2013-07-09

Moving on from Sarajevo, through Mostar and down to the Adriatic Sea


I am now writing only about the travel part from Sarajevo to the Adriatics, our stay on Sarajevo mountains deserves another entry on its own and I will make a full story about it later on. 

Drifting away from Sarajevo was quick and effortless. We took the only daily train from Sarajevo to Mostar at 06.51am (July 2013). The same train comes back from the final destination Ploce, Croatia later in the evening, which means you can take a return ticket and enjoy a full day in medieval setting. The ride takes only 2 hours and I recommend double checking the times before you go. 

See? 

The Sarajevo train station has NO ATM, take enough money with you, or walk to nearest ATM about 200m from the station. Also note, that payment at the ticket office has to be in local currency (BAM) even if you have been able to pay in Euros elsewhere! If there is no restaurant cart on the train, there will be a person, who walks around the train selling some refreshments. The train ride is said to be one of the most scenic train rides in whole Europe and even the whole world! It was breathtaking!

Then some trivia; What are the odds in getting on a train, sitting next to some Swedish guys and then finding out (a plate on the train wall) that the train carts have been a donation from Swedens State Railways to Bosnia & Herzegovina after the war? Very low I guess, but we succeeded. 

Our first stop then was this already mentioned historical and pittoresque town Mostar, one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites. The old town part naturally stormed with numerous tourists. Snaking through the crowds in bazaar area we were soon able to locate ourselves on famous Mostar Bridge and witness one attraction more, a guy jumping off the bridge to the crystal river. The bridge has now been restored to its former glory, it was badly destroyed during the war. 



There was also rooftop terraze bar with a perfect a perfect view to the bridge, old town as well as the bride and groom. Unfortunately some other tourist were to busy taking pictures and negleting the bar owner that did not stay for Sarajevska beer. Even though the high tourist appeal, the town had modest prices (our accommodation 'b&b Most' or 'Pension Most' charged 25€ for one night) In Sarajevo and Mostar it seemed to be normal to get a key to the room and main door (don't lose them, keep them with you), so the stay would be as flexible as possible. The reception desks at Pension houses seem to have opening hours, so you better get to your accommodation and check in before 17.00. 

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We jumped to train from Mostar (to Ploce) at 9.28 and even though it is said to be late, it left in time (tickets available only in local currency BAM!!). The tickets must be purchased 5 min before the departure, buying the tickets from the train costs 3,50 BAM extra. The train arrived in Ploce in time (the border crossing was only about 30min). We walked a bit around the station area trying to find an ATM that worked with our cards (sevarl ATMs nearby), took a coffee and wifi with information on the ferries to Corcula island. Then we walked 150m to ferry dock just to find out that the ticket office was 5m from the cafe table we were sitting few minutes ago...bought the tickets to Trpanj (32KN/per person, 60min), jumped directly to a bus and travelled on the other side of the island Orebic (24KN/per person, appr. 35min), took another ferry from Orebic to Korcula (15KN/per person, 15min) and finally did 60 min ( 39KN) bus ride to Vela Luka. Arrived around 16.00 and we seriously did not had any time to wait in between and all the transportation just naturally followed each other. We also did not plan our route too much, just went with the flow. 

In Vela Luka we were lucky to find cosy accommodation for our needs! The prices are higher compared to mainland in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because this is very touristic area and this is HIGH season. Nevertheless, I am fully satisfied. For 45€/per night we have a small apartment next to my landlords (a cool lady and her family) home - free wifi, own sitting area under a lime tree in courtyard, small kitchen with table, bed room and bathroom, tv. There are two singing birds and two tortoises in the garden, plus the neighbourhood is quiet in local living quarters. In arrival our hostess gave us home made sardines (local delicasy she had prepared) and his husbands home made wine, today we got some grilled chicken what the family had prepared under our window. Big thanks to the agent  who arranged this, we just walked in her office. Wonderful place! 

The main reason to come here was the option for me to do some dives in relaxed atmosphere and in praised visibility and the fast connections through Split/ Zagreb back to Budapest to catch our flights.

Now the location is Vela Luka in Korcula island, Croatia - the newest European Community country since the first of July 2013! European community flag adds more stars and we saw some of those stars physically floating on the waters of  Corcula town when we arrived. Yes, someone had made yellow stars to float near the bay walk on incredibly clear blue water of  Adriatic sea. 

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