Day 2 of my Balkans trip turned out to be a R&R and travel day, allowing me to fully heal and positioning me to really enjoy the rest of my trip. The day included a 7.5 hour bus ride from Belgrade to Sarajevo.
Read more from my classic trip report through the Balkans
After a rough couple days but a lovely 16-hours of deep sleep, I awoke feeling much better. I was even hungry.
Downstairs, I enjoyed a superb breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Belgrade including the best freshly-squeezed apple juice I have ever had…even now. With eggs and muesli, I felt recharged for what would be a long bus ride ahead. The staff at this hotel were gracious and I cannot wait to return to this hotel when I am feeling better.
In fact, I cannot wait to return to Belgrade. I suspect Belgrade is a lovely city filled with much beauty. Sadly, even though I spent a day there, I couldn’t tell you since I was asleep for most of it.
The hotel was located very close to the bus station. Still, that presented a problem as I explained in my previous installment because my body still had not recovered from the sun. I put on my gloves, “borrowed” the hotel’s umbrella, and ventured out looking like a fool. But I didn’t care. I was not going to sacrifice my hands again for pride.
At the bus station, I went up the window, purchased a ticket for Sarajevo, and was directed to bay 24 for boarding. The ticket cost 2,390 Serbian Dinar, equating to $22. The journey time would be 7.5 hours.
7.5 hours in a bus might sound horrible, but it was a perfect time to further relax out of the sunlight. The bus was not full so I was able to sit in an aisle seat and avoid the sunlight while still looking out the window.
Scenery along the Sava river was beautiful leaving Belgrade, but mostly fields once we left the city limits. It improved once we crossed into Bosnia and Herzegovina. About an hour out of town we passed a car accident…a car (just one) had veered off the road and into a deep ditch.
We finally reached the border. No Serbian exit stamp was given…that was a bit concerning. I knew that was an issue with Kosovo, but did not think it would be an issue with Bosnia. We crossed the Drina, which forms a natural border between Serbia and Bosnia, and I was soon stamped into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The journey continued to Sarajevo.
Finally, over 7.5 hours later, we arrived in central Sarajevo. I had made it. The sun was down so there were no concerns. My brother had flown into Sarajevo earlier…our trip together began here.
He had been waiting around for hours and bragged about his delicious cappuccino and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Meanwhile, it was now nearly midnight and the only thing we could find that was open was McDonalds.
Lovely, isn’t it? I came all the way to Sarajevo for McDonalds? Thankfully, the culinary experience would improve in the morning.
After “dinner” we walked around for a bit, enjoying some of the beautiful architecture in this historic city.
Tomorrow: touring Sarajevo and the journey to Dubrovnik.