Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Bosnia and Herzegovina - beautifull country with wild mountains, violent rivers, majestic rock, friendly people and contradictory history. Towns have their specific charm, all is mixed, old stone buildings, mosques, churches, peoples, marks of war and beautiful surrounding nature. Mountains are wild and deserted with preserved nature. Rivers are full of fish, clear, with blue colour as well as lakes. People are usually friendly, happy, that they can speak with strangers. We travelled with two dogs by own car, without problems on the borders. Usually, we could go with dogs to restaurants etc. You are a guest and so they will seeks to meet. But not everywhere and of course, for some of them it can be a little surprise. We didn’t use hotels. Two things may be danger for you and your dog. First is a viper, like in another mountains. In Bosnia, there are Vipera Berus, which can be dangerous for dogs and allergic people, and Vipera Ammodytes, which can be deadly even for human. The second danger are mines. The present situation you can find here: www.bhmac.org.It is recommended to use ways and path and do not step away. Some places are free, some not. Sometimes we had dogs on leads, sometimes not. The locals know best where danger is and where you can have dogs off leash and be calm.
Sarajevo – we started here, spending there 2 nice days. It is a city surrounded by mountains, a city with many attractions. Unfortunately, also a city full of cemeteries as a memento of war. The most beautifull is probably old town - Baščarij, there are many mosques (bos. džamija), town squares and lovely streets with shops and restaurants. Having a great Bosnian cafe or čevabčiči in some of this street and just feel atmosphere of this city is amazing experience. In some restaurant they didn’t want a dogs. In other they even chased away street dogs, just not to disturb ours dogs. Usually we were attraction in streets, people looked to our TTs and some of them wanted to caress them, especially children :-).
A clear river Miljacka flow trought this centre. On this river there are two remarkable bridges. First is in centre of town – Latin bridge, second, Goats Bridge is about 1 km against the river towards out of the Sarajevo. From Bijela tabija, an old fort on the hill is one of the most beautifull view to old city. Unfortunately, the marks of war are still present somewhere.
A nice place to visit near Sarajevo is waterfall Skakavac. From Sarajevo go around ZOO to village Radava and then to village Nahorevo. Road is getting worst after this village, but is possible to go by a normal car if you are good driver. There is a good parking. From parking it is about 20 – 30 min to top of waterfalls , then you can go down to look on this beauty from downside. There is also great place for picnic with fresh spring.
Bosna vrelo (springs) is another place to visit (you can get there from village Illidža), a wonderful walk in a park with many springs, dogs on lead allowed. On the river Bosnia is also a roman bridge – approximately 1,5 km after its springs. There are many other places, but we had no time.
We travelled to Jahorina, a mountains, where Olympic Games took place in 1986. On the one side, there are many old destroyed buildings, on the other side, there are many new complexes and slowly it is becoming a great winter centre. In summer, it was a nice walk on colourful meadows.
Bjelasnica are a nice mountains with charming typical villages. There are many tips for trips. Village Lukomir a typical shepherds village (or others - Umoljani, Čuhovici, Bobovica), canyon of river Rakytnica or peak Bjelasnica with possibility to go its nice long mountain ridge. First day we went to peak Bjelasnica from ski centre Babin Do. On the top, there was a really strong wind so we gave up a crossing of the all ridge.
A great attraction is also canyon Rakytnica, but getting into this canyon is not easy. It is possible to go it via cannoning (with neoprene, etc.) but I have no more information. In its mouth, there can be mines. We just go by car to village Bobovica (another typical village, a good way for car leads there), and from there up to a nice view to Rakytnica and also waterfalls (30min max). Then we peeked into these mountains from the other side, from road between Sarajevo and Konjic. There is worse but passable road to village Vrdolje. From there you can go by foot (or still by car if you are courageous) to village Blace – Serbian village that was completely destroyed during the war. Under this village is Blatačko Lake and another way to the Rakytnica canyon or possible onset of the crossing of mountain range Bjelasnica. Be care full of vipers, it is said, that in canyon are many vipers and we meet one even in the middle of village Bobovica! Another trips you can do – peak Hranisava.
From Bjelasnica we continued to town Konjic, built on the river Neretva, on one the most beautifull rivers in Balkan. In this town are many travel agencies, offering a rafting on Neretva, or other trips to the surroundings. We just look to Boračko Lake – it is really wonderful, but its banks are full of camps, hotels and restaurants, it belongs to the most visited places in Bosnia. It still doesn’t loose its charm, as well as river Neretva. They was building a new road from Boračko Lake to Prenj, when we were there.
