Wednesday, July 15, 2015

EUROTRIP 2014 Part 3/5: Mostar, Kozarac and Sarajevo


Our days in Dubrovnik were over and it was time to head to Mostar. The other side of our mothers family is from Western Herzegovina (Mostar, Stolac etc) and the other from Eastern Herzegovina (Bileca).   It was so nice to sit in a car and watch how the summer rain vanished in front of us leaving that mystical foggy weather behind it for us to enjoy. All driving routes through Bosnia (and the rest of Balkan) are really beautiful and I just couldn't take a nap. I loved watching dynamical gallery passing by my window every second. Mostar was beautiful as always. Nice little restaurants and cafes, little shops and beautiful places. It is a perfect mix of traditions and fairy tales, stories and life somewhere you'd love to stay for the eternity.

Mostar is a bit cheaper than Sarajevo, food is great and you can find many beautiful sites near Mostar that are worth visiting; Blagaj, Natinal park Blidinje and mountain Prenj, Kravice waterfalls in Ljubuski, Konjic and its wild horses and rivers, town Jablanica and Jablanica lake, Hutovo Blato and Stolac and its old cemetaries and Bosniak Stecci, from the time Bosnians were mostly Bogumils and had their own unique religion, Tito's bunker etc... These are only some of the examples that really are unique experiences you can only see there. We have visited many of these places when we were younger and still traveled together with our family. I´m waiting to visit all of them again now when I´m older. :)


We stayed in our  Sarajevo home for few days before heading to the north with our parents (we were going to travel back to Sarajevo from Kozarac again without our parents, because they had to pack up the car and drive all the way back to Finland already). Kozarac is this little town of 27 000 inhabitants during the summer, most of us live abroad because of the Bosnian war. 1,233 of these people were killed during the war- including my four uncles. Mass graves are still being excavated and one of them is also still missing.

Kozarac is such a beautiful place, where you can hear almost any language spoken on this planet, little traditional Bosnian houses mixed with villas, traditions and modern architecture. It is like this big and beautiful little town, 10 kilometers from the actual city it belongs to, Prijedor. It is so mice to hang out there with local people, relatives and other friends, eat good food and swim, visit the beautiful National park of Kozara (which by the way you can see directly from our terrace at one picture, the highest peak Kozara is behing me in that one). One of my favourite spots my far is the old Kula-Husein-Kapetana, which are the old remains of Fortress in Kozarac. Most of its remains are being destroyed during the both world wars and Bosnian war, but also after the war by locals, who want to built new houses and don't like anything old to be in their back yard (those ignorant morons...). I'm really waiting to see the fortress to be restored some day. But hey, this is the place where we truly feel as being home <3 br="">


It was time to head back to Sarajevo after a week and a half in Kozarac. We were a little bit reluctant to leave Kozarac behing but hey Sarajevo is also home to us and when we arrived it was all good again. I think it is just that feeling of knowing you wont see this place for a year, which makes you reluctant to continue your journey. It is that sudden feeling of missing, leaving your heart somewhere. I still think that we are really lucky to be able to say we have that big blessing of having many homes. Places where you know that you belong to and where nothing is boring... I love to watch our sunsets from terraces in Kozarac but also from our balcony in Sarajevo... It just has something in it! Sarajevo is a really vibrant city, where you can experience multicultural atmosphere, history, natural beauty and all different things to do are right at the corner; Tunnel of Hope, National park Sutjeska, great food and this cafe culture that is probably the most vibrant in Sarajevo when compared to the rest Europe. The only remaining primeval forest Perucica, villages like Lukomir etc...  

Sarajevo is a safe place for traveling, you don¨t need to worry about rubbers or shy locals, who are reluctant to help. It is quite easy to move in the city and transportation is cheap (not always convenient if it is too hot). I think the best thing is to travel with locals and let them shop you the hidden places in the old town. Those hidden little pearls, such as the best terraces, restaurants where smoking is not allowed, Park Vrelo Bosne and Vilsonovo setaliste, Inat Kuca, yellow and white fortresses... The old Vijecnica was also opened for the first time after the war and oh boy how stunning it was from the inside!  One of the best things is that Sarajevo is much easier to visit because of the cheap flights now offered from WizzAir, Lfthansa, Turkish Airlines and Norwegian. It is also a really nice to hop on the plane and visit for example Istanbul on your way back home!

- Herminica

P.s. If you are interested to read our former posts from Mostar, Sarajevo and Kozarac, just click the right label on the right and the totally new world will be opened that is not captured in these photos. :)

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