I thought about sharing some of the lessons learned from our travels. One direction on this path involves what we carry. This is a theme I have touched on before. It is interesting to me to experience how the artifacts both physical and electronic define the modern self and its relationship to its environment. No tips and tricks here except to keep experimenting and be observant.
Our rain jackets are essential for any trip. Beyond keeping dry and warm, they offer freedom to explore even during bad weather. This has led us to many interesting discoveries and appreciations of the neighborhoods we visit.
My simple jacket folds itself neatly into a zippered pouch which I store in an outside compartment of my bag for easy access (see below). Sometimes, it stays stowed for a month. Here I remember Malta, Kuala Lumpur and Cape Town. At the other extreme, I wore it every day in Vancouver.
Nice to have hooks for coats at the front door
Folds and fits neatly into bag
My photos provide more of a documentary experience than an artistic one. Over the past seventeen years, this raincoat became a central theme of my travels and showed up in way too many photos.
Between Belgrade, Serbia and Podgorica, Montenegro, we spent a week in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina. This seems to mark a point in our journey where current online information is not available or not reliable. We could not find any bus schedules leaving in the morning from Belgrade for Sarajevo. Furthermore, there did not appear to be any good connections from Sarajevo continuing down to Albania. With a little scouting around, we found all the information we needed.
First, GEA Tours provides minibus door-to-door service. We contacted them by email and made arrangements before arriving in Belgrade. As we had time, we visited them at their offices, a very active and dynamic organization. They called our host before setting out and picked us up ten minutes later. It was great that we were the second pick-up so we had a chance to see other Belgrade neighborhoods. When we visited the offices a few days before, I only saw three names on the booking sheet. I was surprised that we went all over the city and filled up the minibus with all eight seats.
We left the Balkan plains and headed into the mountains surrounding Sarajevo. The mist and rain turned into snow, quite early for Sarajevo. The driver had no problem. I was hoping we would be the last off the minibus in Sarajevo so we could get a free tour. After winding around some hills, he pulled up to our place in the old city first. The locals were surprised that these two foreigners were jumping out right in a residential neighborhood.
We enjoyed wandering around Sarajevo. From research on Trip Advisor, we discovered there are two bus stations, one near the Train Station and one on the Serb section, called the East Bus Station. That is where to catch a bus for the South. The trolley bus 103 leaves from the Latinski Most (Latin Bridge where the Archduke of Austro-Hungary was assasinated in 1914) and stops about 100 meters north of the Autobuska Stanica Lukavica.
With some basic English and written notes, we purchased tickets to Podgorica, Montenegro for the following Wednesday. The agents were amused as everybody buys their tickets just 30 minutes before the bus leaves.
The day before leaving Sarajevo treated us to a brilliant sunset.
It was a clear day as we headed out of Sarajevo for Montenegro with just four other passengers. Along the way, we picked up and dropped off at various villages. The route took us back through mountain gorges painted with autumn colors. Photos cannot do justice.
The border crossing took about thirty minutes. A number of cats kept tabs on the vehicles. Our van successfully negotiated all the tight turns and narrow roads over the Balkan divides.