Ruth and Max enjoying a beautiful rainbow at the Natyra e Qete Restaurant & Camping near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Welcome to Bosnia & Herzegovina... country #48

Travel days are always interesting, especially when it involves crossing a border. You just don't know what to expect!

After we finished exploring Tito's abandoned Villa Izvor (you should click the link if you missed that post) we headed to the Bosnia & Herzegovina border. There was a lot of truck traffic, and I was surprised because it didn't look like a very major border crossing based on what the road looked like on the maps.

Here is some scenery along the way...




As I said, I didn't expect the border crossing to be that busy. 

But as we approached, we saw this...

A big lineup of trucks!

But we have seen this before at some Mexico border crossings. As we approached the trucks, the very last guy in the lineup was outside, and he waved us around him into the oncoming traffic lane. Sure enough, as we passed six or seven trucks, the lane for cars opened up ahead of us.

Approaching the border check.

At the first booth we were stamped out of Croatia. No questions asked. At the second booth, we were stamped into Bosnia. He asked for our vaccination certificates, and that was that... we were into Bosnia. Country #48 for us.

Simple. The whole process took less than five minutes!

There were quite a few cars lined up to go into Croatia, but none the way we were headed.

We are now in Bosnia.

Castle in the distance.

Now that we were in a new country, we had some organizational tasks to get done. Our German SIM card that we used for internet access no longer worked because Bosnia is not part of the European Union. 

And Bosnia has its own currency... the Bosnian mark. Although we had read that Euros are accepted at many tourist spots, we always use the local currency of whatever country we are in. So we needed to find an ATM that would spit out some local cash.

And we needed to do some grocery shopping.

The town of Bihac is located only a short distance from the border, and I had found a big Bingo superstore that looked like it had decent parking, so that's where we headed. 

As a bonus, the grocery store happened to be located in a mall that had a BH Telecom cellular outlet, and a few ATM's. One stop shopping for us!

First, we went to the ATMs. The first machine wanted 10 marks as a fee, so we tried another one and it dropped down to 7 marks ($5 CAD, $4 USD). We accepted that, and went to the BH Telecom.

The guy there spoke no English, but almost everybody around the world knows the word "tourist" as I pointed at Ruth and I. He was quick to point out their three different tourist packages and I chose the one we wanted. 30 GB of data, along with limited calling and texting. Valid for 30 days in all Balkan countries. Total cost was 40 marks ($29.50 CAD, $24 USD). Good thing we got some cash because they wouldn't accept credit cards.

Next stop was the grocery store. It's always an adventure trying to figure out grocery stores in a new country. And more fun trying to read all the labels to make sure items are gluten free. I bet we were in that store an hour and a half! 

We always think it's funny when we come across products from Canada in a foreign country.

With that done, we headed to Una National Park. I had read that you could wild camp (boondock) in the parking lot outside entrance number 1, so that's where we went. We were the only ones there, and I went to the entrance booth and checked with the attendant and he confirmed we were good to spend the night.

Max, parked for the night at GPS 44.728683, 16.006407

It was a good day! First impressions of Bosnia? It's a little rough around the edges, so exactly what we like. Kind of reminds us of Mexico in a way. 

Today, we are off to see some more waterfalls, this time in Bosnia's Una National Park.

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And in Canada...

8 comments:

  1. We accidentally drove into Bosnia from Croatia - we thought we'd arrived at a toll booth ... Lol! Having got our passports stamped we did a swift U-turn and drove back into Croatia - with our passports stamped again. Sadly, for us, our Moho insurers didn't permit us to tour this area of Europe. We are looking forward to your adventures here, safe travels

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    1. That is such a shame that your motorhome insurance didn't cover you for Bosnia. Thankfully ours covers us for just about all the countries around here. Maybe you will need to look for a new insurance company. :-)

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  2. I read the area still has a lot of land mines and they warn to stay on paved roads and walk ways. Some comments about the area say they like the old Yugoslavia under Tito's rule. They say it was safer. You say the country is rough around the edges. How so? From your photos, the area is beautiful with hills and water falls and trees in fall colors. I'm anxious to see the culture and foods folks eat.

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    1. We have not heard any warnings mentioned to us about old land mines.

      Yes, apparently many people liked Tito but it was the ones after Tito that ruined it for Yugoslavia.

      We find it a little rough around edges because not everything is so perfect! As soon as we crossed the border we saw that the houses weren't quite so immaculate and there is a bit of trash around, there were stray dogs, life has a bit more of the old world atmosphere to it. It seemed to us that they weren't out to impress the masses, it just felt more down to earth to us.

      The area is beautiful and the fall colors are out in full force.

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  3. Emily and I met in Bosnia, near the city of Tuzla. We very much look forward to going back.

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    1. How cool! I don't think we will be making up to Tuzla, at least not on this trip as it would be a bit of a detour for us, maybe on our next visit here.

      We hope that you both get to make your way back to Bosnia soon. :-)

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  4. I am forevermore amazed at how areas separated by thousands of miles can look so similar. The topography reminds me of the area around our home in the mountains of NC.

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    1. We are just as amazed as you Jeelee. When were were walking around the other day, we said that other than all the waterfalls around we could easily have been walking around the Ottawa/Gatineau area of Canada, especially with the beautiful fall colors, much like your area. :-)

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