Sunday, 26 August 2012

Here we go.... Bosnia Herzegovina PART ONE.

OK... Bosnia Herzegovina...

How do you hear about a place that has NO formal advertising? The best way... facebook and word of mouth. Personally for me it was the Kravice waterfalls that first sparked my interest in Bosnia. I had seen the Waterfalls on facebook a few times and was literally taken away beauty. Recently my friend H went there and again I was so intrigued about Bosnia and what else it had to offer. I am 24 years old so my memories of the war around 1994 were vague, in fact I am ashamed to say I have no personal recollection. People remember Bosnia Herzegovina as a part of the former Yugoslavia which has an infamous quality to it and almost puts off a lot of us ignorant tourists. I beg you... GO TO BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA! You will thank me!!! GO! GO NOW!

Bosnia Herzegovina is one country... but it is very much two contrasting areas. The Herzegovina area is very Mediterranean with it's rocky looking mountains filled with small shrubs etc. You literally pass through a long tunnel and you arrive in the Bosnian area which has windy roads decorated with heavily green landscapes. It is amazing to see how different they are from one another yet still remain the same country.

I will give you a rough run down of the tour and the six days we spent there. Again, I strongly urge you... if you are travelling Europe... do this tour!!! We did a seven day trip and there is so much to say so I will have to do it in a few different parts.

As you know Croatia is a very beautiful country and a high priority on many of our travel "TO DO" lists... but did you know you can do this tour which starts and finishes in Dubrovnik... so without even trying you can see Bosnia Herzegovina as well!!!!
If you are interested... check here: Bosnia Adventure Balkan Road Trip. (This is the trip we did.)


We met our tour group outside of the Konzum supermarket in Dubrovnik. It seemed like we were paired with a pretty cool group of people ranging from ages 24- 32. Maybe we were just lucky but everyone seemed to get on really well and we all really liked our Bosnian tour guide Mustafar... although his sense of humour was EXTREMELY sarcastic so bewarre of falling for things which he is actually joking about!!!! He knows Bosnia Herzegovina very well, having lived and grown up there, even living through the war as a young teenager. To get first hand experience on what it was like to live through a war... a war that happened in my life time was shocking and truly eye opening.

I will not go into the war, why it happened, or who is to blame...  It's not for me to say. Let's just say on this tour you will get a feel for the country, its history, food and culture. You will also appreciate the lives they live today.

After meeting at around 11, we set off for the beautiful Kravice waterfalls. This was the main attraction for my original interest in Bosnia. We had lunch right here at the waterfalls and sampled one of Bosnia's famous Civapi (ground meat sausage... way better than it sounds). If you think my amateur photo's look amazing (which i do) then just google them to see how much better it gets! Because europe is SO hot and dry at the moment apparently these waterfalls were rather dried up... either way... despite the crowd on the day... they were beautiful and the water was cold which was a lovely way to escape the forty degree heat!

After the waterfalls we headed to Mostar, a city in the Herzegovina area. This city is small, very hot in the summer (temperatures got up to 47 degree celsius this summer) but definitly worthhile! The Old Bridge in Mostar is proabably the most iconic landmark you will see. I had never seen or heard much about it before entering Mostar and I was amazed by its beauty. The Old Bridge has been restored after it was bombed and destroyed during the war. It is 25 metres high and men actually jump/dive off it! You can actually die from jumping off a bridge this height! So it is amazing yet a little scary to see people doing it! Not just any man does it though. If you stay in Mostar you will most likely see at lease one local man jump the bridge, they usually stand at the top and wait until they have at least 50km (local currency) before they make the dive! Considering over 40% of Bosnians are unemployed you can appreciate the asking. Besides, at least they are doing something for their cash! Hamish and Andy (Australian radio duo) also made it well known in Aus when they jumped off it!

We had a really nice dinner at restaurant, then went to a bar to drink cocktails and smoke shishas. Afterwards we went to 'Ali Baba' a nightclub in a cave... interesting place. I have to say that I got used to smoking bans inside venues at home... I forgot what it was like to smell like smoke after a night out erghhh.

The VIP section.....??

sweating it up.

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