Early next week we’re traveling by bus to Mostar, Bosnia, and because it’s in a different country, it takes a little planning. And as you might expect, we have some experience with this sort of thing, so we usually know how to proceed.
This little tale is about our misadventures planning the trip to Bosnia.
First stop: The US State Department website to check on the necessary visas. No visa necessary, passports stamped at the border…awesome.
Bus tickets: This step is multi-stage as it requires beaucoup unknown information. First, we have to take a local bus to the Main Bus Station to buy an international ticket. Therefore, we must find the Main Bus Station, and figure out which local bus will take us there. I will shorten the story by saying that after mucho internet research, and a couple of trips to the Tourist Info Center (Bless their hearts, they spoke some English!), we sorted all this out.
Trip to buy the bus tickets: This is where the misadventure begins. We know that bus 1A or 1B will take us to the main bus station. We’re waiting patiently at the bus stop, up rolls the 1A, we wave, and the bus blows right by. Awww man, we’re at the wrong bus stop. We move, wait 20 minutes, and bus 1B breezes right by us. Rat Bastard! Finally, we figure out that our bus stop is across the street. I’m not sure what your experience is, but everywhere I’ve been, you wait at the bus stop on the side of the street that is the direction that you want to travel. Apparently, this isn’t the case for Dubrovnik. After another 20 minutes we discover that the 1A/1B pick up point is across the street, and the bus makes a massive U turn to head the other direction.
On the bus to the station to buy bus tickets: We are on the right bus and we’re golden. Now which is the correct stop? Since I only have a dinky tourist map, I say to Terri, “Surely we’ll recognize the main bus station.”
“Well, there’s a sign that says Autobus,” Terri responds hopefully.
“That can’t be the main bus station – there’s only one bus!” I retort.
On the bus going to the burbs: After missing our stop, we had a nice 45-minute cruise to the far reaches of Dubrovnik. Luckily, we knew that the bus would eventually come back to town and the main bus station. When we arrive at the end of the line, and the bus is empty except for us, the driver looks back in his mirror wondering, no doubt, where we’re going. I take my little map up, and using the international sign for “I missed my damned stop,” I point to the bus station. He looks at the map, looks at me, and shrugs as if to say, “I couldn’t care less.” The good news is that in 15 minutes we roll out back toward town.
At the main bus station: Buying the tickets was easy once we found the bus station. Tickets in hand, we strolled back to the bus stop to get back into town. And just so you know, we have some experience with this sort of thing, and usually know how to proceed.