Bosnia and Herzegovina has emerged from the darkness of Balkan wars and opened up its truly generous spirit of a magnanimous host before wanderlust souls. Effortless natural beauty, cultural imprints from Ottoman era, diverse religious flavors, warm people and cost-effective travelling options; there are several other charms of this country waiting to be explored further. Most of the farm products here are organically grown.
Visoko Pyramid: According to Bosnian archaeologist Mr. Semir Osmanagic the neighboring hills of Visocica resemble pyramid structures with its flat tops, entrance and triangular shape. Still now around 3 such pyramidal structures have been identified and they have similar slopes and entrance areas like their counterparts in Latin America.
Further excavations would clarify the view. However still now it’s guessed that these could be man-made after all.
In addition with these pyramidal structures there are additional attractions of the city which includes a wooden Mosque having exquisitely carved minaret. Watch its indigenous red-roofed buildings. You can see imprints from war era too.
Moster, the Venice of Bosnia and Herzegovina: This 5th largest city is located across the river Neretva and divided into 2 parts. Interestingly each of these parts has been occupied by Bosniacks and Croats separately. ‘Old Moster Bridge’ has kept them together since centuries. In fact this bridge is a proud member of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and a major tourist spot. It’s stood times vagaries since 1566.
During the Balkan Wars the Bridge suffered lots of damages and was reconstructed with the help of World Bank, UNESCO and the City of Moster. Thus it’s also a symbol of unity among ethnic diversity.
When you are in Moster time will certainly take you to a backward journey and this will become more evident at the Old Bazar area of Kujundziluk. This is a pedestrianized part of the Old City. Don’t forget to capture this part in your camera. Small stalls selling ethnic handicrafts are lucrative stops where you may find your enigmatic Arabian Carpet (you may!).
If you want to visit Moster’s rich past then don’t forget to see its Mosques and the ‘Turkish House’. Now desolated Tito’s Palace is a reminder of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s turbulent past.
Tunnel Museum of Sarajevo: This unmissable museum is one of the primary imprints of country’s war years. Beneath the airport runway, this manmade 1.6 mt. high and 1 mt. wide tunnel played the role of a savior hero for the city’s hapless citizens.
Shivers roll down when you visualize how the Bosniack fighters would transport men, arms and foods through this 800 mt. long tunnel to reach to Butmir, its last bastion. During the 4 years (1992-1995) this tunnel served as the lifeline for Sarajevo.
Most of its parts have been collapsed but maps and photos marking its entrance area, shell-pounded houses, garden area holding a demo minefield and 2 projection rooms which telecast a 5 minutes clip of city’s bombardment and a 12 minutes clip portraying experience of wartime tunnel are really worthy. The place will remind you of preciousness of peace and harmony.
Skiing and Mountain Resorts around Sarajevo: Bosnia and Herzegovina has many skiing resorts. Bjelasnica is for those who love challenging skiing trails. City hosted the Winter Olympics of 1984. Smaller in number and tougher in challenges, Bjelasnica is an ideal resort for the skiing professionals. Take care of the harsh weather conditions too. If you love cracking ordeals in your journey, Bjelasnica is ideal for you.
Less challenging terrains are there for ski enthusiasts at Jahorina. Options available are downhill skiing, night skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, snowshoing etc. You may book into a traditional chalet type mountain resort.
Igman is the nearest mountain resort from Sarajevo. There are kid friendly ski slopes here.
A Secluded Mountain Resort at Jablanica: Mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful natural landscapes, a sparkling running river called Neretva, rich history; what else can a traveler want more? Yes this is one of the most visited places of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the hill station of Jablanica tucked between the mountain peaks of Prenj and Cvrsnica.
Jablanica Lake is an outstanding place to let your hair down. Around this lake lots of dining options are available and if you’re a photography enthusiast then this place has lots of things to offer you such as capturing some massive catches of carp, trout and bass. Of course, you have good angling options too.
Want to witness its World War era historical monuments? Go and visit the War Museum located close to the ruined bridge over River Neretva. On your returning way from War Memorial located on top of Mt. Prenj you can try out authentic lamb preparations at roadside dotted stands. On the eastern bank of the River you can have lunch at an erstwhile German Bunker turned restaurant. Quite an interesting ambience!
Bosnian Culture and Food
Bosnia is an ethnically diverse country having a good number of people of Bosnian, Serb and Croat origins and minority people of Turkish, Albanian and Romanian origins. This has given rise to an old culturally rich and somewhat complex social setup.
You can find warm family and friends’ bonding in countryside as well as suburban cities. Elders are extremely respected here and joint family concept is still very much popular.
Bosnian food culture is extremely rich and the menu especially contains roasted meat preparations, various kinds of breads, stewed vegetables and Baklava- a sweet, Turkish dessert.
In the End
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country rich with diversity and also serve as the central place to explore other Balkan regions. Eastern European fabric probably at its best is portrayed here. So come and watch from close quarters, the splendor of this land that has once again wakened up from ashes like Phoenix.