I got up this morning at 630 after waking at 6 and jumped into PT gear. I was pretty keen to try out my skipping rope so I took that to a dry flat spot near our hostel and skipped and did push ups for half an hour. It felt awesome. But I’m really feeling it now!!
After packing we went and payed. They tried to charge us 10 Euros each for the final night but I’d made the reservation and only had to pay 5. Expectingg her to argue and try to charge us 10. She asked “Oh, why didn’t you book online for the first night?”
We grabbed some breakfast and caught the tram to the bus station. After a short walk from the end of the line we dropped our packs and I went to grab our tickets. This was easier said then done and I had to point to Mostar on a map and signal 9 with my hands.
The bus was pretty funny. There was Chewing gum stuck every where. And a couple of times during the first 15 minutes the engines simply cut out and we idled for a couple of hundred meters before they came back on. The bus was so hot. It was killing me. Plus about half an hour out the sun came out and some people sat up the back beside us.
We got in at 1130 and a guy came upto us. Excuse me he asked. Are you two Australians. Slightly confused I said “Maybe” and he asked if we were staying at Hostel Dino. Which we were. It was the receptionist or owner I don’t really know. We’de said we were getting in at 11 so he came to meet us at the train station. This was really good. Considering we had no idea where the hostel was and LP didn’t have a map in him.
He said we were also waiting for a bus from Dubrovnik. 4 other Australians who were coming and staying at the Hostel. It was drew’s sisters. Yet they’de put in 1200 for there arrival with out consulting the timetable and weren’t going to be in untill 6 oclock.
After getting to the hostel Eddy, asked us to take our shoes off and disappeared. He came back soon after with some sandles for us. They’re really common in Europe. For people to have like indoor shoes. I hate them. But we just did it anyway.
He showed us to our room, which was small but pretty sweet, and went and got us some Turkish coffee. We were pretty hungry so we soon left to go exploring and to grab some food. Mostar is a really interesting city. Not nearly as rebuilt as Sarajevo and there actually looks like there has been a war here. There’s pleanty of buildings in and around the main steet that have holes in them, or no roofs. Or entire portions of them missing.
We very quickly finished looking around the city and after the tourist information lady seeming quite bored and not really helping we went back to the hostel room and put a movie on. Once that was done we went and sat in a coffee shop. As is the done thing around here. With some bakery food and some Kaffe. We were both pretty tired and conversation was pretty stalled so we ended up leaving pretty soon.
When I was in Graz I met a girl, Ines, who is from here and she had offered to show us around when we were here. I’d already seen the town so I suggested coffee instead. I wanted to hear her side of the war stories.
We met at a square not far from where I was staying and walked to her local kaffe place. Her stories were incredible. She was 7 when the first war was on. The one between the Serbs and the Croat-Muslims and 9 for the second war between the Croats and the Muslims. As a 7 year old she could tell the different types of mortars, bombs and rifles by the sound. It again was just inconceivable.
Ines was telling me one story of how they used to sit in there building and watch a tank come up from the low ground towards there building, fire on a position in the hills past their building and then retreat back into the dead ground. She was 7 but remembers it all and it was all just a way of life. She said as soon as a bomb would go off she’d be begging her parents to take them down to the cellar so she could play with all her friends.
The plan was for all of us to go for tea but Drew’s sisters weren’t hungary and had decided on 2 minute noodles. Ines had already eaten and I didn’t want to stuff her around while drew and the girls made up there minds. So we parted ways and I headed back down to meet drew.
Thankfully he was hungary and still wanted to go out for tea. We went to a place we’de seen earlier in the day called Restaran Europa. We both had fairly hearty meals and a salad. It was great. The dish I had was called the Herzegovinian mix. It was an assortment of potato and different meats and vegies, very filling and very satisfying.
We went back to the hostel. I was feeling a heap better after the food and wanted to get my legs ticking over so I went for a run. I was getting some really really funny looks. I even got a little lost on the way back but sorted that out pretty quickly and apart from getting chased by a pack of gypsie kids the run felt really good.
The nightlife here is nonexistent during the week when it’s not summer so drew and I just retired to our room with a movie. We were both asleep 20 minutes into it so I turned it off and switched off the light.
We got up yesterday to the sound of my alarm at 8. Spoke to the girls quickly and set off for our hike up the hill. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling, after not sleeping well the night before. Regardless we set off in the fresh sun intent on getting up the main hill where there is a massive cross.
The walk up was really interesting the map we’de been given was hardly accurate and the “easy 30 minute walk” we’de been told of turned into a grueling 1.5 hour uphill crawl. Zig zagging up the hill for the last 40 minutes where one way would be into the head wind and freezing while the other way would be into the sun and boiling.
Both of us were feeling moderately average and our throats were well and truly cleaned out. Some of the bile we were coughing up looked like it should have been in the diaper of a new born baby. The vocals coming from drew’s throat were just as impressive, almost causing me to dry reach every time he coughed up a mouth full of road kill.
Eventually we got to the top. It was a really beautiful view of the city. We sat up there for about 20 minutes relaxing in the sun and out of the wind. The Cross was huge, somewhere between 30 and 40m. All around the cross were concrete pillars, at the top of all these was a big eyelet and the frayed ends of what used to be stabilizing cables that ran upto the top of the cross. Every single one of them had snapped, and even some of the panels that made up the exterior of the cross were missing. Blown away I presume. It was bloody windy up there.
We walked back down the hill in a similar amount of time as it took on the way up. Stopping a couple of times for a break. We were absolutely knackered. For about the last 20 minutes we didn’t even speak. Just thumb in bum walking along.
We’re at the Bosnia Croatia border. This one is supposed to be a bit of a problem. It’ll be interesting to see how long we’re stuck here for. It doesn’t look too busy so hopefully it’ll be less then an hour.
When we got back to the hostel I crashed. I definitely wasn’t healthy. I lay in bed while my head and shoulders felt like it was frying, probably burnt. And my lower half was freezing. I dropped a couple of panadol and half slept for close to an hour. When I got up I was feeling a little better. Still having cold sweats but not too bad.
Drew and I were starving and the girls were stuffing around somewhere. We went to the bakery, grabbed some food and sat at a kaffe shop. Mostly in silence. The food was so good and it soon perked us up.
The girls finally showed up and decided they wanted to get a decent meal, a salad or something similar. We took them to Restauran Europa, where drew and I had eaten the night before. I had a chicken soup. It was awesome, and by the end of the meal my cold sweats had gone, I was still border line cold but I could now put my jumper on with out it becoming too uncomfortable.
We were still pretty wrecked so we went back to the hostel and slept for a while, well drew did anyway, I spent most the time searching for couches in Tirana. I found quite a few. Hopefully one will come through.
We ended up meeting the girls at four to go for a coffee before they left at a place near the bridge across from the hostel. It was pretty nice here. Most of us had a drink and a cake and we just talked about travels and Belgrade, which is where the girls are today. Not long after we went back to the hostel. The panadol I’d had were wearing off so I took another couple and half an hour later I was fine.
We just had a near close call. I’ve no idea what happened but for one reason or another the bus driver felt the urge to slam on the brakes and we came to a skidding halt. My phone went flying and I had to retreive it from the feet of some guy halfway up the bus.
We then saw the girls off and went back to our room. We spent the rest of the night relaxing. It had been a good few days detox while we were in Mostar. I don’t think I had one bit of alcohol, not even with tea. We watched another movie and went to sleep well before 10.