The most exciting thing that happened between Dover and Slovenia was the toilet seats in Germany… they have this funny habit of spinning around and getting themselves cleaned when you press the wrong button to flush. Hours of fun! One big autobahn all the way. We slept in the service stations and it took three days to get to Croatia.
On leaving Austria we where told we had to have a ‘GO’ box and should have paid one euro per 10km and… well they wouldn’t let us leave. It was only after having many conversations and getting someone with half a brain on the phone to realise we had blagged our way across the whole country telling the toll booths that we were 3.5 tonne max when we are really 7.5 tonne max, which made them all look a bit silly. On asking the kids when Penny was inside this rather scary iron curtain type customs building what we should do if they locked mummy up for the night the dilemma was… “Does this mean we get to eat out tonight… and can we have coke?”.
Arriving at the Bosnian border we were presented with this state of the art border crossing, it looked like a new airport, EU grants at its best! We thought, hey hey! this good… Bosnia is not a 2nd world country after all. We drove down to the border saying to the kids “look guys, look how smart this border crossing is” only to discover that a hand painted sign leading you down a dirt track showed a different story. We drove off the road and joined a que of cars and trucks leading up to a shipping container with a window cut into it and some dodgy looking border crossing type cop eying up the drivers….nice. Welcome to Bosnia.
“Papers…” it was finally our turn. “ This green card does not cover you for Bosnia… turn vehicle around ” his hand pointing back the way we had just come. “Can we have coke tonight dad?” “ not now Claudia…” On sitting on a dust track with a dodgy copper looking at us like ‘ ha, got you there!’ thinking, shit… Penny suddenly says “ Oh silly me, I have the right documents for Bosnia here” I pass him a brochure on car insurance for Europe. “International?” he asks, “ Yes…” I say without blinking. He waved us on and well here we are.
Bosnia is beautiful. Mountain after mountain, lakes, rivers, and I still can’t get over seeing people baling hay by hand high up on the hills. We have stayed in some amazing places, woken up seeing waterfalls, mountain ranges, pine forests and all free!
People here are either from SFOR (American Army) and travel by helicopter, or are farmers and drive old golf VW’s. Not much in between. Angus met a ‘real’ soldier called Scott who has had to eat spiders to stay alive! I have never seen him so impressed. Last night we parked up outside this old communist era hotel in Jahorina where the winter Olympics were held in ‘84. The kids spotted the indoor swimming pool… and I noticed the group of 30 or so women who had been marching up and down the mountain all day were now taking a dip… it was a tough job but I thought it was only fare that the kids were allowed a swim. I tell you, this country is full of crumpet!
Sasha has been very brave; she has had toothache and has had to have a tooth pulled out. The dentist was very nice and the ice cream cones at 15p a go have helped sooth the pain.
We are trying to find a real estate agent in Sarajevo at the moment to see if we can buy one of the lodges up in the ski villages. Some sleep around 10 people and are right next to the ski lifts. The word is they cost around 20-50,000 euros.
We need to find that agent!