Thursday, February 10, 2011

Balkan trip day 5: Turkish coffee and a broken car

This would be the last day that we are in Sarajevo. In the morning we had a meeting in the national parliament with a former member of parliament. We explained about our activities and for possible ways to collaborate. After this meeting we had a 1,5 hr break where we visited the remains of a tower, enjoyed a panoramic view of Sarajevo and drank a Turkish coffee on the central square. After this we went to the philosophical faculty where we had an appointment with the dean and vice-dean. We had a good discussion about Christian Democracy within the Bosnian context. The faculty was very interested to collaborate also with the European Christian Political Foundation for developing analysis etc. on topics related to Christian Democracy.

It was now early afternoon and we went back to the "Residence" hostel that became a kind of home for us. The owners (a very energetic Bosnian man of 68 who is running with the luggage on the stairs and his wife who worked before in a diplomatic function at the government) helped us to find a good hotel in Zagreb and explained us how to leave the city in the right direction. It was not a pension but more a home for us and we had the feeling that we came as guests and left as family.

The trip went well and I started to sleep in the car until I was rudely woken up by a hit of Auke's elbow. "There is smoke coming out of the car, we have to get out!" he told me and I saw smoke coming from the front hood. Jumping out of the car we saw water under the car. And it was a great place where it happened: just between the border of BiH and Croatia! After standing for around 30 minutes in the cold, the Croatian Automobile Club came (called by a friendly Croatian couple who helped us). We pushed the car down and before the border the car was put on his car and we went to the Croatian border. However because of a small problem an irritating customs officer, the car has to be brought down from the car of the automobile club and the car has to be pushed back in the line of the customs and before the post, the motor has to be started again else we were not allowed to cross the border.... After Auke again was pushing the car, waving again to the first customs officers who were surprised why he was standing in line again, the car (thanks God!) could be started again! Else I think that Auke was still pushing the car around the custom post and waving to the customs officers! However so far so good and we arrived safely to the car service, slept in their pension and the car would be repaired tomorrow morning. I was happy that the first meetings were planned for tomorrow evening!

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