Wednesday 15 April 2015

Unfair to Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Oh dear.

Now that Gail is back and her head has recovered from sharing a late evening Frankfurt - Aberdeen flight with a stag party comprising builders from Fraserburgh, she is worrying that I may have unfairly misrepresented the country  of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) in my last post. She has asked that I correct any unfortunate impressions that the country in any way resembles Cumbernauld*.

Bosnia and Cumbernauld - absolutely no similarity?

Given that Gail claimed to have been on a bicycling tour, I imagined that her photographs of BiH would involve lots of energetic folk puffing and panting up the mountains on their bikes.

So I was a bit surprised when she said: “Look Bertie, see how we were treated like royalty in Bosnia. Like at the Hotel Park in Siroki Brijeg, where we were plied with a champagne breakfast on the house before setting off on the day’s ride”.

Gosh, and Gail claims it is mere coincidence that they got lost up a remote mountain track later that particular morning...

Then Gail showed me some of her photos of the town of Mostar…

… but when I examined the pictures more closely, and saw that some of the buildings are still pock marked with bullet holes from the 1992-5 war, I wondered if Gail might have been better off visiting Cumbernauld after all.

Oh but look, here is Gail’s friend Jo, still in Mostar and mighty happy at having tracked down a replacement for her Lufthansa-damaged gear levers. Or had she been at the champagne again…?

More photos and I was beginning to think these so-called ‘cyclists’ spent all their time inside, eating and drinking. In which case, they could have taken me along too, don't you think?

In this cafe, behind the men playing cards, there seems to be a poster of a General on the wall. Gail tells me she asked the friendly cafe owner about him and was proudly told that this man was a big local hero from 1993,  who had been "sent to the Hague but later let off." So, er, that's all right then?

Oh my goodness, at last, a photo in which, on the hairpin bend, you'll see some of Gail's group actually riding their bikes!

But we have to wait until they reach Croatia before the sun comes out it all starts to look a bit more like the sort of holiday normal humans take...

Oh and, since you ask, yes I was OK in 'camp'. 
I suppose.

*See comment from Angus on previous post


  1. Hmmmmmmm....we do think a champagne breakfast before any sporting even sounds like trouble. Just sayin'.

  2. Angus wasn't far wrong was he? I'd also venture that if you looked hard enough there are a few bullet marks on buildings in C - Job Centre perhaps? They did a grand job restoring that bridge in Mostar. Croatia looks just the ticket - I'd heard good things. Welcome home Bertie.

  3. Hari OM
    ...and welcome home Gail!!! My word, but this appears to have been one big hiccup of the bubbly variety. All to the good! Mostar looks magically magnificent. As does that coastline.

    Bertie, you may have to line up a walk/cycle trip to Torridon before too long - so's you can demonstrate more sober approaches.... Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  4. I wish I got a champagne breakfast before my walks.

  5. What a good idea to start the day with Champagne... we will try that too, always coffee or tea is boring, right? Glad your Gail is back and together with you :o)
    easy rider

  6. Great way to start the day. Lovely to see the area is thriving again. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. Oh Cumbernauld, is that the nest of tax collectors I see?
    A champagne breakfast sounds like the pawfect way to start the day to me!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  8. Oh Bertie....we think you had a better time at camp than you are admitting, and that next year Gail will send you on the bike ride and stay home and rest and be pampered. Be careful what you wish for!


  9. At least the beach side scenes look more like a vacation :)

  10. Bertie looks like Gail might have slightly mislead you into thinking this was a ride ride ride only with no fun trip...sure was lots of eating and picnicking and fresh air and you were stuck in camp. I say demerits for her!
    hugs madi your bfff

  11. Hummmmmmmm they encourage Drinking and CYCLING? Well, we are sure that your Gail only had a Sip... RIGHT.

    OH what a Beautiful Country .... we loved seeing it here.... We had only ever seen WAR pictures and we are thrilled to see the country and people AT PEACE. THANK YOU.

  12. You just think you were alright....that camp wasn't didy to that wonderful bike trip....ya gots Dad a drooling over it!

    The Mad scots

  13. I dont know Bertie but sounds like alot of the drink!! bol
    Glad that she is home and that you were ok. I thought about you Bertie.


  14. Bertie, we're glad things will finally return to "normal" in your routine. We dogs have to be SO flexible! Glad you're back!

    -Ruby and Otto

  15. What a wonderful trip. Croatia is on Mom's "must see" list. I think the only thing that would have made that trip better, would be a fox terrier in a side car or bike basket!


  16. Unclear to me why you weren't allowed being the life of the party you are. In any case, work the sad facefor as many treats as you can!!!!!

  17. Great story and wonderful photos Bertie! Looks like your mom had a real good time indeed!
    Hugs and wags, Willow

  18. Mom will take the champagne breakfast and leave the sport for dad. Still looks like fun both mom and dad love biking

  19. We had to look at your pics of Bosnia Croatia again. Seeing bullet holes in the walls is frightening. This country looks nothing like what we saw on the news except maybe the hairpin turn pic. And we never thought of palm trees there. There is beauty but yet sadness in the pictures.
    Thank for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot