Drive from Croatia through Bosna i Hercegovina to Montenegro

When you’re traveling by a car to Bosna i Hercegovina, it’s good to keep on mind that unlike Croatia, like The United Kingdom, it’s not a part of European Union. So, you’ll need to buy a ‘green card’ on the border if aiming to access Bosna i Hercegovina. Getting a ‘green card’ takes from 5 minutes to xx amount of time – depending of your nationality and attitude.

Obviously, we dummies didn’t know any of this. Automatically we thought that the whole part of the Europe would be a part of the EU. For us getting a ‘green card’ took maximum 5 minutes and the price was around 20 Euros for us three.

Non-EU countries

It’s good to remember that now when we’re outside of the European Union, data roaming costs unknown amount (haven’t checked yet). The currency in Bosnia i Hercegovina is also different than Croatia (in Croatia it is Kuna). Here it is BHI mark.

I could see immediate change of atmosphere when crossing the border and driving through the mainland: it looks overall poorer than Croatia. The mixture of religions is shown more clearly: there seem to be mosques and minarets as much as Christian churches. First school that I see on the way. Sign tells that it’s been built and financed by the European Union.

We’re just driving towards Crnichi and the infrastructure is getting fancier, newly built. Again, another mosque. I can see a green view surrounded by hills, a wind blowing promisingly from the front (can that already be the sea??? ...well no, it wasn't). My partner complaining about the main road with speed limit maximum 70 all the way to Budva. We slowly start to understand how come 116 miles can take up to 5 hours according to Google Maps. But I enjoy. (At this point we didn't know yet that it's going to be more likely 8 hours).

Graveyards everywhere as much as churches. A sign which informs us that the water supply system for Bosna i Hercegovina is financed and build by the bank of European Union. Again, another big graveyard. Now the local police stops us and asks to see my partner’s documents. After some minutes, he lets us continue our journey. The road is bumpy, not in the best condition so to say. A river on the right side of us doesn’t seem to be suitable for swimming. Trucks passing by us dangerously fast.

Welcome to the republic of SPRSPCA.

Hmmmh… OK. Well, ‘thank you’. (Where the hell are we?)

Half of the cars that passing by are old school VW Golfs – only half of them having register plates. Let’s not even talk about using indications. “Wow wow wow STOP, there is a car parked on the middle of the main highroad” -I yell to my partner. Luckily he had a fast reaction time and we managed to lower the speed before crashing. That was 90’s VW Jetta for a change. Let’s continue our trip. 

“Wow wow wow wow lower the speed honey, there are freaking cows on the middle of the main highroad” …this slowly starts feeling like we are in India now.

“Wow wow wow wow lower the speed honey, there are freaking cows on the middle of the main highroad” …this slowly starts feeling like we are in India now.

People burn trashes on the other side of the road as they do everywhere in the country. A proper forest fire on the right side of us. Spreading seemingly fast. "Let’s just get the hell out of this place, too much going on."

Without being a master in history of Bosnia i Hercegovina, for me it looks like in a near history’s one of the bloodiest wars this region has been the one that has suffered the most. And I already say that I’m sorry about my words because I’m sure of that everybody related to that has suffered a lot. Is it then with the help of European Union or why, but for me it seems like Croatia has built themselves up after 90’s. I don’t really want to write more about stuff that I haven’t read enough. But after this trip I’m going to learn as much about the history of these countries as possible.

After all, everything is fine and we get to continue our journey. I was wrong about the condition of the road – it’s just getting worse.

Ommm finally on the border of Montenegro – and the road is immediately in a mint condition! But wait a minute… Once again, we are asked for a green card – this time for Montenegro. As a note to myself and everybody aiming to Montenegro by a car: no bank cards allowed, no Croatian Kunas, nor Bosnia i Hercegovinas marks, only euros. Collecting all the possible coins together and trying to bargain with the cost of the green card so that we don’t have to return to Bosnia i Herzegovina – we don’t want to experience those roads again and we do not want to get our bank cards blocked by using ATM’s. (UK bankcards that we are carrying are getting blocked every time when using them in certain countries)

20 minutes has passed and my partner gets out from the green card office without green cards… we have a couple of euros missing and have been asked to get out of the border – back to Bosnia i Hercegovina. No, no, no! We don’t want to do that! Somehow, I manage to find that extra 2 euros in 5 cent coins and my partner gets back to the office. Minutes are running so slow. It’s over 40 degrees in a car (the AC has been broken for the whole trip). After 15 minutes, my partner gets back. Now they want to see the documents of our car. The 12-year-old is laughing and smiling on the back seat so everything’s fine. After all, everything is fine and we get to continue our journey. I was wrong about the condition of the road – it’s just getting worse.

Finally, we arrive to the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in Europe so far. This is the Montenegro from my daydreams 2.0.

Finally in Montenegro.

All driving and hustling totally worth it!

What colors!

#Bosnaihercegovina #Montenegro #Roadtrip

© 2020 by Emmi Pyykkoe

Content specialist, Marketing guru

 The Divine ventures of Emmi Pyykkoe