contain of trace of milk.”
Why……..May???? Why they are not sure?? I just give up eating chocolate! Hahaha
These days it takes time to buy something, because I read all ingredients if there is in English. If there is May contain milk or egg, I put it back.
Actually I don’t want to buy something which is made in a factory. But I don’t have choice to eat many different things.
AH.. I really want to stop eating a cheap snack although there is no any trace of milk or egg. I was almost thinking for a few minutes while holding a cheap snack which is on the left of the top at the picture. Maybe at the next time I will not buy again.
(I think whole grain snack is okay. Just only problem is it is usually expensive.)
I make some sandwich. But the weather is too hot hot hot. Oh.. I hide and eat on bicycle’s shade.
Another enjoying few uphill
There is so nice downhill to a last big city in Bosnia. Local person kindly lets me set up tent and invites me at dinner. I am sure it is a chicken soup, but there is only vegetable. So, I just eat. After that they bring cheese and dried meat. I show them smiling and say that thank you so much but I am so sorry, I am a vegetarian, and I am not much hungry.
He goes to somewhere and brings a cucumber with a knife. Wow… I am so impressed ever. I feel I am so respected by him. When I meet people who can try to understand difference and respect it, I feel so lucky.
I am just a bit different, but I know many people will think I am wrong because I don’t eat meat and dairy product while spending too much energy. Actually I really don’t have any problem yet, and even I can cycle strongly better than before.
Bosnia was really fantastic place for cycling in my memory. People were generous and kind. The scenery was so so so beautiful ever. The road was usually quiet except near the capital. Best country for cycling! I enjoyed so much here. I thank to all Bosnian people who tried to help me and greeted at me with warm smiling.
Here is one proof how Bosnia people are so kind. Every place where I go, I can find a free WiFi. This is unusual thing. In all the country I’ve been, always they lock their WiFi with a password. But Bosnia! Oh! Fantastic Free WiFi everywhere!
I am a bit curious…. Bosnia is not rich country, but actually many people are struggling with a small salary. But why there is everywhere WiFi?
The best gift I got from Bosnia is I learn how to enjoy cycling on the mount.
(I am not sure actually that to love cycling on the mount could be only temporarily??? Hahaha. )
Anyway. Thank you, Bosnia!
Oh.. this is altitude of my route in Bosnia. 200-1000, 600-1000, etc.. fantastic!
Days in Bosnia = 9Days
Distance of cycling in Bosnia= 579.53 km (362.20 mi)
Cities I stayed in Bosnia = 7 Cities
Bosansko, Rilic, Ovcari, Sarajevo, Dobro Polja, Grab, Todorici
Expenditure in Bosnia = $42.60
[14/05/30~06/07 (D+1011) Bosnia]