Bosnia and Herzegovina

Traços da guerra e um povo misturado

We cross the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina near Bihać in the North West of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

On the way there we already notice how the houses are in much worse condition than they were in Istria or on the coastline of Croatia. Some of them are broken, the facade full of holes or layers of it peeling off the walls. Some of the houses don’t even have a facade, standing there in a somehow ’naked‘ grey of bricks and concrete.

And some of them only remind us of the time when they served as a home to someone.

Although we realise the change in the surroundings, we don’t really pay special attention to the holes in the houses at first. Gradually, however, we realise that the holes form patterns – wavy patterns of machine gun bullets hitting the houses. And for a minute or two we lose our words, driving speechless through the villages with a lump in our throat.

bih_P1010692 bih_P1010756 bih_P1010667 Only twenty years ago did the war in this country stop. Today, it is one of the poorest in Europe, with an average monthly wage of 400 Euros…

It takes days for us to figure out the whole historical background of the war in Bosnia or the rest of former Yugoslavia. Too many different cultures, nations, political or religious belief systems play their role in the story.

In search of answers, we cross the country, which today is composed of two political entities – the Serb Republic in the North and the East and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the West, the Centre and the South – and three major religious groups – the Muslims, the Eastern Orthodox, the Catholics. This is why almost every little village has at least a mosque and a church, offering a place of worship to all of its inhabitants.

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Our first stop is in Jajce, a nice historical town with a small waterfall and a quiet campsite.

 

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After some days of rest, we set about our first city trip: Sarajevo, the Jerusalem of Europe, where we stroll around the Old Town, visit the History Museum, drink Salep at a tea house and enjoy delicious food. 🙂

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(„Death to fascism“)bih_P1010713

(A star for every bullet hole… )

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After this plunge into a total mix of history, culture, religion, peace and war, we head further South to Buna.
The journey from Sarajevo down there grants us with spectacular views…

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Our last stop before we leave the country is a lovely campsite at the river in Buna, where we enjoy a few really hot days with over 35°C.

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Ready for new adventures, Jorge takes us through the last bit of this beautiful and humble country. It was our favourite so far…

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Make love, not war! <3