Then we went across Konjic, Lukavica and Doljani to mountain range Črvsnica – the road was good and passable. You get to the nice plateau. There is also ski centre with new hotels and apartments - Risovac. First time we get to a great marks, there are also mountain huts, if you will contact some planinarski club , it may be possible to get some more info. In every way in this region a huge piece of work was done and mountains path and marks are good. There are also many ways for bikes. We slept on the bank of Blidinje Lake – next the new built road – still gravel road, it was being rebuilt at that time.. In future, there will be probably big good new road from Posušje. (You can go to this mountais also from the canyon of river Neretva – it is said that this is one of the deepest river canyon. This trip is only for well-trained mountain tourist with special equipment. It takes all day, and probably without dog – or with special trained dogs with belaying and bag for them!!)
From Risovac we went to peak Vran, from where is beautifull view to all mountain range. The way lead around monumental medieval tombstones – Stečci. (possible to get there by car, it is still down on plateau) The way up to Vran takes about 5 hours up and down. From top we could see a mountain range Prenj, and we understood, why it is called “Bosnian Himalaya“. Then we had a great lamb roast in restaurant in Risovac :-). There are many another peaks - Veliki Vilinac , Maly Vilinac or Pločno – there you can go also by bicycle.
From this region we moved across Posušje to Mostar. On this way we stopped to see two wonderful waterfalls. First is well-know Kravarica. Second, Kočuša, is still hidden from tourists and it was hard to find. From Posušje we went across Gradac, then to village Vitina and turned right toward Veljaci, immediately after maybe 1 km to the right to small village. There you will find a wonderful waterfalls Kočuša. Then we continued to see Kravarica. What was super – you can just walk under the waterfalls, swim, jump, or whatever you want, and after swimming take a coffee or beer in one of local restaurant with a view to waterfalls. Water is so clear, with many grass snakes.
Mostar, a beautifull city. The sad city. Most of this city was completely destroyed during a war. Croatian army let destroy even a symbol of Mostar – an old beautifulstone bridge across the river Neretva. Today, there is a completely rebuilt bridge. The old town is charming and crowded by people and souvenir stalls.
From Mostar, our way led to another mountains - Prenj. Prenj is rightly called Bosnian Himalaya. Unfortunately, these mountains suffered a lot in war and still they are full of mine fields. Another problem, you can have – these mountains are poor for water. Crossing of all mountain range is possible, there are marks roads – but don’t go outside them. We did just one day trip from high-lying car available place called Rujiště. From Mostar across Potoci, Humilišani to Rujiště. In that summer (2013) a good way to Boračko was being built. So today, it should be better approach from there. On Rujistě, there is a mountain hut, next to which is a new good tourist map! From there you can do a trip to highest peak – Zelena Glava 2155 m. The way leads across Biele Vode, another mountain hut. In hollow under the hut, there is a water well, but in summer, water is suitable rather for boiling. Be carefull, the way to Biele Vode leads across mine field. It is also probably, that some of local dogs will join to you, we had a one. It was a male, friendly to our dogs (we have male and female).
From Prenj, our passes led to town Stolac, an ancient beautifull town on karst river Bregava. Stolac and its area have been settled since ancient times. The Illyrians, Romans and Slavs, all of whom left a wealth of anthropological evidence. Badanj Cave, Ošanići, Radimlja or Daorsani, these all are attractive tourist’s targets. We visited Radimlja - a stećak necropolis with tombs from 15th and 16th centuries and Daorson - the capital of a Hellenised Illyrian tribe called the Daorsi. The river Bregava is typical karst river with waterfalls in Stolac and spring just few km from there. We followed this river by car and found also a beautifull place for night. .
Then we headed to sea and spent there 2 days just having a rest. We continued across the coast to Dubrovnik, then to Trebinje, both beautifull ancient towns. Across the border with Montenegro we reached another mountains - Sutjeska with highest peak of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Maglič, 2,386 m. Sutjeska is a national park with developed tourism. It is little different from other mountains, more civilizated, but probably most beautiful. In Tjentistě you find an information centre with maps, leaflets or weather forecast. There are hotels, camp or restaurants, but of course, prices are higher. There are many unique places to see. Waterfall Skakavac, one of the oldest rainforests – Peručica (you can go there only with guide), one of the most beautifull lakes – Trnovačko, lake with shape of heart, mountains peaks with good paths, historical sites...You can even try cannoning with guide, and since summer 2010, there should be also sports climbing sites.
We went to Maglič by via ferrata. For us, it was easy (we even didn’t use via ferata sets) and possibly to go with dogs (they had harness of course and were belayed), but I’m a climber. For normal, not well-trained tourist, it is better to go from another side. We slept on place called . You can get there by car, but road is very bad and paid. Dogs on lead are allowed, but not a hunter dogs. More info about this mountains:Official web site of National park Sutjeska
Bosnia and Herzegovina is charming country and in future, maybe we come back. More photo: Fotoalbum Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013
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