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Trip Report North West Bosnia & the Northern Counties of Croatia - julia_t explores

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As some of you will be aware, I have already visited Bosnia & Herzegovina on several occasions, with trip reports posted (you can find them by clicking on my name). I have fallen in love with this beautiful country, part of whose charm is that it is still one of the few undiscovered tourist destinations in an overcrowded Europe.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – as the name suggests – is a country made up of two regions, separated by the Dinaric Alps, with Bosnia to the north and Herzegovina to the south. They each have their own unique cultural histories but share many similarities in language, ethnicity, culture and identity. More confusing is the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a single country consisting of two entities, one of which is The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the other is the Republic of Srpska. And each of these entities includes part of Bosnia and part of Herzegovina.

I usually refer to the entire country by the abbreviation of BiH, but on this trip I was totally in Bosnia (and the Bosnian part of the republic of Srpska) so will be calling it as such.

I booked return flights London Gatwick –Zagreb for free on EasyJet using my Sainsburys supermarket Nectar points! Originally I was going to visit Slovenia, but changed my mind as my plans evolved.

ZAGREB

On arrival at Zagreb I took the airport bus into the city bus station where I got on the No 6 Tram which took me to Trg Bana Jelacica, which is the central main square. It was a short walk to Hotel Jadran (single occupancy of a 3 bed room for €49 inc breakfast for 2 nights)
http://hotel-jadran.com.hr/en/home

Restaurants where I ate dinner, both very good, around 200 kuna (€26/£20) for 2 courses plus 2-3 glasses of wine
Lanterna na Dolau on Opatovina
Gostionica purger at Petrinjska 33

I rode the little funicular up to the Old Town and wandered around for most of the morning. I loved the Museum of Naïve Art with the utterly charming paintings and exhibits. But by midday I'd been into all the churches, visited the cathedral, and kind of felt I'd seen enough of Zagreb for the day.

So I took a bus to Samobor, a very pretty little town about 40 minutes away, situated along the banks of a river. I ate a late lunch at Samoborska Klet – local sausage ‘Cesjovske’ with potatoes and sauerkraut and the local Samoborska mustard. With a glass of local Pinot Savi the bill was 76 kuna (€10/£7.80) While still in Samobor I also sampled the local Kremsnitsa, a delicious custard cake, for 12 kuna at a café in the central square.

The following morning I visited the Museum of Arts and Crafts, which I enjoyed, before heading over to the Sheraton Hotel to pick up the rental car. I’d booked through www.economycarrentals.com and my rental was with Fleet who are based at the Sheraton. The rental was for 4 full days starting from 12.30pm, return to the airport, and included the essential green cross-border card. Although I was charged the deposit in euros and the rental in Kuna , the cost works out at less than £22 per day for a Fiat Panda.

It’s been a few years since I last drove on what is for me the ‘wrong side’, and I was nervous about starting off in a city, but Zagreb isn’t particularly big or busy, and I found my way out fairly easily, heading to Karlovac where I would turn off on the road to Plitvice, heading for the border crossing at Maljevac, close to Velika Kladusa in Bosnia.

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