Sarajevo: I’m on a Bus

Finally, a new blog post! Today I set out to visit Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina. If you don’t know about the siege of Sarajevo, I encourage you to find out more about it. I’m sure I’ll delve a little more deeply into it in tomorrow’s post.

Anyway, we got on the bus at 7:10AM, and we remained on that bus until about 6:30PM. It was a long ride! But along the way, I saw some great things.As we entered into Croatia, I learned very quickly that the scenery would be flat (and would stay that way for a long time).

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I was surprised by the buildings in Croatia — quaint, a little ragtag, but full of character. There was a church in every town, and its steeple stood head and shoulders over any other building in the area. The red-shingled roofs, old but respectable-looking churches, and miniature townhouses clustered together reminded me of what one might consider the ideal stereotype of “country living.” There couldn’t have been more than 200 people in many of the small villages in the Croatian countryside.

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After we hit border control between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, things got a little, err, icky. We waited for more than an hour to get through the passport check, mostly because no one would come over to us. So it was a lot of impatient but necessary waiting.

After we got through that, we headed into Bosnia to see the flat landscape of Croatia change into some of the most amazing, rolling mountains I’ve ever seen. It rained our entire trip, cloaking the tops of the mountains in swirling grey fog and adding a lovely tone to the scenery. Pictures can’t capture how great it looked.

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About half an hour outside of Sarajevo, we ran into more problems. Thankfully, a little patience and perseverance got us through with no problems.

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Quite a long blog post, considering the fact that I was sitting in a bus for 11 hours.

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When we finally arrived here in Sarajevo, we headed straight to our hostel, the Lion Pansion. The group decided to give me the double room with Kelly rather than have me sleep in the suite room, where the other 12 girls will all sleep.

You don’t know how thankful I am for that!

Not because I dislike the girls, of course. But with 12 people in one room, no amount of effort is going to keep it quiet. So Kelly and I have a cozy double room with some abstract art on the wall.

Then, after about half an hour to settle into our rooms, we went to dinner. I don’t know what the place was called, but dinner was even more hectic than the passport control at the border! Apparently, even though Professor Feenstra was told that dinner was at 7, it was actually at 6:30 and so we arrived at our reservation late. The restaurant had also booked another large group, so the two were overlapping. It was hectic, and it was obvious that the waitresses were stressing. I can’t blame them!

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The dinner, which consisted of steak with pita, salad, and french fries, was quite good, especially considering that I don’t care for steak. However, we ate quickly and skeedaddled out so that the other group could have more room. Then, when I returned to the hostel, I stuck the key into the lock, wiggled it, and discovered that the room wouldn’t unlock. So I kept jiggling the lock, twisting it around, flipping the key over, everything I could think of. Finally, a very unhappy little old lady opened the door to what was decidedly not my room.

Oops.

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Just to update you a little bit about my actual academic studies over here — Karoli classes have finally begun! Because our Neptun registration codes are not working, we were not able to register for classes along with everyone else. I discovered that, because of this, all six sections of the linguistics classes that I wanted were full. However, I approached Professor Csides in person and asked him if he might be willing to make an exception and allow me into his class.

Thankfully, he was happy to do so.

Additionally, only a few hours ago, I received a followup email from Professor Joachim saying that I am finally welcome into the Hungarian Language and Culture course, where I can continue to take Hungarian language for the rest of the semester! Originally, that class was out of my reach as well, but now I’m two for two in classes that I wanted. I really have great professors to thank for that. Now, I’m just trying to work out times and locations with Professor Joachim. It’s not final yet, but I am confident.

We’ll actually head out into Sarajevo tomorrow, so stay tuned!

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