Borders are funny places, we have found, few countries signpost the border, or any towns over the border, you tend to be worried that you are going the right way and then all of a sudden a huge border post rises up in front of you.

We spent the night in a town on the border of Bosnia and Serbia, it was another odd little town, very shabby, the bomb sites didnt help, but it was more than the legacy of the war, the whole place felt dark and depressing. One of the things that we have really noticed about all of these former communist states is that people dont smile at strangers, people in cafes and shops that you have to interact with, there are no polite smiles, no social smiles. I dont know if that is as a result of the wars or a legacy of socialism; there seems to be a lot of mistrust.  We were not on any tourist route and so there were no campsites and it was definitely not a place that felt in any way safe enough to camp in an unsecured location. So for the first time we found a hotel.

We got a huge family room, with breakfast, in a good hotel, for ony 45e It was nice to stretch out in a double bed all to myself!

The next morning I girded my loins for another border crossing. I felt like an old hand after the whole Bosnian experience and figured I knew what to do to get into serbia. Our plan was to spend at most one night in Serbia as we needed to head for Budapest for the festival. However the best laid plans of mice and men and all that.

We got through passport control, again with much scrutiny and yay..our first passport stamp...customs told me I needed to buy border insurance..which I knew all about now. So I parked on the Serbian side of the customs post, technically in serbia and then walked to the office to be told that they wanted 110e for a one month border insurance. That has the buying power of about 500e in that region. Sadly I declined, it wasnt worth it for just a quick drive through the country, so we had to turn around and go back through the Bosnian border controls (where they stamped our passports this time)...feeling like it was the fastest country yet and the border police were nice....

Plan B, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, along with Serbia, that was 4 countries in one day, they are all fairly close to one another at that point so it was OK, longish drive, we arrived in Hungary while it was still day and for the first time the customs people were interested in looking inside of the van. But getting waved on we were finally in Hungary....for the festival!!

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    August 2010