Thursday, July 14, 2016

EUROTRIP 2015 Part 6/8: Stolac, sladak k'o kolac

An another amazing little city called Stolac, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was our next destination after Hvar. We decided to contact our cousins who we had never met before to go and visit them. Actually, our parents had totally forgot to mention them because our family is quite big. Their only daughter Adnana actually found my mom on facebook and added her as a friend and soon the contact was made once again after the war. How tragicomic is it that we still "find" our lost relatives and friends either dead or alive almost 24 years after the war? Well, it was the case also with the family Šatara. It was also one of the spontaneous and good ideas I got during our trip. I'm really glad we managed to organize this and meet them. Such a wonderful family I could say. We clicked at instance with them.

We decided to stay at Stolac for four nights and guess what? They gave us an entire floor of their house! Their home was pretty amazing. Located in the valley between mountains next to the river Bregava, orange walls, terraces and the most beautiful garden and outdoor kitchen. Entire front yard was under the grape vines, kiwi, fig, pomegranate and orange trees. That is where our breakfasts came from- from their yard. Fresh fruits and veggies, eggs and chicken all day every day. I mean, it was like visiting your grandparents... Something was served around the clock.

If Hvar was relaxing, so was Stolac. We hanged out at little city cafes, walked along the river that was already pretty dried out because of the hot weather. The air was so fresh and serenity and piece was everywhere. We has so much fun with Adnana, her friends and other family members. It was so nice to play with their big doggo Linda and her two little puppers! I mean, we could have had just stayed there at the yard and play with them for the rest of the holiday, that's how cute they were with their little legs and itsy bitsy teeth.

The area of Stolac has been settled for at least 15,000 years, as evidenced by the markings in Badanj Cave. There is also an impressive stećak necropolis dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries called Radimlja, which has been recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Vrsnik hill fort is surrounded by four walls, forming an oval with an area of 371 x 269 meters. Above the old town you can also see the Fortress of Stolac, which is worth visiting. Tourists masses have not found this hidden gem yet which makes it a nice place to chill out for a while. The easiest route to reach Stolac is a road, which runs from Sarajevo via Mostar, Stolac, Ljubinje and Trebinje and enables one to reach Dubrovnik (Croatia) in less than four hours. Another route leads from Imotski and Ljubuški, Međugorje, Čapljina, via Stolac to Berković and Bileća and furtermore to Montenegro. 

So much has been destroyed during the history and the most recent Bosnian genocide but still, the life goes on. In tragedy there is always hope. Without humanity we we will only see more destruction, more ruins and more cemetaries. BiH reminds us all with its every inch about importance of solidarity, piece and humanity.

Mornings and the views from both our balcony and the Fortress itself were really one of the nicest I know. This place is full of romantic and slow, old school character. Charm I would say. It has so much to offer again for hikers, mountain bikers, photographers, artists and history lovers.The best solution to pop by is by rent a car, bus (from Mostar the ticket costs around 4 euros) or taxi. Taxi is a cheap solution in BiH and usually much cheaper solution than renting a car especially if you make a deal in advance. I am sure that also other people will be glad to be your personal drivers if you ask and offer a deal. All in all, it is also a nice little amount of money for locals, especially young people who are usually unemployed due to the really bad post-war economy crisis.

Those four days passed by so quickly that we were almost caught by a surprise when it was time to hop to the bus and head to Mostar. Also Linda jumped in the bus after running for 2 kilometers after us with her tiny legs. Linda was probably the smartest dog we have ever met and this really was a nice little surprise from her :D

- Herminica

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