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Communautés Mark all as read


Mark all as read

Mark all as read

Mark all as read

Mark all as read

Bosnia & Back. 3 Weeks, 2 mates and 5138km of fun!

28th June 2009 to 17th July 2009

This is my a travel blog of my first proper motorbike trip with my Irish mate, Mark back in June 2009.

We both worked together for a company in Schiedam in Holland, and he'd bought himself a GS1150 a few months before. I hadn't done much riding since living in Oz and being inspired by Mark's infectious enthusiasm and reruns of The Long Way Round, I decided to by myself a GS as well and take a holiday... 2 weeks later we headed off to Bosnia. This is the story of that trip. I hope you enjoy it.

Leaving Home..

So leaving Rotterdam around midday (as we would find out that leaving later than the planned early start would be a common theme).












We went through Limburg which is the only hilly part of Holland.Made our way down to Bastogne where they had the Battle of the Bulge in WW2 and ended up in a camping site drinking with some English lads who were travelling around Europe on their scooters.



We found this cool Irish pub in Balsthal, Switzerland. See the POI attached to this chapter!


We just came down from our first mountain road of our trip (a very exciting experience if you've been stuck on boring autobahns for the past day or so) and next think Mark slams on the brakes and insists we stop in this town for the night. He'd spotted an Irish flag and Guinness sign and it didn't take too much convincing for me to agree. We checked into a cheap hotel and made a brisk and thirsty beeline towards the pub.






The owner was this really funny guy who was delighted to have a real life Irishman in his Irish bar and he insisted on showing us that his Guinness kegs were all directly imported from Dublin...which is why we sampled a few...and a few more.





Well the owner was so happy with us and or drinking abilities that we got free tshirts.... but needless to say the next morning....


packing up next day...




Point d'intérêt

Here's the Irish pub in Balsthal. Great place to stop at the end of the day and wet the whistle!


Nice route with an Irish pub at the end...

Well we made our way to our first real Alpine pass, Nufenen pass which is somewhere like 2400m above sea-level...being an Aussie and living in Holland, it's the highest I've been outside of a plane so after taking multiple pictures of peaks and snow (the idea of frozen water on the ground in summer is still an alien concept to me).
















This was my first experience of Italian traffic. We somehow managed to end up on a piece of freeway north of Milan - which was a baaaaad mistake. After nearly getting bowled over by trucks and crazy car drivers I informed Mark that there was a fair to good chanceof me dying on this road today and perhaps we can prolong my inevitable meeting with the grim reaper by going somewhere quiet and relaxing...and this is when we looked at the map and found beautiful Sermione - where we found plenty of great food and beer and a lovely lake to cool down in.










Made our way from there down to Trieste...well we didn't mean to but somehow we managed to get lost and ended up in an industrial part at this point we became aware of the value of Garmin or tom Tom ;)). Managed to finally escape and crossed into Croatia without any border hassles and found our way to Porec. 

Stinking hot day but beautiful all the same. Found a place to stay cheaply and ended up heading into town to find the holy grail of all motorbike trips...the Swedish backpackers. Needless to say we didn't meet any...nor any other women who were willing to allow us the opportunity to talk them into letting their morals slip, so we just wandered around town and found a few good bars instead.
















Following day we headed down to Navalja on Pag Island - a place we were assured was a top party town. We stayed in some old Soviet style hotel and cycled out of town to this bay which has all the night clubs in it. Either we were too early (they're late birds there) or on the wrong night. but there weren't too many people there...but we made a good fist of it and (surprise surprise) ended up quite a bit tiddly at the end of the night and wobbled our way back to the hotel.






















Woke up the next day and...yes another hangover.

It absolutely pissed down all the way to Split and we once again found ourselves driving all over town trying to find a hotel that a Croatian friend of Mark's had booked for us. But again we could have had a less stressful time with a GPS...all this whilst the rain bucketed down.We ended up finding this hotel and it was in some industrial estate and expensive as f**k. Everything was soaked and we ended up hanging out all our gear all over the hotel room and leaving a hairdryer going in our boots.















Point d'intérêt

Nufenen Pass (Italian: Passo della Novena, German: Nufenenpass) (el. 2478 m.) is the second highest mountain pass with a paved road within Switzerland


So the weather cleared and we decided to take a swim then see the sights - what can I say? I love the Croatian coast. It's got history, loads of old Roman forts etc, pretty ladies and nice bars (whoops there's that theme again ;) Anyway - take a look for yourself at the town!










