Monday, 18 August 2014

bosnian roadtrip #2

dirt road to Jajce |  iPhone 4s + VSCOcam
Bosna i Hercegovina


a 7 days long travel is not enough to know a country, but, like i’ve said, i did not know much about Bosnia and Herzegovina before, so this trip helped me building some grounds.
first of all, the country is a federal republic divided into two parts: the federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. the population is composed by three ethnic groups: the bosniaks, or bosnian muslims, the bosnian serbs, and the bosnian croats. Bosnia and Herzegovina territory is inhabited mainly by bosniaks and bosnian croats, while the majority of the bosnian serbs live in the Republika Srpska. the three ethnic goups have three different faiths, too: bosniaks identify themselves as  muslim, croats as roman catholic and the serbs as orthodox.  the three major ethnic groups are equally represented by a three-member presidency, composed of a member of each group.
BiH map 

Sarajevo is the capital city and the heart of Bosnia, Mostar is the most important city of Herzegovina, as Banja Luka is of Republika Srpska.
while Bosnia and Herzegovina  write using the latin characters , in Republika Srpska the cyrillic alphabet are officially in use, so any road sign in the whole country indicates the double letterings.

on the road | iPhone 4s + VSCOcam
this country could be either the best example of positive integration or the worst, over complicated mess. it has played the latter role for a while, and now political tensions could be easily seen and heard everyday,  even by a tourist, so the problems that has been on the news during the nineties are far from over.  

in Neum, the only city of Bosnia and Herzegovina located on the coastline | iPhone 4s + VSCOcam



on the road

Blagaj Tekija,  nikon f-801 + fujicolor 200 | Jajce waterfalls, iPhone 4s + VSCOcam
our trip concerned just the Bosnia and Herzegovina regions, leaving the territory closer to Serbia for another time.
Herzegovina, the southern region,  is a hilly land, while Bosnia is higher and greener, and has  plenty of water.

the road condition are mostly fine for travelling by motorcycle, with lots of ups and downs.
however, both the gps and the map failed to show us an unpaved stretch of road and led us in the middle of a forest, showing that as the best itinerary. another time, we couldn’t take a path because of mine danger, not reported by the gps but carefully indicated by a road sign. 
on the road | iPhone 4s + VSCOcam

eat & drink

bosnian coffee |  nikon f-801 + fujicolor 200




Bosnia and Herzegovina is not the right place for a vegetarian. they love meat and put it in (almost) every meal, although there is something bosnian love even more: coffee. 
if you call it turkish coffee they’ll correct you. it is similar, but not the same. from what i understood, the main difference lies in  the process, but i really cannot say where. anyway, coffee powder is cooked in a copper pot called džezva, with water. the thick and bitter blend is served in a iron tray with a full džezva (a small one holds about three cups), cups, a plate with sugar cubes and glasses of water. i’ve been told that you cannot buy a coffee set with just one cup, because coffee has to be shared.
another part of the usual drinking ritual is rakija, a liqueur made from distilled fruit, usually grape or plum. it is served in a small glass with a long, narrow neck.

the Bosnian cuisine dishes i liked the most are cevapi, grilled spiced sausages  served with pita bread and yogurt, and burek: a long pastry roll, filled with meat (burek) or cheese (sirnica), or spinach and cheese (zeljanica), or potatoes (krompiruša) .

we also tasted a delicious cake called baklava, made with phillo dough, nuts and (lost of) honey.

handmade

i usually need to bring home with me an handmade piece. in the markets of Mostar and Sarajevo you can visit some small workshops where craftsmen are shaping copper in finely decorated  džezva, pots, bracelets, or enter in the multi colored world of the carpet dealers, or buy a patterned pair of wool slippers, called priglavaks.   
carpet patterns in a ottoman house, Mostar | iPhone 4s + VSCOcam

12 comments:

  1. baklava is soooooooooo yummy :D
    the carpets are so pretty and the landscape looks so soothing to the eyes!
    what a great trip :)

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  2. Beautiful and very interesting, as always here!

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  3. Sounds and looks like a very interesting and exciting trip and thank you for also sharing some background information! By the way, your motorcycle is great and so are the helmets! :)

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    1. oh thanks Nancy! our lambretta is a second series 125 Li, built in 1960, and still runs like a pro :)

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  4. ma ci sono dei gatti sul tuo costume da bagno? :O
    bel viaggio! e ben tornata!

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    1. grazie! ci sono dei gatti, confermo, e lo adoro per questo! :D
      è di Lazzari >> www.lazzarionline.com

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  5. "you cannot buy a coffee set with just one cup, because coffee has to be shared" - i love that! :)

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  6. E' sempre incredibile vedere fino a dove potete arrivare con la vostra (bellissima!!) Lambretta!
    Avete scelto una meta molto particolare e dalla storia difficile, ma credo proprio che ne sia valsa la pena.

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    1. ahah in realtà è sempre una sorpresa anche per noi, l'ipotesi "stavolta ci lascia a piedi in mezzo al nulla" aleggia ogni volta che partiamo :)
      credo che la Bosnia Herzegovina meriti una visita. comprendere la storia dei Balcani è difficile e richiede ben più di una vacanza, ma non possiamo fare finta che ciò che accade ai nostri vicini non ci riguardi minimamente. grazie di essere passata di qui

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