Friday, June 1, 2012

Leaving Sarajevo Is Hard To Do

Got our cab at 4am and headed to the airport. But as we pulled up at the entrance, the cabbie sighed and said something like "Pay." We wondered why he didn't drive in, till we saw a Security van blocking the entrance. We paid, got our luggage out of the cab and started to walk across the parking lot toward the airport but the guard stopped us. "Pay," he barked. Was this some sort of bribery situation? No, it became apparent the airport was closed! (I'll have to look up 'closed' in my Bosnian dictionary later.)

So we sat on the chilly pavement and waited for the airport to open at 5am. Austerity measures, we presume.

Now we are sitting in the Business Lounge (which is a room with a few sofas and a fridge) as we wait for our 6:30 flight to Zagreb (where I will post this if they have wifi). Travelling can be such an adventure. Who knew leaving Sarajevo would be so difficult?

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Location:Airport, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Winding Down

In a considerably lighter vein from my last post, I am relaxing in true holiday fashion on my last day in Sarajevo. I am a little embarrassed by the decadent tone of this entry - please be assured this is NOT my usual style of living; I took photos because it was such an uncharacteristic experience for me.
Let's step back in time to yesterday, when we rose at 6 am to meet our driver who would take us to some of the beautiful sights (and sites) in Bosnia and neighbouring Croatia. We were in Ston by lunchtime and went a short distance to Mali Ston where we dined on the most exquisite grilled calamari I have ever tasted, fresh oysters, salmon pate with freshly baked bread, and seafood and black cuttlefish risotto. Washed down with a Bosnian white wine. This is living!

From there, we passed through a few passport checkstops, and on to Dubrovnic. What a city! My photos are on my DSLR camera, but I suspect I will want to post a few memories after my return to Canada. It was hot, sunny, and delightful. If it isn't called the Jewel of the Adriatic, it should be. En route home, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant that specializes in grilled lamb. Specializes? That's all they have. It was a little unnerving to see the meat of the whole animals being slowly grilled on spits over glowing wood coals (apologies to vegans in the group) but the carnivore in me managed to overlook this aspect of meal preparation and we tasted the most succulent meat served with roast potatoes and a delightfully refreshing cole slaw - not drenched with dressing as it usually is.

My daughter, sadly, had picked up her dad's cold and went through half a dozen packages of tissue on our drive (which we  have only found with an odd violet fragrance) so today she is recovering in bed while I sit on the terrace. Soft music is playing, people are sipping cold beverages and quietly chatting. This is very much NOT my standard mode of living, but it is incredibly relaxing and I am soaking up every minute. I am reminded of my father's favourite rejoinder to decadent treats, "Beulah, peel me a grape."

I just ordered an iced coffee expecting something like a Starbucks iced latte and look what I got!

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