04 September 2016

Family Holiday - Discovering Bosnia and Herzegovina

I've been travelling quite a bit since the last post and it is about time I write about it.

Let's start with the most recent trip that with took for our holiday - Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslavian country that was touched by the Balkan wars the most.

And the common Yugoslavian past, me and my partner were both born in Yugoslavia though very young when Slovenia declared its independence, was the reason this year we decided to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, as I've never been there before and to show our children a bit of history that they will never experience, but their are still a part of it in a way.

I must say that trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the best holidays we took as a family. I didn't expect much, didn't even think much about it. That is why probably the country amaze me from the start.

The country is stunning and from the moment we entered it, we were surrounded by what it seemed endless greenery. The forested mountains astonished and accompanied us in almost every step of our trip. They extend up to the sky. The nature is just amazing everywhere we went with its green rivers and offers the most peaceful atmosfere and a peace of mind.

It appeared that the country hasn't recovered yet from the war. Tourism isn't developed as in other former Yugoslavian countries and appears still to be in its early stages. Still one of the things a traveller remarks right a ways is the endless greenery.

While you are there, you must taste their food: čevapćiči, bureki, pite etc. Although this is the food that we can get in Slovenia in almost every corner, it tastes so much better in Bosnia in Herzegovina. You mustn't miss out on their delicious food. And while you are at it experience what a real kafa (coffe) tastes like.

Travelling with a car and camping is our favorite way to spend our holidays. The roads in Bosna and Herzegovina are fairly good and in the country side there isn't a lot of traffic anyway. The highway aren't developed yet and there is only one section of it linking the south with Sarajevo. But maybe this is a good thing as as a traveller you need to take regional roads that take you through the amazing nature and places that you wouldn't pass otherwise.

On the other hand camping isn't yet quite developed, they are not at all crowded and the ones we stayed in were quite nice. And be prepared that some of them, even though you will find them on internet may not operate anymore. So make sure that you have more than one in the area you want to stay in up your sleeve.

We were travelling by car (always when possible) and made 1.800 km in total.

DAY 1: We arrived in Bihać in the morning. Took a short stole in the city and than moved up the river Una to our first camp (after seeing two previously among which one wasn't functioning and the other was, but was empty). After settling in the camp and some splashing in freezing river, in the evening we visited Bosanska Krupa, a small town dominated by the fortress from 13th century. We stay only one night, but there are many things to see if you want to stay a little longer. You can take daily trips to near by attraction such as spring of the river Krušnica, river Una its self and boating on the river, there are few cycling routes starting in the town and pass through near by hills and settlements (you can find more info on Tourist office of Bosanksa Krupa site).

DAY 2: The next day we drove up north through Grad novi to Banja Luka, a beautiful city where we stated the afternoon and strolled its streets. We continued our journey along the river Verbas, another beautiful river, to Jajce, where we camped near Pliva lack.

DAY 3: We spend the third day discovering Jajce as well as getting some refreshment swimming in beautiful and cold Pliva river. The day offered so many amazing discoveries that deserves to have its own post.

DAY 4: We first planned to stay 2 days in Jajce, but decided to move south one day earlier because of bad weather prediction in the area and arrived to Mostar one day earlier. We settled in a small, first night a bit to crowded camp on the river Buna shores in town Blagaj. After the whole day travelling we had only time to visit the spring of river Buna close by with the Dervish house from 15th century carved in the rock that dominates the entering into the spring.

DAY 5: We had the whole day to visit Mostar, which I'll write about more in a separate post.

DAY 6: I had the morning off for me while my boys took a hiking trip to the ruins of castle dominating the hill above Blagaj. In the afternoon we went to Hutno blato, south of Mostar, where we wanted to rent a boat. Even thought the possibility is advertised on their webpage, once we got there this actually wasn't possible, so we passed the rest of the day at Trbižat river. We found out later that the are falls on river Terbižat not far from where we were. By the look of the pictures, for nature loving travellers, something worth seeing. Just before sunset on our way back to the camp, we stopped at medieval village of Počitelj, a site I would highly recommend to visit.

DAY 7: The journey wouldn't be complete without stopping in Sarjavo, the vibrant (almost to vibrant) capital, or so I thought. I must say that after the peacefulness and the calmness of the nature and more quite places that we visited beforehand, the businesses of the city was a little disturbing. 

DAY 8: Last day in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From Sarajevo we took the longer way home ck home. We took a detour through Tuzla, a nice, picturesque town near north east of Bosnia and Herzegovina (near Serbian on the east and Croatian border on south), just the right place to see before leaving.

I am still very much under the "wow" sensation of the trip. It offered something that I wasn't inspiring to experience before the holiday and the country itself is amazing and a must to visit again.

For more info on camps and our trip you can contact me in the comments.

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