Alone at the Abandoned Olympic Bobsled in Sarajevo
This, the abandoned Olympic Bobsled Track, was the main reason of my visit to Sarajevo. And I almost didn’t get to experience it.
You see, I have done my research and the blogs I have come across mentioned all kinds of lovely things (like that it’s very likely you’ll get robbed or worse there), and overall deemed it dangerous, a place you should most definitely not visit alone.
Fantastic, because well, I had no one to go with but damn I really wanted to see it… insert dramatic self-pitying sobs.
It looked like I had two options, take a taxi or join a tour. There are not many tours going up there, I only found one that was a specific Olympic Bobsled tour, but as my luck would have it, they had no other sign ups for that day. Just brilliant.
It looked like, taxi it will be. However, I also read that you should be careful with the taxi drivers, go in a group, bla-bla-bla.
I shouldn’t read and believe everything but anyway, things did not look promising.
But then, on the morning of my little adventure, I decided to pull up Google maps and check how long would it take to walk (spoiler: quite a long while… not to mention uphill), then I clicked on the little transportation icon thingy and there it was, my saviour – a bus. In fact, it was the only bus that goes up in the morning, scheduled to arrive at the bus stop that is right across Latin bridge in 25 minutes. While I was still in my room, in bed. Needless to say, it was a mad scramble and dash but I made it.
In, literally, no time, I was on bus 56, among with some friendly looking elderly hikers, and from there onwards it was smooth sailing. About 40 minutes later, I got off with everyone at Hotel Pino (thanks to my extensive research I knew that was the right stop), and while they all went on their merry hikes, I followed the signs indicating the Olympic Bobsled.
No one was there. Not a soul.
It was me and the woods. And then me and the bobsled tracks.
While that might not be for the faint-hearted, I was having a ball.
Taking silly pictures, running and jumping amok.
At times, I did hear distant noises from the woods, which might made me hold my breath and tip-toe through those parts, just in case, but all in all nothing seemed to warrant the extreme caution.
During my entire time there, and I have spent a good hour and a half exploring, the only other living thing I encountered was this ridiculously photogenic lizard.
And now, say hello to another cutie, Vučko (Wolfie) the mascot of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
The first and only (winter) Olympics held in Sarajevo was (and still is) a big deal for the city, for the whole country really.
Though Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track (the bobsled’s full formal title) looks nothing like it once was during the glory days, it still absolutely worth the trek. Located on Trebević mountain, the now abandoned and graffiti covered bobsled charms us with… a different kind of beauty. Colorful, fun, at times heartrending – a kind of beauty I’m definitely a fan of.
There are rumors of renovation, so I’m really happy I was able to see it while it’s still in its charmingly abandoned form.
(if you are curious about how I managed to return from the mountain, stay tuned for the next post)