I couldn’t find a host for Couchsurfing, so I got accommodation through Airbnb. I was about an hours walk outside the main city in a quiet suburban area (much better, I think). The house was divided into two levels and I had the bottom level all to myself, with everything that I needed for the bargain price of $15 a night! There was a nice garden to sit in, a mummy and a baby cat to cuddle and this was my view from my balcony:
The host, Diana, was also gorgeous. Through Airbnb, sometimes you don’t even meet the host or only briefly, it is not really expected that you spend time together. But Diana was a sweet 50 year old lady who was happy to have a cup of tea every afternoon and even cooked a couple of times for me. We had some good conversations thanks to Google translate!
On the first day, I walked into the city to see the old city. A river runs through the city (which is brown but I have no idea why, so that didn’t make for lovely photos) and going a across one of these rivers is a bridge called the Latin Bridge. This is where the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated, triggering the beginning of World War I. Fun little fact, I thought.
When I got to the city finally, I noticed a fortress at the top of the hill. So naturally, I had to check it out. There were no signs or anything helpful, so I just followed roads leading in the general direction. It was the middle of the day, it was boiling and the roads were like a 45 degree angle and it probably took me around 45 minutes to get there. Eventually I made it to the top and the view over the city was amazing. Totally worth the hike! While enjoying the view, I noticed a much easier path where to reach the fortress, that other cleverer people had been using.
After a while and when I could be bothered moving again, I went and checked out the old city. Very beautiful with a lot of gorgeous buildings, some a lot more run down that in other parts of Europe I have seen. You can tell it is a poorer country, but was never dirty or anything. There are a lot of street dogs in Bosnia, and at first, I didn’t realise that they were street dogs and thought they had owners because they all look so healthy! Then I realised there were packs of them everywhere.
The next day, I was all excited to go to the Museum of History and really learn some more about the Bosnian war and the formation/break up of Yugoslavia. You would think that these topics would heavily dominate any history museum. But this one chose to pretty much ignore it, apart from some photos. So I’ll have to learn it from Wiki.
But my day got better when I was walking home and decided to stop at this little local restaurant. I had noticed in the city the day before a whole bunch of restaurants selling Bosnian ‘pie’ but I was put off going into any by the hoards of English speaking people. The restaurant I found was in like an industrial area, so safe to say, no English.
The pie is filo pastry cooked in a traditional wood-fire oven, in like a pizza dish. They sell it by weight, so you just decide how big you want your piece. The pastry circles around the dish and is filled with either spinach, potato, pumpkin or meat. And you eat it with yogurt on top. Yay for more veggie options for once.
On my last day in the city, I had planned to go on a hike with a tour group to a traditional village in the mountains. When I woke up, it was pouring and super cloudy. I thought, oh well, it’s just rain, I’ll get over it. I walked 30 mins to the city, got completely soaked, almost slipped over in the mud and decided that, unfortunately, my flimsy canvas shoes were not suitable for hiking in the rain in the mountains.