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BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA

The Herzegovinian weekend

05 Oct 2020 .Fića

©Crédit: Ranch-Bar U - bogdan

About

Fića

Until last year we roamed the world and posted our adventures on Instagram and now we travel around Bosnia and Herzegovina and use that platform to share our beauties with the world!

More about me

When people travel they generally have only one goal: to get to their destination as soon as possible. Personally, I don't think that should be the case. The ‘ficacrew’ team created so many wonderful memories just because we didn’t drive on the highway but because we drove through narrow roads, listened to people’s advice, and drove on alternative roads.

In this text, I will try to spice up a very popular route between Sarajevo and Mostar (we will even get to Stolac) with the beauties of Bosnia and Herzegovina that make travelling much richer and more interesting.

The destinations we will write about are only a few minutes drive outside the usual route, and they tell an unusual story on their own.
The main road to Mostar is known for its beauty as it passes at the base of the beautiful mountain Prenj.

From Konjic, these mountains are left behind as we head in the direction of Jablanica, and our first advice would be to start exploring the base of these beautiful mountains. After Jablanica we descend to the lake created by the Neretva river and there we head towards villages such as Ravna or Bijela.

The river Bijela, which flows from the direction of Prenj, is fabulous. The clear but cold river is an ideal place to refresh and relax after a little longer trip. Freshwater is just one of the things that will take your breath away. In addition, there is untouched, wild nature which should stay that way.

While Prenj challenges you to try to conquer the summit, it is time to move on. There is still a lot to visit in one weekend.
You continue your journey towards Mostar. Stari is not the only location to see in this beautiful city.

To arrive at the next, not so widely popular destination,  you need to head to Fortica. Fortica is one of the hills of Velež Mountain. Fortica provides a beautiful view of the city of Mostar and offers the possibility of meals/refreshments and adrenaline. A bit confused, we just climbed higher and higher. At the top, we found a mountain lodge and a huge zipline! We didn't plan to get our adrenaline pumping that night, but we couldn't resist when we saw how happy people were, literally flying for 600m at a speed of 100km/h.

We didn’t hesitate for long to make the decision, and within 10 minutes we were standing on the edge of the concrete slab with a smile on our faces. One step and you're on your way! The next time you are in Mostar, feel free to head a few serpentines further until you reach that same concrete slab. Enjoy!

After Mostar, we move further south again, deeper into Herzegovina, towards Stolac. When you reach the Buna, do not turn in the direction of Stolac, but continue straight for 1 km to discover a natural phenomenon - the Channel of the Buna river. The picture shows the Neretva passing through a natural canal. The fact that the entire Neretva River stands between two walls 3m apart is fascinating to me. You can feel its speed and power when you sit on the parched area of the Neretva bottom. As I
said before, people should add some flavour to their road trips, and this is exactly what this place is. The river Buna makes this location feel like a fairytale.

Buna flows in or overflows on the right side for a length of 100m. The water created from one cave 12km upstream forms a small delta above the Neretva and overflows into a series of small waterfalls. If there was no photo of it, I don’t think people would believe me, but this place is only a few meters away from the main road that leads further towards Neum. Take a break, see and feel the power of this place.

Now it's time to head to Stolac, located 26km southeast of Buna. At this point, we will arrive at our final destination. We would recommend spending the night in this city full of history and curiosities. This city came under the protection of UNESCO in 1980 as a ‘museum city’ which actually emphasizes the importance of visiting this gem. Thanks to the favourable conditions which prevail in this region, Stolac has been inhabited since ancient times. In Badanj cave, you can find
works of art dating from 14,000 BC!

After that realization, this place in Herzegovina makes you understand where you really are and who was here before you. Let's skip a few thousand
years forward and talk about Daorson. Daorson was once the city of Illyria in this area. As a landmark, it is located 5km from the centre of Stolac, near the village Osanjići. These remains date back to 300 to 50 BC. After thousands of years, you can still find stone remains here. As we approach newer structures, preservation is growing.

The fortress in the photo below has endured many changes during its existence. It is assumed that it originated in VI. century thanks to the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, but appears in historical sources in the year 1375. As you walk these walls you can imagine the trade routes leading past the fortress, robberies, love stories, wars and other situations that took place here several hundred years ago. Every time I find myself in locations like this, this kind of thoughts occupy my mind and I enjoy them.

Not far from the fortress is Radimlja. When someone mentions Radimlju, I feel like a hospitable Bosnian and Herzegovinian. The well known raised hand on the stećak has many meanings, but it serves as a greeting to me. I feel like I’m on my own land and talking to our ancestors. Radimlja was founded in the 14th century and due to its wealth (decoration, the artistic production of works, etc.) is considered one of the most important and most valuable necropolises in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would recommend a little research and reading about this location before you go. I say this because that way we can talk to our ancestors better. A wonderful place for all people!

The river Bregava flows through Stolac, and its waters tell the old Stolac stories. There are many mills, bridges, and old houses on the river, so take some time and walk
upstream along the Bregava. Bregava, like many Herzegovinian rivers, is a small, submerged but clear beauty. A walk upstream takes you to the Provalija waterfall, which can almost dry up during the summer, so don't let it disappoint you. This river is probably one of the great reasons for such a rich history in this area and today it adorns this rich stone landscape with its course.

This Herzegovinian weekend will revive you. Our history has left me with a sense of completeness and belonging and Herzegovinian water would revive me every time I felt tired. These locations that I have written about are really just the beginning. Every corner of this country hides a treasure that needs to be explored and shared!