Hoteliers should never be allowed to create maps or write directions to their establishments.  The instructions on Hostelbookers for our hostel in Sarajevo said the taxi ride should cost €3 at most so of course it cost €5.  I know, it’s not that much of a difference, but I don’t see why they can’t provide accurate information.

We’ve commented before that any street that has a street sign won’t be on the map, and any street on the map won’t have a street sign.  But then there are the cases like the campground in Pisa that said to exit the train station and look for the bus stop by the Cavalier Hotel.  It turns out the hotel in front of the station is the Jolly Cavalier Hotel, but they only put Jolly on the signs, so the directions are worthless.  It later turned out that after waiting about 30 minutes for the bus to arrive, taking a 20 minute bus ride, and finally walking another 20 minutes, that there is another train station, one stop before the main station,  just a couple of hundred meters from the campground. The campground website neglects to mention this, of course.

In Nice, the directions told us to ride a bus to a particular stop, then cross the street and turn left.  It turns out that it’s not necessary to cross the street, but because we did, everything from there on out was reversed.  Finding the right stop in the first place is almost always a challenge, unless it’s the last stop on the route.  As we noted recently in one of our postings on getting to Greece, hotels will usually tell you to get off at a particular stop and might suggest asking the driver to tell you when that is, but it never works in practice.

We now print or copy the directions and the map given or get one from google maps, as well as carry a compass.  Seriously, a small compass makes things so much easier when you pop out of an underground metro system and all you know is you have to head south.  But compasses only help if you know what direction to go.

The directions to our last hostel in Mostar included a map, but it turned out that map along with the large map at the bus station and the tourist maps are all oriented with west at the top of the page.  (Oriented is the wrong word to use with a map having west on top, since orient means east.  I learned in an anthropology class that we “orient” ourselves with maps because centuries ago maps had the east on the top).  None of these Mostar maps made it quite as clear as we would have like that everything was 90 degrees off what we expected.  That wouldn’t have been a huge problem except the directions, like almost all directions to hotels and hostels, were crap.  They said to exit the station and go left, which you’d understand is a little unclear if you’ve been to the bus station in Mostar (as I’m sure most of you have).  Also, they said to go down “streets “ that turned out to be one-lane alleys, and gave names of streets where there are no street signs.

Somehow, we always find where we’re going, but it almost always takes longer than it should.

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