I can already feel that we have been off the bikes for to long. It’s been 8 days and I’m going a little stir crazy. Brian keeps telling me that we’ll just be well very rested for pushing on through the Bosnian Mountains but I’m starting to get a bit nervous at this extended vacation from my bicycle.
Sarajevo, what can I say? It’s a beautiful city with a sordid past, I love places with a long history and Sarajevo doesn’t disappoint. In fact a short stroll down the main boulevard and you can actually see the cityscape change right before your eyes. You start out at the base of the Dinaric Alps just along the Miljacka River, it’s were the Ottoman Empire settled and the Turkish influence begins. Then you can work your way past Austria-Hungary with their large block buildings and the monuments to Christianity. Continue a bit further into the new part of the city and see the many war damaged buildings that came under attack during Bosnian fight for independence from Yugoslavia. Finally end at the new construction and suburbs of a growing ever changing urban center.
Brian and I did a fair amount of walking around, after all we were in Sarajevo for just under a week. We arrived a few days shy of the date our friends from home were scheduled to show up. So, having time to kill, and not wanting to do all that wonderful sightseeing before they arrived, we instead did a lot of scouting out points of interest and some much needed bicycle maintenance. We rotated the tires, tightened cables, and rewrapped handlebars. Only one day out of those 6 did we manage to get out and ride our bikes. Our friends on a pair of rentals, we rode up to the 1984 Olympic Bobsled Track and back. I felt kind of bad that day because we underestimated how hard of a ride that is for people who don’t ride their bikes as much as we do. What we thought to be a little morning ride turned out to be an all day experience but totally worth the hard effort we all put in to get there. Most of us made it to the top using only human power, the other one of us got a ride. To be fair though, it was hard! Go and see it if you ever have the chance, I recommend you go by car if you are not cycling inclined. (Reminder for next time.)
After spending a few more days in Sarajevo with our friends we decided to prolong the visit by renting a car and doing a small road trip. Not long at all, I think by the time we are finished it will be something like 500 kilometers of driving but something in the area of 16 hours of driving. With stops, but we stop a lot! The itinerary changes day by day and often hour by hour but so far we have driven from the Sarajevo Airport to Dubrovnik Croatia. It took about 6 hours to get that far, we spent the night in a huge Apt. just a 15 minute walk outside of Old Town (tourist center). I took that night and part of the following day to recover from severe motion sickness, so I didn’t really see much of Dubrovnik. Brian and our friends spent the first evening and the next morning sightseeing and taking pictures. From there we crossed to Montenegro heading for Kotor, a smaller less touristed village by the bay for some hiking, picture taking, and my personal favorite – relaxation. Tomorrow we part ways with our friends in Podgorica, Montenegro. Brian and I take the car back to Sarajevo and they continue on with their trip by bus and us on bike. All this time spent with friends has been great but I feel the need to get moving again and not in the 4 wheeled way. I’m ready for the peace of climbing dusty roads and long hills on my bicycle. It’s been too long off the saddle and I can feel it.