We usually have a plan for where we are going although the plan changes hourly. Still, I think Sarajevo marked the first time our travel plans changed because of a good steak.

When we left Montenegro, we headed up the Adriatic coast to Split, Croatia. We first got a room for one night, then a second, then two more. We liked Split and Diocletian’s Palace and it was a pleasant break.

As we travelled in Montenegro and Croatia, people kept telling us that Sarajevo was the most beautiful city they’d seen, and a couple of people also mentioned Mostar, which was on the way to Sarajevo. So, off we went to Bosnia and Herzegovina for two nights in Mostar and three in Sarajevo. Mostar has anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 people, depending on which person you speak to or which source you read, but by staying in the old city center near the bridge, it seems much, much smaller. It’s a lovely town. Sarajevo is bigger, but it has a nice old town, and it felt comfortable. We enjoyed the food, too, filling up on burek and čevapi most days.

Eventually our last night in Sarajevo arrived and we were at a loss as to where to go next. No one was pointing out the next great city, or telling us where they’d just come from and had the most wonderful time. We were in quite a funk because all the options seemed to have problems. We knew eventually we were heading northwest toward Venice, and we didn’t want to head in the opposite direction, but the Schengen treaty would keep us from heading out of the Balkans too soon. Staying in Sarajevo was an option, but while it is quite pretty and we were enjoying it, we felt we needed to move on. If Sarajevo ends up feeling a bit of a disappointment to us, it’s not because the city isn’t wonderful, just that it didn’t live up to the hype of being the most beautiful city in Europe.

As we pondered what to do, we sat down to dinner. Then our steaks arrived. Now, Amy is from Texas, where they have good beef and they know how to cook it, but this steak rivalled anything we’d had there. It was tender and tasty and the only problem was it needed to be about twice as big as it was. After the first bite or two we agreed we needed to stay in Sarajevo another night, just so we could come back to the restaurant to get the steak again.

We had to find another place to sleep for the extra night because the pansion where we were staying was booked, and we didn’t have much else to do or see that final extra day, but the steak was worth it.