Visiting remote parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Konjic and Vranduk
We head from Mostar to Konjic in Bosnia.
It is the most breathtaking mountain area.
The speed limit is slow, but that is OK, as you need to absorb the beauty.
The water is aqua blue. It is simply magnificent. I stand speechless at the side of the road. It really is perfect.
We then are planning to go and visit Tito’s Bunker. But it seems it was closed. I couldn’t get a straight answer. Maybe it was because it was Sunday. Maybe it was closed for good. I had no idea. We drove out to near the place and were told we had to get tickets in town. In town no-one knew.
But we did meet this old fellow.
He was making spoons. In hindsight his work was so cheap I should have brought a brass plaque or a copper coffee pot. But we just saw him stamp out and polish his spoons.
He shows explorason the mould he cuts them out with. Poor ol’ guy. We buy two – for all of forty cents. But I am not into buying what we do not need.
We then go to the bridge. Town seems deserted. I managed to buy a flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is $2 and it is a nice one. We buy a small flag from most countries we visit and we will string them up in order at the end of the trip. One day!
We then drive to the outskirts of Sarajevo. I don’t wan tot go this way but the GPS takes us past the market area. The poor have all their wares spread out next to the road. It seems a rough area. People come to the car and beg. Doors are locked.
We drive on. We find a surprise motorway with a toll. The GPS has no idea this is in existence. The maps were updated three days ago. TomTom – you are so out of date!
We head to Zenica where I hear there is an Ottoman Turkish historical town. No, we are told – no town and no tourism here. But then a hotel staff lady tells us about ten kilometres out of town is an old city.
It is not ten kilometres out of town. It is probably forty or fifty at least.
Then you have to wind past many side roads with no signs. It is like a secret place. I see it in the distance. Across the river. High on the hill. It takes more than half an hour to get to it. We arrive and there are really old buildings.
We enter a fourteenth Century Fortress.
It is great. I think it was about five Euro to enter.
It is really untouched and not a tourist in sight.
They show the old archery and it is a bit mended in a modern way, but we get the idea.
Explorason is really excited that he gets to see all the old chains, cannon balls, and shot balls they used. He has a bit of fun. There are spears and all sorts and we are free to touch and feel them. This is great learning. Not locked behind a case. He can sense the weight, and work out how the locks would work.
We are at Vranduk.
I get to walk on two hundred year old carpets. We get to see the weaves. Oh how I love to go to places that feel relatively undiscovered. Thee is not a tourist the whole time we are there.
Take a look at this place. Isn’t it magnificent. I am without words. You cannot get the smile off my face.
We get to walk the walls. Just awesome. There are no safety straps in place – only a small wire that has recently been placed that would not stop a c person falling. Men fell off these walls swinging cannons.
Explorason peeps through to see who might be attacking.
He gets to try his muscles out. He does better than me! I can’t get it off the ground. My strong boy!
The lady overseeing the place even will arrange local accommodation if you want it. She takes our photo.
Wow – I can’t express the freedom we feel here. We get to climb through 3 floors of basic displays inside.
Oh, and I meet this wonderful local lady. This is her weaving she sells. She asks me to try. Her smile after this photo just lit up she place. So I bought a small weave I can make into a cushion. The hardest thing is all these things we have purchased. Yet we have no home. We live in hope. One day we will have a base. But for eight Euro we have a hand-made weave from Bosnia.
Explorason climbs the rock. He is quickly told to get down by the old ladies. They do not want him falling and he needs to occasionally be told by someone other than me.
We sadly leave. I don’t want to go. Explorason wants to spend the night. But we have to get to Sarajevo to get the computer repaired tomorrow. We have to leave. Just take a look at this amazing place. Hidden in the hills; here the Turks dwelled over six hundred years ago.
Even as we drive back along the river, it is just the prettiest little area.
Everywhere in these countries people dry their twigs for firewood on frames. It is not a Womble, it is similar to a haystack but made with course twigs and grasses.
The magic of a different culture.
This is travel.
This is living.
We are loving our life journey.