Posts Tagged With: Hostel

Sarajevo First day

From the outskirts of the city we took an old charming blue tram to the city center, catching people’s eyes again with our big backpacks and our foreigner faces, but specially because of the Pulguita’s meows. However, we started to realize that Sarajevo will be one of the more multicultural places we were going to see (and not talking about tourists).

Old charming blue tram

Old charming blue tram

The Tram left us in the city center. We wanted to look for a cheap place to sleep. We had heard about private backyards to place the tent and we also had the address of a hostel from the previous landlady from Mostar. We wandered around  the city center that is the Muslim neighborhood, made up of narrow streets with maximum 2 floor buildings, full of cafés, souvenir shops, mosques and people everywhere, looking for the tourist information office.

Mosque

Mosque

Arabic Souvenirs Shop

Arabic Souvenirs Shop

Arabic Souvenirs Shop II

Typical coffee shops

After spinning around a little bit we got a map with some hostels marked in, we decided to try with the one we were recommended but in the way something change our plans. In one of the main squares of Sarajevo just in front of Jesus Heart Cathedral and in one of the most trendy cafés of the city we met… Habib again.

Jesus Heart Cathedral

Jesus Heart Cathedral

He was very glad to meet us  (we like to think so), because his friend had already left him, and  so were we, because we didn’t have any plans for a Friday night in a so lively city as Sarajevo. He invited us to drink a beer and we´ve decided to meet up again for later that night, hewanted to to show us the Turkish cuisine.  After the fast beer we had to continue looking for the hostel we knew, we walked for a while so we could see how the city changes when the old town becomes a new business area with big skyscrapers, cinemas and fast food restaurants with some 5 or 6 floors old building still wounded from the war. Anyway, we found the hostel and it was full, so we did the same way back looking for any hostel in our way, we were quite tired, Habib was waiting for us and we saw the prices didn’t vary too much in Sarajevo so we ended up in the hostel Tito 46, guess the street and the number. It was a huge hostel with different types of rooms, a big living room with a kitchen and not-too-friendly receptionist. We took a dry shower (i.e. no shower at all) and we went to meet Habib in the city center.

Tito46 Hostel view

Tito46 Hostel view

Again in the Arabic area, he led us to a street where we chose one of the several Arabic style restaurants, in all of them the specialty was, without any doubts, the Ćevapi, so I had one as well as Habib.  It is a typical Bosnian (Balkan) dish made from minced meat (pork, lamb or beef) usually served with with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, cottage cheese, minced red pepper and salt. Aleksandra had a great Mediterranean salad (with feta cheese and black olives) and all together we shared a baked potatoes with sauce.

Ćevapi

Ćevapi

Habib

Habib

After that blow out we really needed help our stomachs digest, so we decided to go to one of many tea houses, usually placed in typical Arabic patios in the middle of the block of buildings, where we had an authentic Turkish tea accompanied, of course, by a water pipe. We had a very nice night and we are very grateful to Habib, thank you!  

Typical Arabic patio

Typical Arabic patio

Advertisements
Categories: City, Party, Sightseeing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pulguita

We had to leave the room before 10, but we were hanging around the guest house till 11, trying to use the computer. The children were using it and the grandma didn’t speak English at all. We went out to the fence and we turned left heading the end of the town and the road to Sarajevo. But 10 meters away we found  something on the floor moving in all directions and smashing a shops’s glass door. When we looked more carefully we realized that it was a small kitten, very frightened and with eye boogers in its eyes that prevented it from seeing. Aleksandra grabbed it instantly, it first tried to escape but finally felt protected and stayed calm.

Pulgui firsts pictures

Pulgui firsts pictures

Pulgui firsts pictures II

Pulgui firsts pictures II

We thought that it probably lost its mum and we started to look around for her, and ask in the businesses nearby, including shops, bars and our hostel, but no one had seen this cat before. Aleksandra insisted on carrying it to a veterinary. I had to admit that in this first moment I was not so convinced about the idea, Mostar was full of cats, and I was more inclined to let it in a safe place far from the road and maybe with some food. But it was so cute and Aleksandra was already so involved that we decided to look for a Veterinary. We where asking young people, where we can find a veterinary clinic in Mostar, but people looked at us as we where crazy and said that they didn’t know, becausethey rather eat animals than cure them. Finally, we asked to a heavy metal dressed teenager and she politely showed us the way, but it was quite far. We decided that I should stay in a coffee shop as an Internet Support Counselor (ISC), so Aleksandra went alone with the cat. It had to take long because I had the time to write 3 posts. In the end she arrived with a pet box, food and a spray for fleas, in that exactly moment I realized that the idea to take the cat with us was serious and we had a new trip member.

