Call a Helicopter!The minute we drove into Sarajevo, I had two worrisome premonitions. One occurred immediately after I was told that Bosnia uses speed control radar boxes and that I would lose my driving privileges if I received two traffic citations. Erica (aka "lead foot") and Brayden worked the summer in Maryland where they have speed trap radar and we received notifications almost every week of their vehicular transgressions (to be fair, I also received one myself from the 2 days that we visited them!). The speed limits vary from road to road. If you miss a posted sign, you can easily find yourself going too fast completely unawares. And here is the kicker. You find out that you have a ticket 6 months after it occurs. The police just showed up at the church today with two tickets from this summer...a few months before we got here. So I have no idea if I have 20 outstanding tickets already, or not. But we have been driving all over Bosnia these past four months so I am assuming that I will have to pay the piper soon.
|Our sweet ride here in Sarajevo!!!|
|The view from our backyard. Tiny roads go straight up these hills.|
|This street is straight and flat but it is a good example of the width of the streets.|
|Snapped this picture along the side of the road in Slovenia. What a fun drive this is.|
|We thought we were parked in a free lot at a grocery store. Ooops. Fortunately it was only 20 BAM to get the boot off.|
|Our big 9-passenger van for the trip to Beograd. I nicknamed it the "bus" because that it what it felt like driving it.|
|This is an illustration of a Sarajevo Google Maps problem. On Google Maps, this stairway is actually listed as a through road. I guess if I had a dirt bike it could be considered a road!|
|This is an accurate picture of the road we ended up on. The yellow is what the mapping software lead us to believe. What is not shown is that the road that we turned down is straight down hill!|
Immediately after making the turn the road tightened even more. We down a small hill with buildings impossibly close on both sides. Made another turn and then saw a car parked along the side of the road. It would be impossible for us to go past this car. So we had to stop the van and investigate.
|This is the "road" just beyond the parked car's rear bumper. Our "road" essentially turned into a walking path down the hill.|
|Trying to figure out what to do. Our first attempt was to turn around. But we did not have enough room to do a thousand-point turn. (Pictured are Sisters Locey and Higley and Elders Isom and Rasmussen.)|
|Preparing to back the van out.|
We decided our only option was to back the van out. I walked up the road and determined that there was not a place where we would be able to turn the van around on this road. We would have to back out the entire way.
The first part was not too bad. As you can see by the pictures above, the initial hill is not that steep and the road not that curvy. We had several feet of space on both sides of the van. Dionne and the missionaries helped guide me as I reversed the van up the hill.
|Slow work but we made reasonably good progress...at least initially.|
|This is what I was looking at on the other side of the van. Through this whole thing, the only damage we did to the van was a slight scratch on the drivers side mirror. Well, at least physical damage to the exterior.|
|Elder Rasmussen chilling...stuck with a dead van and nowhere to go.|
His initial response to the question of "How are we going to get this van out of here?" was classic: "Call a helicopter." From where I stood, it looked like that was about the only way to get the van out. We talked for a few minutes before taxied back to the rental agency to pick up a different car. He tried to call a tow truck but no trucks would come down this little road. It was starting to get dark as we left and he did not have a solution. So we left him on the road, talking on his cellphone, trying to figure out how to extract the van.
|This is our friend from Enterprise. We happened to be renting another car from him tonight and he let me take his picture as he was inspecting the car.|
And at least we have a fun story to tell.