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Off The Beaten Track in Bosnia and Herzegovina - julia_t explores

Off The Beaten Track in Bosnia and Herzegovina - julia_t explores

Jun 12th, 2010, 07:40 AM
  #41  
 
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Julia, I just wanted to add my thanks for an informative, well written thread on a destination I knew little about. I've come back over the last couple of days to catch up.

IMO, Fodors can use much more information on seldom mentioned and interesting places like these!
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Jun 12th, 2010, 08:56 AM
  #42  
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Clifton - your praise is most pleasing, coming as it does from the man who wrote the definitive Romanian trip report!

Some places are seldom mentioned because there is so little information on them that many people don't bother to go. I realised how accustomed I had become to information overload on demand for places like Paris, Venice, Rome, Barcelona etc that when I started to research BiH I was so surprised by the almost complete lack of information on places outside the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar, I nearly decided not to do this trip and just stay around Split and the Croatian coast and islands.

I am so glad I didn't bottle out due to lack of information! And I am definitely returning, planning to explore the country further north and east.

I apologise for the length of this report - I didn't mean it to be quite so long, but if the detail in it helps just one person who is planning to visit this wonderful country, then it will be worth it.
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Jun 12th, 2010, 04:40 PM
  #43  
 
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julia, your title, "Off the Beaten Track..." is very appropriate. Clifton is right; there is plenty of information on the better-known and traveled destinations. Thank you for telling us about a little-known but beautiful and historical destination.

Ellen
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Jun 14th, 2010, 02:25 PM
  #44  
 
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julia, next time discover Una river and cities along that river. In the Western Bosnia.
Una = The Only (Name of the river speaks enoguh).

Best regards,
Kostake
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Jun 23rd, 2010, 10:08 PM
  #45  
 
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Bookmarking!!!
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Jun 24th, 2010, 06:56 AM
  #46  
 
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Loved reading about Sarajevo. My son and I will be there in September. I haven't done much research, so I didn't know what to expect. Glad to hear that it is safe. I'm a little worried about food as I am not much of a meat eater, usually pasta and veggies and occasionally chicken.
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Jun 25th, 2010, 02:52 PM
  #47  
 
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scatcat,

My daughter is there on an internship this summer. She's a vegetarian and was also a little concerned about her diet. She hasn't had a bit of trouble. Good salads, wonderful cheese "pies", etc. She hasn't said much about vegetables other than salads, but I would suspect they have them. It's safe, as are the Balkans in general. She absolutely loves it and I think will have mixed feelings about coming home in August. If you want specifics, I'd be happy to ask her.

Ellen
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Jun 25th, 2010, 03:09 PM
  #48  
 
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Thanks Ellen. I can live off good salads and an occasional banana...well, and of course ice cream. I feel much better knowing that she likes it there. I had never even thought about going to Sarajevo, so it was disturbing to me when my son made this decision to go. Hopefully I will love it also.
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Jun 25th, 2010, 04:41 PM
  #49  
 
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Julia - thank you so much for your report. I have just read the entire report and am in awe of your courage to travel on your own in this area. It has made me more aware of not forming opinions without knowing anything.

Have been through Slovenia and Croatia by train but that is all. Maybe it is time to see more of these countries and Bosnia.
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Jun 25th, 2010, 05:16 PM
  #50  
 
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My daughter went to Mostar this week. Her pictures are breathtaking and I'm encouraging her to post them on Fodors. It's really a beautiful country.
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Jul 15th, 2010, 07:51 AM
  #51  
 
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Julia - just wanted to let you know I printed out your trip report - came to 17 pages. There is a lady that waits on me at the department store - she is from Sarajevo. She is interested to read about your journey there. Thank you.
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Jul 15th, 2010, 09:56 AM
  #52  
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bratsandbeer - thank you for your kind words and for printing out all those pages for that lady. I hope she enjoys it and recognises a little of the Sarajevo she remembers.

