This is a guest post by Sarah Erck Welle
1. Watch as west slowly but obviously changes to east as you cycle into Bosnia. As you descend out of the mountains into the city of Mostar, you see minarets rising up from the skyline and hear the call to prayer from the mosques that fill the city.
2. Marvel at and be sobered by physical signs of the wars and conflict that occurred so recently in the area. We were constantly surprised and amazed to see pedestrian filled streets and busy shops right next door to bombed out shells of buildings, riddled with bullet holes. Or sidewalks speckled with dings from sniper bullets in downtown bustling Sarajevo. Or roadsigns in the remote countryside that were used as target practice.
3. Cycle through the countryside and occasionally spot villages that are complete ghost towns. Factories are empty and collapsing, homes and buildings in absolute disrepair, and few people remain.
4. Get an up close view of a simpler way of life in the smaller towns east of Sarajevo and meet warm friendly people. Stay in small family-run pensions and experience meals made completely from ingredients grown and prepared on their own property, including cheese pickles sausages eggs preserves and alcohol (called schnapps). See things like a metal working business using the power of a river to operate a gigantic hammer, which pounded out molten metal. Amazing!
5. Eat Burek, a famous flaky buttery Bosnian pastry. They come in cheese, spinach, or meat and potato. We like the Meat & Potato best!
Sarah Erck Welle and her husband James got married, quit their jobs, and bicycled around the world.
In November of 2006 they left their comfortable corporate jobs and set out looking for adventure on the open road. One year later they returned, after traveling through 20 countries and cycling over 10,000 kilometers.
The story of their adventure is at erck.org