Just because it was hot...and we could - we decided to take a day white water rafting near Omis! This turned out to be a good idea as we got to share a raft with a couple of pretty Danish girls! Yes!









OK back on the bikes again - feeling refreshed and full of beans we headed off into Bosnia. Met a legendary bloke, Vic Ross, (Aussie of course ;)) who told us to be careful about making sure you had a Green Card insurance slip - otherwise you have to buy insurance at the border for about $50.

I had a bit of an argument with the border guard, but it turns out it wasn't a scam - the green card was a real thing and I found mine eventually. So we made our way to Mostar. But Mark went into a hairpin too fast and straightened up and went straight across it. Luckily he pulled up before hitting the side of the mountain, but as he put his foot down he stepped into a pothole and dropped his bike... nothing too serious - just a few scratches and we had to re-tighten his mirror.


But anyway Mostar has a fantastic history - but marred in the early 90's due to some of the worst fighting in the region. But today they've rebuilt the old bridge that united both sides of the town, but you can still see the nasty scars of the war. That night we heard of a nightclub in a cave - we had to check it out - but ended up being the only people there...















Road to Sarajevo

So having left Mostar we headed up to Sarajevo for a bit. The roads were decent enough, but I got distracted easily by these roadside tavernas . They had lamb on the spit outside and the smell drove me crazy so we had to stop and eat one...not the whole thing, mind :)









We ended up driving around the centre of town looking for a good place to park the bikes and stay ...this is before days of motortourer, otherwise it would have been a lot easier ha ha. We just happened to pull up to rest and a guy asked us if we wanted hotel. We said yes so long as it had safe parking for bikes. He pointed behind us and basically the hotel has a lift which takes your bike/car to the floor your room is on and you park it outside your room door - really great hotel. ETN Hotel, Sarajevo. These photos are outside our rooms.










Sarajevo is a fun and vibrant place though - loads of bars and restaurants. I even had a steak with chocolate and chilli sauce :)





















Road to Banja Luka:

So the we headed up along the road to Banja Luka. The Route you can also find here which I uploaded earlier

But along the way we thought it would be a good idea to go camping because it was getting dark and we were knackered. Not smartest idea when you consider that there are still thousands of landmines still to be cleared from the horrible war. We found a place off the beaten track near an old abandoned farm house though.






















Banja Luka:









Leaving Banja Luka we came across this place the next day. Pretty moving place with loads of bullet holes and the scene of some pretty fierce fighting.

Slovenia: Lake Bled

So packing up and making our way back - we realised we were running out of time (usual problem with travelling, right?) And as such were determined to visit the nicest places on our way back - highways permitting.Well we weren't disappointed with Slovenia - amazing roads (watch out for tail-gating arseholes in Audis) through the mountains and down to Lake Bled. This reminded me of something out of a TinTin comic. Acventure and beauty all rolled into one. Azure blue lake and this monastery on an island in the middle. It was so beautiful there, I thought to myself that the next tim I come back here it will be with a pretty girl and not some hairy Irishman ;-) fact I toldMark as such and he laughed and said he was thinking the same thing but without a hairy Aussie ha ha ha .But anyway - check out the pictures below.


Point d'intérêt

Great place in the centre of Sarajevo. Secure parking - just drive your bike onto the lift and it will take you to your room floor and there you can p

Beautiful lake with some of the nicest foothill riding you can imagine...if you can get past the thousands of cars and tourist buses

Austria - Obertauern:

So to make the most of the homeward journey we avoided highways and those silly vignettes and found ourselves some nice windy mountain roads. We came across this fantastic motorbike friendly hotel in Obertauern. It's also a place where KTM allows people to try out their latest bikes. Check out the POI here:









then home.Well basically went from here to Heidelburg to BernKastell and then home. Basically following the same pattern of riding the lovely roads and then finding a bar to prop ourselves up at. Heidelburg was a must, but the Moselle region blew me away with its small mountains and hills and picturesque scenery. Had a great few days and found time to go camping once more by a lake in Germany. For the life of me I couldn't say where it was, but we found some local beers and...well you know how that one goes ;-)


























So this is the end of my 1st trip to Bosnia. Hope you enjoyed it. If you couldn't be bothered reading then I made a silly movie of it - well a montage anyway with some cool music. We thought we were pretty cool making it at the time, but it makes us laugh to watch it now ;-) Check it out here.

Thanks and safe riding!