FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Farewell to Bosnia-Herzegovina

Posted in Bosnia by folkestonejack on April 10, 2010

Awoke to a wet and miserable morning… perhaps someone was trying to help me to re-adjust to UK weather!

Our final encounter with Bosnian steam came at Lukavac where we saw a kriegslok arrive light engine from Sikulje to collect some empty wagons, departing chimney first from Lukavac exchange yard. Afterwards the increasingly heavy rain and the lack of any scheduled workings in the near future prompted the decision to start our journey back to Sarajevo a couple of hours early.

It was an interesting journey which sometimes followed the route of a long closed narrow gauge line (with a stop midway at a rather strange cafe with stuffed deers and wild cats leaping from the walls). On this road into Sarajevo canton you could certainly see plenty of visible signs of the civil war – burn out buildings, buildings battered with shell holes (sometimes patched up with new bricks) and buildings pockmarked with bullet holes – as well as plentiful red signs warning of minefields. Traffic was reasonably good until the outskirts of the city itself. As we were somewhat early we headed to the Hotel Hollywood at Ilidza (after dropping a few people off) for a buffet lunch before heading to the airport to check in.

The flight home via Vienna was fairly smooth with good connections but the journey from Heathrow to South london was anything but. Weekend engineering work resulted in a journey involving three tube trains, two buses and one train. In fact it took longer to get from Heathrow to South London than it did from Sarajevo to Heathrow! I struggled to understand what was going on (with posters contradicting the correct advice given by staff on the ground) so goodness knows how tourists arriving at Heathrow managed… still, I got home in the end.

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