Day 70. The plan was to make my way up Croatia, since I had started at the bottom in Dubrovnik. But on the way to Zadar is a great Bosnian city (Mostar) so close to the border it would be just silly not to go. So I went.
I had picked my hostel on the web, but I hadn’t booked it, and that might have been a premonition of mine because when I arrived in Mostar, the streets I had written down were nowhere to be found. I walked around for about half an hour, hopeful, but then it was rather dark so I just knocked at the first hostel that I saw.
There was no answer.
So I walked all the way back to the bus station, next to which I had seen a sign saying sobe/zimmers/rooms/chambres. The building looked closed as well, but as I stood on the porch I heard someone call “Ey” from above. At first I freaked out that God wanted to have a little chit-chat with me again, but then I saw a woman on a balcony, smoking a cigarette between smiling lips.
“You wanta room?”
“Yeah. A bed in a dorm if there’s any vacancy.”
Turned out the hostel was totally empty, so I had a 4-bed dorm to myself, which was pretty nice and bizarre at the same time.
“My name is Lena,” Lena said, shaking my hand. “If you have any questions you can ask upstairs. There’s my husband and my kids and my mother, but she doesn’t speak English.”
“Thanks. So how much for a night?”
“Ten euros.” I search for some change but she stops me with a wave, as though killing a fly. “No, no, don’t pay now. You settle down. I’m going out with the kids to get pizza, I’ll see you in the morning.”
Hostels in the Balkans are rather different than in the rest of Europe. I’m used to not being allowed to access my room until I pay and give a deposit for the key. Here they introduce you to the family and never mention check out time.
And the old streets of Mostar are beautiful. The history rich. The bridge gorgeous. The detour definitely worth it.
Note: Things close rather early so plan your day in advance. (I thought I’d have time for a museum in the afternoon but at four it was too late.)
Fail Count: 3