Haven't had the internet for a while, so here's an update of what we have been up to . . . . from Mostar we had a very rainy drive through Bosnia and up to Sarajevo - we stopped just outside Sarajevo at the Tunnel Museum - in the Yugoslav war the city of Sarajevo was surrounded on 3 sides and lay under seige for over 3 years, the 4th 'side' was Sarajevo airport which was declared 'safe' by the UN - the residents outside of the airport built a tunnel underneath the runway to enable the sarajevo residents to come in and out and obtain supplies. Part of the tunnel still remains and is only a metre wide and not much higher and it was once 800m long, the museum had some amazing photos of the buildings on fire during the onslaught - James photographed these and I will include them in the attached pictures. We had a funny moment on the way to the tunnel museum as the sat-nav took us down a very narrow road which turned out to be the back of some allotments where we ended up in the drive of a house and had to do a 20 point turn to get out - as James directed me, the woman of the house yelled out the window at him the whole time ! We've had a few strange sat-nav moments like that !
We loved Sarajevo itself, despite the constant grey rain (luckily we were in a lovely guest house and not camping) it's a really interesting city with a very pretty cobbled old town (where we had the best ever steak, served on it's own little hot plate) The rest of the city is a mix of old, still war torn buildings and new construction. We spent a lot of time at the History museum learning more about the war, and the subsequent war trials - all 166 wanted war criminals have already had / or are having their trials - they have captured them all which is an incredible feat in only 20 years. The museum was really fascinating and gave us a much clearer understanding of what happened here. We also saw the spot where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot, which started WW1 - quite a piece of history we also hadn't known about. Jeez I sound like a new history buff !
After Sarajevo we drove down through their national park and into Montenegro - we had our first 2 nights at a very shabby campsite near the top of the country but on the coast (no beach though) - the campsite showers clearly hadn't been used for months and were full of dead bugs so we stayed smelly for a couple of days !
We then drove to the very pretty Bay of Kotor and up to the top of the countries mountain, and then all the way down the coast - almost to the Albanian border to camp right on the beach at a place called Ulcinj. The beach was 12km long and lovely and sandy with very shallow water - our first 3 days were lovely sunshine but very cold at night so we were using a bag of charcoal a night to keep warm. Then the rain broke and it poured down all day, so we holed up in the tent all day and we took in a little stray dog who was soaking wet. We nicknamed him Bert and fed him crisps since that was all we had !
That night there was a big storm, we were up at 4am to take down the tent extension and then packed up at 8am and drove to Albania.
Wow, like a step back to Asia - there are big holes in the roads, everyone drives - literally - how they want to but in cars and not mopeds like Asia - a 4x4 just drove across the central pedestrian walkway and cut across in front of us ! It was a real adrenaline rush and a mix of good fun and total stress and we were so pleased the car came out unscathed ! We are staying at a hotel on the main road so everytime we open a window all you can hear is tooting horns. Yesterday we were amazed to see a man cycle onto a bridge, dismount with a box of rubbish and lob it straight over the bridge into the water. However, for us it's good fun to be in a crazy city again, we are just off out now to explore the capital, Tirana.
Love to you all