Pulgui in her cage

Pulgui in her travel bag

Pulgui in her cage II

Pulgui in her travel bagII

With that scenario the trip was becoming more messy but funnier at the same tame. In my role of sceptic I was pointing out the bad consequences of bring it  with us, but it was already too late. To not change our tradition we decided to call it Pulgui, but it was a gril, so the full name is Pulguita. We were very excited. Pulguita too. So much, that she didn’t stop to meow in the whole walk. She only stopped meowing when Aleksandra, who was developing a new maternal instinct, took her on her hands. We wanted to arrive fast to the hitchhiking point to see what will be the Pulguita’s and, above all, the drivers’ reaction…

 

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mostar

We woke up tired, wet and surrounded by shit, but who cared, we were hitchhiking around the Balkans. We had just enough time to fold  our  tent and it started to rain again, but luckily the Australians let us have the breakfast in the van and then drove us to the city center. There, already alone, we stopped in the first café we found. At some point the waiter, that looked like he was no more than 20 years old, started to speak in Spanish with me, I took the opportunity to ask him for a shopping mall because the sky didn’t seem to be interested in changing. During the walk we saw one small poor kid hooked on drugs asking for money, we didn’t give him nothing but we remained with a very bad feeling. It was very sad to see someone so young like this. We walked around 40 minutes under the rain and finally around destroyed building we discovered an enormous and modern commercial center with its correspondingly big and colorful McDonald.

Abandoned building

Abandoned building

Nice wall

Nice wall

We had a coffee and a hamburger, in that order, and we went down to buy some supply to the supermarket. Just before entering one  woman approached us and asked If we were looking for an accommodation. Normally we skipped those kind of offers, but this time we wanted to know at least the price, because we were in a city, it was raining, and hitchwiki suggests not to wild camp in the area, because of the mines – remainings after Bosnian war. It was 10 euros per night for an individual room, so it didn’t took as too long to accept the offer. She even offered to drive us to the place. Once there, we took the most satisfying shower in the whole trip(even though without any soap or shampoo)  and cooked some classical hitchhiker pasta-soup.

Guest house Mostar

Guest house Mostar

Guest house Mostar door

Guest house Mostar door

Then we went out hoping to finally discover Mostar on our own. It was worth it,  because this place is impressive: full of little enchanted streets, beautiful colorful houses, the Arabic styled old town, and above all the Old Bridge over the Neretva river. The feeling when you are on the top of the bridge and think that not so long ago it was destroyed, is very difficult to explain, It’s definitely a magic place with storng energy in the air.  The young locals jump from the top of the bridge following an ancient Mostar tradition of entering the manhood. and collect money from terrified voyeur tourists (the money is invested in the bridge’s conservation). There is even a special school, the Mostar Diving Club, where the professional jumpers learn how to jump and not die like some amateur drunk tourists.

Old town streets

Old town streets

Old town streets II

Old town streets II

Bridge stairs

Bridge stairs

Mostar Bridge

Mostar Bridge

The town is in a valley surrounded by soft hills and with lots of green areas, it’s quite small but full of tourist. It is also full of restaurants, souvenir shops and that typical Balkan bars with enormous sun umbrellas advertising local beer.

Bar

Bar

In Mostar we started to realize the mix of cultures that coexist in Bosnia. There are Muslims, Serbian (mostly Orthodox) and Croatian (mostly Catholics). It is fascinating to see how from some points of the city you could see at least 5 minarets from mosques looking on the same direction. That’s the proof:

Minarets and Bridge

Minarets and Bridge

Minarets

Minarets

In the evening we where too tired so we decided to come back to the hostel and have a good dinner (noodles) on the terrace. We still didn’t know that the next day we were going to make a discovery that will change our trip…..and our lives.

Categories: Sightseeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tirane

The capital of Albania is a very special city. We arrived there at night, but the streets were still full of people, lights, cars and open fast food restaurants.

We had a ridiculous small map to arrive to a previously recommended hostel. First, we stopped to eat something and get some power and ask for the address. Everybody we asked was very helpful but surprisingly no one understood our map. Another interesting thing about Tirane is that they use the streets numbers randomly, it´s like a lottery. Finally we managed to find the other hostel, the “Backpackers” but it was full. Luckily  the guy in the reception was very kind, he gave us a map and shown the best way to arrive the Milingona hostel.

It was already 12:30 and we still had to cross half of the town. Tirane is organized in a special way. It has big avenues that start from the city center and all the rest are little streets usually unpaved, not straight at all and with all the electric cables from several blocs hold by a wooden post. We found it really charming.

Creative electricians

Creative electricians

When we arrived close to the hostel we asked about direction in a grocery shop and it turned out that the guy was studying Spanish on his own (he has quite a good accent), so we were talking for a while. Then we asked again a baker who was already working  and he closed his business only to come along with us all the way until the hostel´s door. We finally arrived around 01:30 to the Milingona (that means ant in Albanian) hostel.

Milingona Hostel

Ant Hostel

Another peculiarity is that at least a third of the cars on the streets of Tirana, a proper Muslim country, are Mercedes Benz. In general they like luxurious cars, which  makes a big contrast with the surroundings. A lot of Albanians are working abroad so most of the plates are from other countries, specially Germany and Austria.

Busy street

Busy street

The last thing I would like to point out from Tirane is the wealth of markets and little street shops with desirable fruits and vegetables. You can also buy tobacco, clothes and, in fact, everything, everywhere. Great city and helpful people.

DSC01291

Streets of Tirana

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.