Rolling off from Sarajevo in now freezing temperatures over mountains towards Serbia. I’m not sure if it sounds romantic. It wasn’t. But overall I had a pretty interesting time. Many of the young people here speak English quite well so it’s no problem to grab slices of the culture in various places.
One thing I found particularly amusing was the elections. The politicians are corrupt here (who knew, eh?). They actually walk around the streets and buy votes from people. One guy I spoke to had earned €100 from “selling” his votes to five different politicians. The politicians here are so rich that they can actually afford to do it. And the general population in the small towns earn next to nothing that they are quite happy to get some extra cash (€100 is about 2 weeks wages, but a politician can easily make double that in a day). The political system is petty much a complete mess. And probably the most complicated in the world.
Anyway, it was election time. So it was pretty funny cycling around and seeing political advertisements absolutely everywhere.
It’s ridiculous. Most posters vins country.
I stumbled across this little thing in a tiny village…
Don’t break the bank now, Gallowa. What the hell even is that?
(A friend quickly identified it as a Russian Lada. Surely they never used these in Scotland?)
In other news…
Yeah, about the signs. They don’t make any sense now. In Republik Srpska they are supposed to use the dual written language (like above) but often they don’t. So I spend a while memorising the name in Latin script on Google Maps and then I’m presented with a bunch of hieroglyphs.
I’ve got lost a few times. But thankfully it’s really beautiful.
Soon, I would cross the border to Serbia. I wanted to cross by this little rusty bridge…
But I was refused and told to cross further north. Soon though, with a new little stamp in my passport, I was in Serbia. This was one of the first things I saw…
True to their culture, like the Croatians and the Bosnians, the Serbs enjoy a good roadside market. Big enough to slow down the traffic. It reminded me of some markets in Morocco.
Across all of the Balkans, there appears to be high investment in religion too.
I rolled fairly steadily to Belgrade from the border crossing at Loznica. To be honest it was quite uneventful. But the sun was out most of the way. The roads were straight. Things are much the same price as in Bosnia. However, one thing that did annoy me a little was that every man and his dog seemed to be burning something. Fields, sticks, trash, whatever. As I approached Belgrade sections of the road were covered in smoke. It doesn’t help that there are loads of coal-fired power stations around too, making the air some of the most polluted in Europe. I can feel it in my lungs.
Next up: Belgrade