Jun 052013

So, got to Sarajevo airport in plenty of time.  Check-in was absolutely painless, no line, and security and passport control were also painless.  Less than 10 minutes after arriving, we were inside security and passport control and ready to see the lounge.  It’s a common use lounge where they check your boarding pass, but it had free internet and drinks, so was more than adequate to pass the time.  Nothing special, but good enough!

We didn’t spend any time in duty free, and soon it was time to board right on time.

Turkish flight 1024
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (SJJ) to Istanbul, Turkey (IST)
Depart 14:10, Arrive 17:05, Flight Time 1:55
Boeing 737-900 Registration TC-JYI, Manufactured 2012, Seat 3F

First shocker…unlike the flight to Sarajevo, this plane actually featured something close to international business class!  Well, it was more like US domestic first with an extra foot or more of legroom, but still…very comfortable compared to what I expected, I was super impressed…and this was off to a good start!



I know…still nothing to be super excited about, but it held promise for the next segment to Bishkek.  I was sure we wouldn’t be so lucky again, but in my experience flying Turkish has been a complete crapshoot, so who’s to say what was in store.   Pre-departure drinks were a variety of fruit juices and lemonades:

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Jun 042013

Landed late evening in Sarajevo, and after a short wait for baggage we found the hotel drive which we’d arranged online waiting for us right outside customs. A quick maybe 15 minute or so ride, and we were at the hotel which I’ll talk more about later. It was already after 8pm at this point, and it was a national holiday in Bosnia, so we just went for a short walk around the river to see if we could find a cafe for dinner and walk off a bit of the jetlag. Managed to find a small cafe/pizza shop in a mall that was still open for a quick snack, and it was relatively early to bed.

No meetings the next day until mid-afternoon, so was nice to sleep in a bit and recover and walk around the city a bit. All told, I think we ended up walking a good 10km in the morning, which was fantastic for getting rid of a bit of the jetlag. Most of the following pictures were taken on that morning walk, but some are from random walks in between meetings the next several days.

After walking a few km, the first major site was the Latin Bridge, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated, largely sparking World War I.


Another nearby cool bridge:


The central square in the old town – at day and night.  The old town had a distinctly east-meets-west feeling, with the call to prayer constantly heard, several mosques, and a really unique blend of people and cultures:

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Apr 262013

No sooner had I gotten back from Johannesburg than I found out that the new job I took starting the day I returned had a trip planned for me.  I expected it would maybe be one new country, but as planning has evolved it’s now planned for nearly three weeks and four new countries!  Score!  The downside is not getting to really play tourist too much, but you can’t complain about getting to go to four relatively out of the way countries  without it costing any vacation time or out of pocket expense!  Things are pretty much lined up now, and the the route looks like:



Plan is to visit four new countries:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.  Assuming the visas show up in time, all systems should be go for this trip!  Lots of long segments on Lufthansa…perhaps in First if upgrades clear, along with a couple long segments on dreaded Turkish 737s from Sarajevo to Istanbul to Bishkek.  Also, two new airlines:  Uzbekistan Airlines and Air Astana, one on an A320 and the other on an ERJ-190.  This assumes, again, that everything happens as planned…

Not sure how many sights I’ll get a chance to see, but I’ll definitely make an attempt to review the flights, check out the local restaurants, and use my evenings wisely to at least try and see some sights around town!  Plus, I should have a full weekend day in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, so that should be a chance to see a fair bit!

More to come soon!