My first big adventure travel has just unfolded - hitchhiking Up North on an extremely tight, almost unexciting budged, with no return date, actually with no plans at all... So, stay with me and lets see what the cat will bring... 🙈🙉🙊 (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5)
You can also fallow the Up North trip in Polarsteps. Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.
10 September 2021 – Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Headed Up North and to Sarajevo one more time and one more time missed it out. This time I ended up at a place Nino (a new friend from the last hostel) told me about just the last night. The Bosnian pyramids in Visoko.
I haven’t really planed to go there. I haven’t even heard about that until a few hours before.
When Nino told me last night, I thought it could be nice, and probably helpful, to visit the landmark. So I kept the information in mind, but my goal was Sarajevo and I had not too much time ahead, so…
After a few different rides, my last helper said: “Okay, I’m actually going to Visoko and Zenica, but I can leave you near Sarajevo, no problem.”
Well, that precise moment predicted the day and, as turned out lately, my whole trip.
It has been the most expensive day of my Up North trip so far, but it definitely worth it! Not too much to see, but the feeling inside those tunnels is just unspeakable. You can feel the energy and the atmosphere in there.
I don’t know if it’s healing or not. I only know it’s different and bizarre. If I have a chance, I would go back some day and experience more of it. Even hike up to the pyramids and see the world from the top.
The pyramids itself are in about 6-7 km and the tunnels aren’t cleared so far, so to go there as well, I would need one more day. So, yeah, maybe next time…
Up North: 11 September 2021 – Zagreb, Croatia
Did I say “the most expensive day” yesterday? I wonder who was watching me and giggling while whisper “Oh, just wait for it…” 🤦🏻♀️
Starting early as usual, I have been given a few kilometres ride from Alex, who I met in the guest house I was staying at. Very nice person, I wish we have the option to chat more, but although I wanted to see more from the area and the Pyramids, I had to continue further. 🤷♀️
After he left me near the highway, I was took by three more persons, brought to a coffee and a breakfast (finally tested the Bosnian pita!).
Finally a car with three persons stopped for me and it turned out they are going to Zagreb directly, so I was able to pass the border at the same day.
Later the four of us were about to regret that decision… 🤦♀️
We have been stopped at the Croatian border for way more closer checking. They took our documents away and very rudely ordered to wait. I guess it has something to do with the fact that we were 4 people in the car from 4 different countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Iraq)… 🤦♀️
Then even more rudely our (especially mine, as it’s huge) backpacks were completely emptied. Including my waist little bag. It turned out that my taser (along with a pepper spray!) is a weapon which needs a weapon carrying permit…
So, it have been confiscated! I have been fined ~160€ and we have been made to wait more than three hours…
You can guess – no one of us was happy! Not everything was going so smoothly on Up North way…
In very bad mind set I finally have been left at the highway near Zagreb around 6-6:30 at the afternoon. Started asking random guys for hot spot to find a place to stay (and a destination to walk towards).
At about 7:30 I reached the hostel I have booked on the way and went to bed almost dead after all the pressure of the day and another 11 km walking with the load.
Up North: 13 September 2021 – Ljubljana, Slovenia
Do you remember “never say never“? However, the labels we put on people, things or places are something similar.
I claimed that the worst car drivers were in Kardzhali, BG. Until I went to Turkey… The Turks led the rankings until I went to Albania. (We’ll talk again when I get to Asia)
The worst hitchhiking country Up North was Bosnia and Herzegovina, until I went to Croatia.
Well, Croatia leads the ranking in a few paragraphs (at least for now). The most cumbersome bureaucracy (Even compared to the Bulgarian one!). Also the most expensive country (yes, I have not reached Austria and northern countries, but there we are talking about other standards). The most rude police (with one exception – the couple who made me pack up my tent and leave) and administrative officers.
I’m sorry to say so, but this is a really beautiful and definitely most inhospitable country in the list!
Lets leave aside the performances of the angry guy at the border (it happens that your wife suffers from a chronic headache, isn’t it…), but the two days of being sent from office to office and from institution to institution, to pay their own stupid fine, are already too much for me. Everyone just shrugs – you don’t have a number, you don’t have an account, they didn’t give you a “platnica” and that’s it…
This morning, with a backpack ready for heading towards Slovenia, I was on the verge of crying with anger and helplessness again running from office to office, when I finally came across a real Human being at the post office! The second Ivan, who saves me. It took him almost an hour by phone and fax to fix that asshole’s stupidity. 🤬
Thank you, Ivan!!!
I felt the sympathy of all the employees there as they watched and help him to fight the nonsense created by an ass in a uniform (NO apology!). Thanks a lot, guys!!!
I ran to the hostel for my backpack, then headed out of town. After ~10 km it became clear to me that it would not work that way and I took a bus for as far as I could without ticket. From there I walked again, but I was almost out of the city.
And it was already noon, bright sun and ~30°. I just got on the main road and a car pulled next to me. I was sure it didn’t stop to give me a ride, and I wondered who are they and what they want. Well, when as the window slides down my favourite police uniforms and evil eyes became visible… I guessed the answer myself, even before they speak.
God, I couldn’t wait once to get out of this country!!!
Soon Andrej, an interesting and funny interlocutor, helped for my request to became true. He took me shortly after the policemen left and left me an hour after the Slovenian border.
Never say never, but as far as it is my choice, I will try not to set foot in Croatia again!! As I understood today, this was not just my feeling…
Aida, an extremely nice young lady, dropped me off at a bus stop just outside Ljubljana, from where I took a bus for the first time. Well, at least for the first time I paid for a bus… 🤫
Maybe that’s why I came across an incredibly polite and helpful driver with very good English with whom we talked all the way to the last stop.
Finally, around 2 pm I was at my hosts’ address for the evening. The first successful couchsurfing request for this trip! I ended up in front of a cup of coffee at a nearby restaurant.
I had to wait for my hosts after work and didn’t want to go around with all my luggage. So, no matter how expensive to me € 1.40 for a coffee is, for 4-5 hours it is still worth it. And I was so eager for drinking decent coffee at last. It was kind of a luxury on my Up North tour…
It was fallowed by a casual nice evening after the delicious dinner made by those incredibly warm and hospitable people Gunai and Kadir – my hosts in Ljubljana.
All the people I met today were people with big hearts (I don’t include those in police uniforms!). Thank you very much, guys!!! 💖💖💖