Mostar, Herzegovina to Sarajevo, Bosnia
Travelling through the countryside between the two regions that makeup Bosnia and Herzegovina is beautiful anytime of the year but especially the spring. I wanted to take the train, even if everyone said the bus was quicker and more comfortable. The guest house owner’s son agreed, there was nothing like the train. Both the train line and main road hug the edge of the large watercourse, often they sit on opposite banks, both liberally using tunnels and bridges. In the mountains however the train weaves through traversing remote terrain. Either path however should be taken, as this area provides the perfect place for road trip or train travel.
You know you have problems when the station looks derelict and somebody has placed a billiards table in front of the only unlocked entrance. The station was mostly boarded up, stairs and passageways welded shut or blockaded.
A small note on the old ticket office window noted (in Bosnian) the service had been suspended nine months ago. So regardless what the railways website said, it simply was not running. I eventually discovered the line would be out of use for a whole year as they are modernising it. That’s great, just not for me. Fortunately, the train station is attached to the city’s main (east) bus station. Bus times vary wildly but leave at least every hour. But still I was disappointed, how terribly awesome did some of that railway look.
The bus trip starts in the plains filled with vineyards before winding its way up, alongside the river.
If you have a thing for geology there’s a little bit to see from afar, well actually there is a lot to see but very little exposed.
Eventually we power through some steep inclines but the bus struggles. If you glance over your shoulder that train line always pops out occasionally.
The trip passes many small villages, you appreciate the ruggedness of the terrain and isolation it would have once meant before the large, overcoming highways snaked their way through the environment.
It is a beautiful trip, all too reminiscent of the train ride from Zagreb to Ljubljana. Arriving into Sarajevo, there are many bus stations but I end up being dropped off near the central station. Like much of this city, it received foreign aid in its reconstruction, opening in September 2011. Yet today with only a handful of daily services, it stands underused and seemingly unloved, awaiting to be reborn once again.