The Soon To Be Not Abandoned Olympic Bobsled Track Outside Sarajevo (and Bonus Abandoned Hotel!)

ahh, abandonment. there are so many abandoned sites in the hills surrounding Sarajevo and we climbed three buildings during this afternoon’s tour to get views of the city below…but…

this was an unexpected surprise! i’d always wanted to visit the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics bobsled track, which has been abandoned since the ’90s after it was used by the Serb forces as an artillery position during the Siege of Sarajevo. i thought i didn’t sign up for a tour which included it, but i did! (i was going to drive myself tomorrow and visit the abandoned ski jump area as well.)

i’m actually thinking going with a tour is probably for the best, since they were able to drop us off at the top and meet us at the bottom — if i had driven myself, i would have had to go all the way back up. (and, since i don’t have data service here, i probably would have gotten lost…)

i still can’t believe i walked this! this video has an introduction to the mountain and location at the beginning, but you can skip to 2:34 for a description of the course.

sidebar: getting there i couldn’t tell you how to get there, but there is a parking lot (marked by a section of track just sitting out there like a sign) before a long, single-lane paved road that gets you right to the track itself. there were many people who parked in the lot and hiked down to the track, but you can just drive all the way in if you wanted to, apparently.

currently a graffiti haven (which i love), it’s being renovated, rumor has it, for wheeled toboggans which may go into use as early as later this month (August 2014). i dunno, i’d love to do it but it seems a bit unsafe since the high-walled turns might encourage people to go a little too fast or too high up. in 2017, though, they plan to finish renovations to it for the Winter European Youth Olympics, so if you like abandoned things, GO NOW WHILE IT’S STILL RELATIVELY ABANDONED. indeed if you look at other pictures you’ll see they removed a lot of the overgrowth already.

more pictures on flickr

The first big turn traditionally hosts mural-sized work, this one being by a German artist. Note the locals walking the road from the parking lot.

WOOSH through the forest! (Well, as fast as your feet can take you, I guess.)

You can see how they’ve repaved the base in preparation for the toboggans.

The final curves — it will take you maybe 10-15 minutes to walk the entire length.

The last one!

Our guide waits for us at the finish line. *MOAR COWBELL*

bonus abandoned hotel

built in the 1970s, this abandoned hotel was used by visiting police forces until it was converted into a tank holding area during the Siege; you can still see track marks embedded in the concrete outside. HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THE ARCHITECTURE?!

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