Take Me Out to the Balkans

We came… We saw…. (We did not conquer, at least not in the traditional sense.)

I got back to Alanya late last night, happy to see all the students and to be back in my apartment. I had an absolute BLAST adventuring in Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia with my mom – though, we only had a week to cram in three countries. We saw a lot, but I definitely have to go back for more.

  • Friday: We both arrived in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Our host, Dinko, picked us up from the airport and gave us advice about where to wander and what to eat. I had not slept in about 36 hours, and so was not ashamed by my 7:00pm bedtime.
  • Saturday: Another day in Zagreb, mostly exploring museums.
  • Sunday: We were off to the famous Plitvice Lakes. In spite of running into some logistical difficulties and having to find a new place to stay, we made friends with some ducks and walked around the lakes.
  • Monday: With no buses from the lakes to Bosnia, we took a detour from our planned itinerary and took a bus to Split. Split is on the Adriatic coast – a good sign for seafood and temperature.
  • Tuesday: We crossed the border from Croatia to Bosnia on our trip from Split to Mostar. Too bad we don’t speak Serbian-Bosnian-Croatian and failed to understand the bus transfer at the border – we ended up in a random town for an hour before finally reaching Mostar.
  • Wednesday: Mostar is a small town, so it didn’t take much time to see the sights. After a few hours of wandering, we set out for Sarajevo. It was a short ride, and after arriving, we found the closest restaurant and devoured a giant lunch.
  • Thursday: A tour guide came by the hostel in the morning, and we set out on an amazing tour of Sarajevo and the surrounding area. Not my usual mode of travel and tourism, but I’m really glad we opted in on the tour.
  • Friday: Our bus didn’t leave until the late afternoon, so we took it slow – a little street wandering here, a little cafe sitting there. Finally it was time to head out for Belgrade, Serbia’s capital city.
  • Saturday: We walked and walked and walked all day (only a slight exaggeration) in Belgrade before packing up and prepping for a full day of travel.
  • Sunday: The four a.m. wakeup call was not pleasant, and sitting in an airport for five hours was boring at best, but finally we were both homeward bound.

Anyway, stay tuned for more photos and stories from the trip (highlights include attending a wine tasting with the Godfather of Sarajevo; romping on an abandoned bobsled track; gendered reactions to public nudity on statues), as well as thoughts on language, identity, graffiti, and collective memory.

mostar river
plitvice waterfall
Wandering in Split

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7 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Balkans

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