Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tales From The Field: Getting There Is Half The Fun! Right?

Well I finally got my pics uploaded to my computer, and had a little extra time at work, so here's a little installment of the stories from our trip!

Thursday July 27

We leave! The start of a long that takes us on 4 airplanes, one mini-bus, 5 cities, in *only* 40 hours.

Along the way, we napped on the river bank in Frankfurt, had coffee in the airport cafe in Zagreb, and saw the sparkling lights on the Adriatic coast.

Hanging out in Frankfurt for 8-10 hours...

Coffee in Frankfurt!

The Main ("mine") River


Then came the harrowing mini-bus ride from Dubrovnik to Niksic. The drive was only supposed to take about 2 hours. It took almost 4. In the middle of the night. With drivers who *claim* they don't speak English. In a former Communist country with no cell phone signal.

By this time it is late Friday night, almost Saturday morning, local time. Although our bodies have NO idea what time they think it is!

We load up at the Dubrovnik airport, after finally figuring out we lost one suitcase along the way. We rumble through Dubrovnik and other picturesque sea-side towns, full of condos, houses and boats. Finally, we leave the coast-side and begin climbing up into the mountains. Have no idea what country we are in at this point. Of course, it's pitch-black out, since it's the middle of the night AND the middle of nowhere.

The driver speeds up and is whipping us around hair-pin curves on the side of mountains where there's a 1,000 foot cliff. Great. I close my eyes, trying to doze off while tuning out the Euro-pop dance beat. Not an easy task, in case you were wondering.

Then, the road ends. Yes, ENDS. As in, some ruts in the grass is what we drive along now. I think at this point, we all start getting a little nervous. We go along the grassy-rutted-"road" for a while, then it turns to gravelly rock. All the better for those van tires to slide around on! Meanwhile, the driver occupies himself by texting and looking at his Facebook account on his phone. Safety first, you know!

This went on for a while, although probably not as long as it felt. And I have to admit: I really thought for a while that we were getting kidnapped and/or trafficked. Seriously, don't laugh. It was the middle of NOWHERE and we have no idea who these guys are or where we are going. We knew the name of the town in Montenegro we were headed to, but it took us all week to learn to say it! (Niksic=neek seek) Plus I was majorly sleep deprived. My brain does not exactly think rationally in that condition.

FINALLY, we pop out onto a real road, come around the bend on the side of the mountain, and see city lights below us. The driver points and says "Niksic", and decides to step on it again. After a few more near-misses with other cars and guardrails, we start coming into Niksic.

Looking back, we only went through 2 border checkpoints...but travelled through 3 countries! (Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro) Hmmmm.... We are not sure what the deal was, because the "shortcut" took waaaayyy longer than the route we took back to Dubrovnik.

Something fishy was afoot, and I don't think we really want to know what! Thankfully, we all made it, the lost suitcase caught up to us, and Montenegro was better than we expected!


Rachel said...

Thanks for stopping by!! Your profile says Hoover, I live in Alabaster so we're practically neighbors!

KBeau said...

Sounds like an interesting trip.

Trina said...

Um wow, that's kinda scary and I might had had a panic attack. Seriously make me not want to go there LOL Glad you are OK! lol

Rachel said...

Wow - that's crazy!! And the four hour trip back from the beach felt long...

And I would have been freaking out about being kidnapped too! Yeesh!