Monday, 13 July 2009

Unbelievable light

I’m sure I’ve mentioned a few times before the exceptional quality of the early evening light in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I might not have mentioned the incredible starry night sky we witnessed a week or so back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the night sky look so beautiful. It provoked a friend to ponder if perhaps there’s a correlation between the increase in light pollution and decrease in belief in God. But tonight a drive in the dark back from Sarajevo gives me two very different light-related tales.

There is but one main road that connects Mostar and Sarajevo. For almost the entiretiy of its length it is single carriageway, breaking into three lanes only on its steepest sections, for the benefit of those desperate to overtake a painfully slow lorry grinding uphill. They go painfully slow downhill too but for that you must supply your own patience! In the two and a bit hours it took to drive home I must have seen more than a dozen cyclists chancing their luck with no lights on their bikes. Given the state of the road, the general disregard for speed limits and the shocking overtaking habits of many drivers this strikes me as an act of inexcusable foolishness.

On the first big climb out of Sarajevo we were three vehicles back from a lorry, with trailer, loaded high with logs. It was steadily decreasing speed as the incline increased. The slower we got the closer we got to the vehicle in front. It was at this point I realised we where following a Serbian ambulance. Quite what it was doing in Bosnia I’m not sure, but one thing became clear it was not about to provide a case study in patient driving. Suddenly on go the blue flashing lights, down goes the accelerator and it’s hard on the tail of the car in front. In quick success they and the vehicle in front pulled right to allow them to pass leaving the ambulance on the bumper of the lorry. Eventually the road was straight enough for it to streak past the long vehicle. As it pulled back in front, with a open road ahead, off went the lights and it carried merrily on its way. Unbelievable!

2 comments:

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

We're convinced that much of the economy of Bosnia depends on driving log and beer lorries at very slow speeds along the major roads of Bosnia. Tuzla Sarajevo route is similar to the Mostar Sarajevo one, only without the occasional three lanes to overtake on. It is agonizing. But, I have never seen a cyclist on it! That surely must be the definition of total madness.

Postgate said...

Just keep these stories safe, there has to be a book in them. One day.