Slovenia and Croatia: Day 21 – Trebinje

Cycled Dubrovnik to Trebinje and back

Date: 5th June 2008

We took a day off from our lazing about in Dubrovnik to make a side trip to nearby Trebinje in Bosnia. Since it was just a day trip we didn’t have much weight so it was to be a relatively easy ride. Leaving Dubrovnik wasn’t so easy because it was quite a long steep hill, and a very busy road. There was a shoulder which made it, although still a little frightening, at least managable.

About 4km out of Dubrovnik we turned off the main highway onto a small road which led to Trebinje. At first we thought we were lost because the road was completely empty, and we thought it was a major road into a different country and so should be busy. There were a couple of quarries around but little else. We were able to confirm we were on the right track though and continued on our merry way up the winding road. The views back to Croatia and the Adriatic were quite spectacular.

View from the pass over the mountains between Dubrovnik and Trebinje, near the Croatia/Bosnia border.

Because of the history of unfriendliness between Croatia and Bosnia I was expecting the border security to be quite tough, but it was the most relaxed I’ve ever seen. The Croatian border waved us out, then when we got to the Bosnian security I was taking too long to find Millerine’s passport, so they sent us through without checking. Obviously two non-slavs on bicycles don’t pose much of a threat.

The rest of the trip to Trebinje was uneventful. The road continued winding up to the top of the hill, then it was a gradually graded 15km ride down into Trebinje. In between there was very little other than abandoned and destroyed buildings, road kill, and only about four or five cars. It was very stark. It looked as though it had been hit hard by the war and never recovered. The view of Bosnia was nothing but mountains. If I were to ride to Montenegro I would go via Bosnia though. It’s a much more pleasant ride than along the busy coastal road.

Trebinje was a very normal city, not a beautiful town like we were getting used to. There was an old town, but not much of one. It had other things going for it though. We were the only tourists in town, it was very cheap, and everyone we met was helpful and friendly. I got out fifty konvertibilnih maraka (the very interestingly named currency) after judging its spending power by looking at cafe beer prices, but it went a very long way. We went to the markets and bought a whole heap of vegetables, then had what for us was a gourmet restaurant lunch (the best food for the trip), and still had enough to buy some food and alcohol supplies for a couple of days.

In general there wasn’t much to see, but after being in overtouristy, unfriendly Croatia for so long the friendliness of the people of Trebinje was very welcome.

On the way back the border security just waved us through. We enjoyed more of the view of the Adriatic, and were back in time to cook a delicious vegetable soup from the produce we had picked up at the markets in Trebinje.

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