Posts Tagged ‘Banja Luka’


The last rest day. Local haircut, fortune telling and a hot bus ride through the cold mountain landscape. Tomorrow back on the bike towards Dubrovnik.

Muški frizer

Muški frizer

It has been raining now since we left Mostar. Ideal indoor weather, and ideal for getting a haircut. While I was waiting for James to have his hair cut, I did as the locals, and browsed through the available reading material.

Browsing the reading material at the barber

Browsing the reading material at the barber

We then had our coffee residues read to deduce our fortunes. I have a mountainous road ahead with obstacles that I will overcome. James has something to do with sheep.

Fortune telling

Fortune telling

It has been good having a break from cycling, but, I feel ready to jump back on the bike and cycle up some hills. The weather is clearing, and I think we will be cycling in the sun tomorrow. Yay!!

Day 41. 0km. Banja Luka

Posted: October 24, 2014 in Bosnia, Cycling
Tags: , ,

Alcohol, food, markets, alcohol, food, Banja Lukan hospitality, alcohol and food. A great mix to spend a rest day and to catch up with a friend. Banja Luka.

image

Our day revolved around food and drink. We experienced wonderful Banja Lukan hospitality and cuisine at Aleksandra’s parent’s place. Nibbles followed by beautiful home-made Djuveč. Other culinary items during the day out on the town were various cakes and savoury items, pies, and alcohol. We considered at times sitting in the non-smoking cubicle, but, decided to sacrifice our clothes, hair, and an early death for the more pleasant surroundings. At the end of the day I couldn’t eat anything else, and feel I need to cycle over lots of mountain passes to repent my sins.

image

image

Wash day has always been exciting. What will I wear? With a masterly stroke of genius, I only packed one pair of pants when I left. Up until now, I have worn cycling shorts, borrowed shorts with a belt to stop them falling down my legs, sports pants and various other items during the washing process. Unfortunately being naked is not an option, and it is too cold for that anyway. Today pants were on the shopping list. Some options were investigated, but, in the end, the purchases were restricted to food items.

image

image

image


Today – the start of our rest days – the weather changed. Our cycling plans may have to as well. Looking out of the window of the bus on the way to Banja Luka, I see snow. Visiting my good friend Aleksandra in Banja Luka.

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

Drahtesel is parked in the garage in Mostar. A rest day or three mean I turn into a sloth. Sleep, internet, coffee with the hotel manager. The stories he tells of the war, how friends became enemies overnight, how everything was destroyed, it is so sad. As the rain pours down outside, we hear of the continuing ills of a nation trying to find it’s way forward. People rebuilding their lives while frustration and aggression, remembering the past, fester in the background.

Rain in Mostar

Rain in Mostar

The weather is grey, and the rain turns to snow as the bus winds it’s way round and round and up and up into the mountains in Bosnia. It is a beautiful landscape with deep valleys, beautiful gorges and little villages. We pass houses with ‘Warning, land mines’ signs just metres from the front door. A map of the mined areas (http://www.bosna.unas.cz/images/mapamin.jpg), sent by Aron, sends a shiver down my spine. It happened here, not long ago, and the legacy remains.

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

Snow in the Bosnian mountains

It’s great to see Aleksandra again – a friend and colleague from Philips, and to visit her home town. We will have a better chance to see Banja Luka in the day time tomorrow.

Me, James and Aleksandra

Me, James and Aleksandra