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Tuzla, Bosnia Hercegovina

Tuzla, Bosnia HercegovinaTuzla, Bosnia Hercegovina

One of our friends, Addy, visited us at the end of March 2007. I took 3 days of and we arranged some free days for Yde at his school. We were doubting about our destination, Greece or some former Yugoslavian countries. We decided for the last because this would give both us and our friend a better insight in similarities and differences between Croatia and Bosnia Hercegovina compared to Serbia.

Tuzla was the last city after after Sarajevo, Mostar, Split and Zagreb. From Sarajevo we drove to Tuzla, the last major city we visited. The weather finally improved and the road towards Tuzla was quiet so we arrived around 13.00. It took less than 1 1/2 hour, we only had to stop because Yde did not feel too well after all the hairpins we took. If you are coming from Sarajevo the first thing you notice upon arrivng at Tuzla is the hugh electricity plant. Furthermore a lot of industrial zones, most of them abandoned.

The second thing we discovered where 'Mercator' signs. MercatorMercator is a hypermarket chain, in Belgrade we also have a big one but we did not expect this hypermarket in the center of Tuzla. We decided to buy our lunch at that Mercator and to our surprise the self service restaurant in the Mercator in Tuzla was better than the simple coffee outlet in Belgrade. In fact they do not have a complete restaurant in Belgrade but they should make one because the food was excellent and cheap.

Anyhow, after our lunch we decided to go back to Belgrade instead of further exploring the city center. We wanted to arrive in Belgrade before dark without hurrying. But soon after leaving Tuzla we took a wrong road leading into the hills. Our attempt was to reach Serbia directly via Biljejina, instead nothing but hills and soon no tarmac anymore.

We tried to figure out our position but our 3 different maps couldn't help us much. The villages were too small to be mentioned on any of the maps and there were only a few signs mentioning other even smaller villages. After more than 1 our on gravel roads leading over the top of the hills we finally found another main road. Not the one we wanted, this one was leading to Zupanja, back in Croatia. But we took that road because we wanted to reach the real highway again. On our way to the Croation border we saw again many minefields, abandoned houses and shortly before the border some kind of shopping area which probably only works on weekdays to buy cheap goods in Bosnia Hercegovina. Before we left the country we spend our last local currency, I even found Tuzla beer to complete my regional beer journey. Not as nice as the other beers (a little bit light) but still good enough to drink.

Passing the border was again just a formality, soon we reached the highway in Croatia, only 10 minutes away from the serbian border. We reached Belgrade around 19.00 just before it got dark. During this trip we drove 1505 kilometers, and it was really interesting. Not only the surroundings, sometimes boring, and then suddenly spectaculair. More interesting are the similarities and the differences between the regions, the sad part is the incredible damage caused by the recent wars. If you visit the Balkan you see much of ancient history and recent history at the same time. In short, impressive. (posted by Jitze, 05/04/07)

More information:

Tuzla, tourist information

Bosnia Hercegovina according to Wikipedia

Tuzla according to Wikipedia

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