On Split, Dubrovnik, Mostar and Hitchhiking a Taxi

I stayed two nights in Split, a pretty town with narrow streets and pleasant beaches. Two nights was definitely enough though. There are a lot of British tourists there, drinking, tanning and being tourists so its a bit more expensive then other cities.

While trying to hitchhike to Bosnia I got talking to two friendly Chilean guys at a petrol station. They were driving to Krka National Park and then after to Dubrovnik in a rented car. They were nice enough to let me tag along intrigued by the chance to see the National Park’s waterfalls (beautiful by the way).

Myself out for a dip at the waterfall
Myself out for a dip at the waterfall

Dubrovnik was similar to Split except the tourists were mostly older, pensioner ladies with the same short haircuts and digital cameras that they can’t quite work. A nice old town though even if the bands are playing U2 covers for the tourists in the bars rather than Croatian music.

Going from Split to Dubrovnik too you have to cross the border with Bosnia and then return into Croatia a couple miles later, Dubrovnik is separated from Croatia. Which leads to a delay since the Bosnian border police decided to search the rented car because the Chileans had South American Passports.

Mostar in Bosnia turned out to be far more interesting even if it lacked the Croatian beaches. I had stepped on some cunt of a fish in Dubrovnik that stuck thorns in my foot but I didn’t seek attention until I was in Bosnia (when the pain got sharper). The doctors had a good laugh at the tourist who brought them an injury from the sea even though I was many– miles from water.

The Bosnians were friendly if a little reserved. Except for the guy who offered me a drag of his joint then asked for money, fuck off ye dick.

The country is generally beautiful yet awkwardly named (I think Bosgovia would have been a better name, sounds like a Soviet theme park).

The highlight of the cheap, relaxed town of Mostar for me wasn´t the amazing bridge that locals jump off but rather the Snipers Building. An abandoned bank (I think), the bullet-holed walls leaked emotions. I’m’ not one for spirits and voodoo shite but there was something quite… something about that building. Go and you will feel it.

I done some binge drinking there too with an Auzzie and then a Serbian woman who owned a bar drove us around town after we just about drank her entire stock of bottled beers.

Hitchhiking in Bosnia is simple too, maybe the easiest country I have ever tried. The mix of Communist comradely and Muslim good-will makes it ideal for backpackers on a budget.

I simply walked out of Mostar in the Sarajevo direction and got picked up by the second car to pass. Bosnia has no motorways so hitchhiking is possible absolutely anywhere a car can pull in. Thumbing is faster there than the petrol station approach.

An elderly guy left me at town called Konjic I think, he didn’’t speak any English. I sat and admired this towns bridge too and ate a tuna sandwich. I wished a newly married couple taking photos on the bridge congratulations, they thanked me without smiling. A solid Eastern European effort, she looked beautiful, Bosnian girls are beautiful though probably hard to impress, if you could just make one smile though that probably would mean she loves you now.

When I starting hitchhiking again a Taxi pulled over straight away. I tried to wave him on saying I was hitchhiking.

“”Get in””

I hopped he knew more English and threw my bag on the back seat then jumped in.

“”No money, you to Sarajevo””

That’s how easy hitchhiking in Bosnia is. Even taxis will pick you up for free.

“”I am Bosnian and Muslim””

“”OK, I’m Irish””

“We have many economic and too political problems here””

“”OK””

““I do not speak Turkish””

“”OK””

““Some people talk, go back to Turkey Muslim, I am not Turkish, I do not speak Turkish, I have never been. Understand?””

“”Yes, OK””

This continued for the next hour, he slowly spoke English always constantly validating his Bosnian citizenship, I hardly spoke at all. It didn’t’ bother me though. I was on the way to Sarajevo the starting point of WW1, a city I always wanted to visit.

I think the only reason this old man became a taxi driver and learnt his English was to spit his angry words about Serbs and Turks on the windscreen to tourists. Nice guy though.

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