Yes, do consider visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina, I don't think you'd regret it. I'm trying to work out when and how to go back next year.
julia_t is online now  
Jul 17th, 2010, 01:27 PM
  #53  
 
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julia t-- thanks for such an interesting, thorough trip report and for the pictures. My husband and I are planning to go to Sarajevo in early October to visit a friend who has been living there for two years. She loves the city and says it is one of the great off the beaten track destinations.
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Oct 11th, 2010, 08:59 AM
  #54  
 
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We just got back from our trip last night, around midnight. I will post a full trip report eventually, but I thought I would add a few comments about roads from Sarajevo/Mostar to the Croatian coast to this thread, since it has so much information about different routes.
First, julia_t, let me assure you that your instincts about the road from Ljubski to Makarska on the coast via Vrgorac were correct--this is a terrifying, although very beautiful, drive. It is much, much, MUCH worse than the Sarajevo to Mostar and Mostar to Ljubuski drives.
We also drove from Mostar to the Dubrovnik area via the road that goes through Stolac, Ljubinje and Trebinje. This is not frightening in the same way --much easier curves, little traffic, but there are land mines all along the route south of Stolac to at least the border so you can't safely stop and get off the road. There is really no way to know this from conventional maps but if you see a map of mined areas it is clear. (We went that route anyway for the more interesting scenery and because we were with a friend who had done it several times, but it certainly made me nervous!)
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Oct 12th, 2010, 08:49 AM
  #55  
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Looking forward to reading about your trip as soon as you can get round to writing and posting it!

Glad you've returned safely. Interesting to know about the road down to the coast that I didn't dare to try! I've considered that route via Stolac and Trebinje, and in fact Rick Steves wrote about when he did it and didn't say it was anything too horrific.

I think you are very lucky to have a friend in Sarajevo, you will have had a wonderful introduction to that part of Europe, in much greater depth than most of us could ever hope to experience.

Again, I can't wait to read about it.
julia_t is online now  
Oct 13th, 2010, 03:21 AM
  #56  
 
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Julia_t-- I just checked and indeed Rick Steves seems to take his Adriatic tours on the Stlac-Trebinje-Dubrovnik route. It really is very scenic and not difficult driving. It is just knowing that there are land mines all along the route.
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Mar 26th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #57  
 
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julia_t-- I know your second trip to Sarajevo is coming up very soon. I am envious. I hope you have a wonderful time and look forward to your trip report
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Mar 27th, 2011, 03:51 AM
  #58  
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Thank you for your good wishes! Yes, I fly to Sarajevo next Monday, 4th April for 5 nights with my ex-Mother-in-Law.

I only heard last week that the apartment I had planned to rent has problems with the heating, and I could not find another well-located 2 bedroom one. So we'll be staying at the Hotel Safir.

I caught my foot on an uneven paving slab in my home town on Friday and have sprained my ankle - I have it on ice as I write this, and hope it will not affect my getting around in Sarajevo! I'd hoped to take a half-day and ski at Jahorina, but it's a bit late in the season now - the snow is melting as it is relatively far south for a ski resort.

Anyway, I am so looking forward to returning, and I have planned to re-read YOUR trip report before I leave.

Another book set in Sarajevo which you might enjoy (not sure if that's quite the right word) is The Girl in the Film by Charlotte Eagar (she was a journalist based in the Holiday Inn during much of the siege, who fell in love with a Sarajevo man). It's a semi-autobiographical novel, very powerful in its imagery, also very different. Here's an article she wrote in 2008...

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...of-sarajevo.do



I also came across a film called Valter Branj Sarajevo. It's set in WW2 with a 'charismatic resistance fighter v the Nazis'. Apparently it's the most popular foreign film in China, shown routinely to schoolchildren! I liked it anyway! And did you know that Orson Welles, Franco Nero and Yul Brynner were in a film called Battle of Neretva, set in WW2 Bosnia? I only caught a little of it but the scenery was fabulous.

Look out for a trip report mid-April!
julia_t is online now  
Mar 27th, 2011, 04:49 AM
  #59  
 
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julia_t--Thanks for the book recommendation and the article. The novel does look interesting although as you note, not exactly enjoyable. I found a used copy via amazon so could order it if it is not available through the library.

I hope that your sprained ankle heals quickly and you are able to get around in Sarajevo. My son had a sports brace last summer following a bad sprain and it really helped. Remember, taxis are quite affordable.

Let me know if you have any questions after reading my trip report and, again, have a great trip
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Mar 27th, 2011, 10:37 AM
  #60  
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Thanks, will do.

There are some 5 star reviews for that book on amazon.co.uk...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Film-Ch.../dp/0955830273

It is worth reading, and as you have been to Sarajevo you will be able to picture it all very vividly. I found it riveting, and profoundly moving, almost disturbing, but still recommend it for anyone who has any feeling for this city and its people.
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