Slovenia
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Camp and day’s information: Monday, 13th  June 2005

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15km S of Sarajevo
River / Quarry
Bushcamp

 

     

Warm day, cool breeze.  Max 23°C

Potato salad, smoked salmon Cevapi

We drove into Sarajevo first thing.  We stopped, parked and locked up near to the History Museum (which was looking rather shot-up and neglected from the outside).  The staff were quite friendly and a man showed us to a room  with a small exhibition on the history of Sarajevo from the 7th century up to the modern day.  It was interesting, although it didn't provide a very coherent picture of Bosnia's history and the information on the last twenty years was extremely limited.  Nevertheless, we are glad we visited as it gave us a very basic understanding of the country's past.  There were some beautiful older buildings in town which thankfully, were spared too much of a shelling onslaught, like this place with the hills as a backdrop.

Then we spent some time walking around the area surrounding the Holiday Inn (which is where the international journalists were based from 1991-1995).  There is a particular road there which was known as Sniper's Alley as the Serbs would sit up on the hillside and pick off civilians as they crossed the street.  The university was badly damaged and many of the buildings throughout the city stand as empty shells.  Others have been poly-filled and look like they have a bad case of the measles!

  

We drove down to the old city (first having a bit of a trouble looking for parking, with rather unfriendly parking lot attendants).  There was quite a lot of activity and people were bustling about in the open air markets and doing lots of shopping.  We saw one particularly large "splat" of damage on one of the buildings there...

We drove north west toward Bihac through beautiful valleys and hillsides.  We saw people having a village fair en route.  Everyone was wearing fresh summer clothing and children were going for mini fun fair rides.  It reminded us of the kind of thing our village would do back home!  The war scarred buildings continued throughout and the route was undergoing redevelopment with the aid of the EU.

We stopped in Bihac, near the border which was another lovely town set on a wide river.  We sat at a very pleasant riverside tavern and had a drink and ordered some cevapi (a type of cooked sausage meat wrapped in a spongy pita bread) to take away.  We watched kayakers doing a slalom course marked out on the river, a man training his German Shepherd dog and lots of young people lazing about on the grass.  I almost short changed the waiter by paying him , in part, with a Bulgarian note, but we had extra Euros to pay in the difference.

Exiting Bosnia wasn't a problem and when we entered Croatia to transit to Slovenia, we stupidly left the receipt for the Third Party insurance we had to buy in Bosnia, we both nattered so much to the border official and told him how much we'd had enjoyed Croatia before, that after he had a quick look in Nyathi he sent us on our merry way.

The scenery continued to be lush and green and the roads were not too bad, although some stretches were very winding.  We stopped at the gorgeous little village of Grad Slunj.  The name belies the breathtaking beauty of the place.  The river meandered through the village and found several different paths where it tumbled down over lots of moss-covered waterfalls.  It was stunning - one of those places that is absolutely picture postcard perfect!

We simply flashed our passports when we left Croatia and on the Slovenian side they scanned them and asked for our vehicle papers, which took only a few minutes.  Slovenia impressed us with its sophistication, cleanliness and the immense pride in the presentation of their homes and gardens.  We managed to find a good little spot for the night before it got dark.  It was just off the main road on a dirt track into a forest.  We could see the local farmer's house fairly nearby, but we were hidden by the trees.  We topped up Nyathi's oils, including in the swivel pin housings, and then ate our warm cevapi which was very filling, but not particularly tasty.