The skyline of Sarajevo is full of Minarets and Orthodox cathedrals with this Mosque just outside of the Old City, on a wet and dreary day.
I stayed at a very nice youth hostel set in an old building with hardwood floors, high ceilings and a comfortable atmosphere. The nice thing about hostels is you get to meet people from around the world and they are often located in the heart of a City.
On Tuesday morning I made my way to the train station with my bike. Travelling by bike is great as long as you are actually on it but once you have to move using other modes, it becomes a challenge. I had to carry the bike up 2 flights of steps (I lightened my load a bit so now can actually lift it off the ground) and then sat in front of a train marked for Bucharest (Romania). I was going to Belgrade (Serbia) but was assured this was the right train by someone who did not work at the railway station so I knew I could trust them. I find the people at airports or other public service buildings are not that helpful and often are less informed than those who actually use the facilities. It was amusing to see the line of people all asking the same question about the destination. You would think it would be a pretty simple task to put the name Belgrade either on the platform signs or on the train itself but that was not the case. I waited for instructions on where to put my bike but no one was around so I just picked a spot in the rear of the train, hauled my bike and bags up and found a seat. No one questioned me but I did have to pay extra for the bike. I only had euros as I gave my last Bosnian Marks to a young child outside a grocery store on my way to the train station. The boy was so excited that he ran beside me yelling "good-bye" for a few minutes. He was probably 6 years old and you have to wonder what his future holds if he is on the street begging at that age. The train employee wrote out a receipt for 5 km (Bosnian is not on the Euro but have their own currency, the Mark) but I only had euros so paid him 5 euros. He smiled to himself as he just more than doubled the costs and I am pretty sure he will pocket the difference.
On the train I met a man who lived the last 40 years in Toronto and he was travelling with a couple from London, Ontario. He was a professor at Western (my University - go Mustangs) and was sitting in the compartment next to me. At one point he knocked on the window of my compartment and told me the bags on my bike were off and sitting on the floor but I told him I took them off to be able to lift the bike up. He said I should put them back on because "we will soon be in Serbia and they will rob you blind." Hmmm, it seems the Centuries old biases did not end when the peace accords were signed. I was surprised to hear the comments from someone so educated.
I arrived in Belgrade on Tuesday night and found a hostel for 2 nights. I spent Wednesday wandering around parts of the large and not particularly attractive City.