The Family Without Borders

The Travelling family

Bosnia

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Hot, wet, cold, blue: Bosnia.

(Bosnia): Kravica Waterfalls; Photo: Anna Alboth

(Bosnia): Kravica Waterfalls; Photo: Anna Alboth

From the several theories about where does the name „Bosnia“ come from, I believe it this one: „bosana“ means water. Fabulous rivers, countless springs, turquoise lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and streams here and there. Thanks to them we survived 42 degrees and we fell in love with another country.

Short holidays (when our kindergarten is closed) we decided to spend not-that-far, in the heart of our beloved Balkans. Because we can get there by car, because we can communicate (a Slavic language is a Slavic language), because we always felt good between people saying „zdravo!“.

A real diverse beauty and harmony of nature we found in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between the limestone mountains, fresh-green valleys, centuries-old forests and… the water. Everywhere: from a tiny streams to big, strong and self-confident rivers. Plus dramatically varied landscapes and climates: in Bosnia the Mediterranean influence meets the alpine one (the country is crossed by Dinaric Alps – the long chain of the southern Alps). All very rich in mineral deposits (mineral water is one of the Bosnian’s largest exports). Beautiful and still wild.

– You are going to Bosnia? – we were asked my some friends. – I know a lot of people going to Croatia, but Bosnia? Isn’t it similar?

Yes, it is. But less crowded and more… in the middle. Of problems but also of the world.

Not surprising that humans were living in this region already in the Stone Age (there is a cave: Badanj Cave with cave drawing from around 12 000 BC!). But to fit the pieces of human puzzles in Bosnia – is a challenging, difficult, maybe even impossible, game. The population nowadays is divided between three main groups: Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims, each of whom the national and ethnic identity is a very sensitive topic. Let’s for now stay with the nature. This one is undoubtedly and unquestionable – i.m.p.r.e.s.s.i.n.g.

(Bosnia):  Dreznica Valley near Mostar; Photo: Thomas Alboth

While travelling by car – we always want to sleep at the water: a river or a lake. So here we had: hard to make miss of the rivers competition, we loved them all: Drina and Sava on the north-east, Naretva and Bosna in the middle of the country and Vrbas more on the west. But I think our winner would be a river Drezanka, north of Mostar. The most beautiful water I have ever seen. The water, to which I couldn’t resist to jump in, even in a dress, even with dozen of Bosnians around me (the girls and Tom had easier: they just took off the clothes and jumped it).

Then there is a huge Jablanicko Lake, in the south-middle of the country: big area, with turns and bays, between the mountains (it’s an artificial lake formed due to hydro-electric dams). Full of places, where you can eat, what was just caught: very big carps, trouts, basses and fish, which names I don’t know. We liked a lot the quiet Ramko Lake, with a little island in the middle. That’s the place where Hanna and Mila fell in love with doing the laundry and we fell in love with the idea of them doing it.

What made us smile was a little artificial lake, not far away from the big artificial Lake Modrac, close to Tuzla: called by the locals Ontario Lake with a play ground for kids, in the water. The real name is Bistarac but people seem not to remember about it. What made us laugh was another artificial lake: in the middle of Tuzla city: Pannonica. I guess very needed (because of the heat) but also kind of kitschy: with the cascading waterfalls and crowds of crowds of people.

(Bosnia):  Near Neum at the Bosnian seaside; Photo: Anna Alboth

Probably the most fun we had with the waterfalls. We visited only four of them, in different parts of the country: Duge Waterfall (30m), Skakovac Waterfall (98m), Kravica Waterfall (25m but stretching over 100m across) and Pliva Waterfall in Jajce (27m, in the city!), but it’s still more than we visit every year in Germany or Poland. And when it’s so hot – there is nothing nicer than little drops of water, flying with a wind from the waterfall to your face.

All in all, I was very surprised to get the information that only 0,6% of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is protected (standard is around 7%). Less than 1% of such a beautiful country!

And we were lucky with this amount of water on our way. Girls were starting the day with sweet „pływać!“ („let’s swim!!!“) and finishing with the same. So who needs shower after such a day? And I.. had my first time.. shaving my legs in the mountains’ river.

Aha! I would almost forget! Bosnia has still the sea! Or a little piece of the access: 23km of the seaside. We touched it too!

 


Our first book is out!

We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »

24 Comments

  • Posted August 23, 2013 at 07:22 | Permalink

    I love ur story and I am happy that u enjoyed Bosnia and Herzgovina. For me, one of the most charming countries in Europe. So authentic: culture, music, food… people!!!!

    Reply
  • Posted August 23, 2013 at 15:05 | Permalink

    I must say, that was probably the best advertisement of that country I’ve ever read! Hopefull one day I will go there too:)

    Reply
  • Posted August 24, 2013 at 08:59 | Permalink

    Thanks for visiting Bosnia and for depicting it in such a positive light!

    Reply
  • v.f
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 09:10 | Permalink

    You guys made a very big mistake not to visit the river Una, in the northwest part of the country, that beauty you cannot describe.

    Reply
  • Blue
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 09:17 | Permalink

    This is very nice post about Bosnia. I’m really glad that you liked it, and want to thank you for visiting.
    Nature beauty is what decorates Bosnia. We just have to decorate our politicians, and than we have country from dreams. :)

    Reply
  • Heartshapedcountry
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 09:40 | Permalink

    Thanks for not speaking about Serbs, Croats and Bosnians and war too, you get sick if you pay attention to those “issues” for long. Loved the way the article mentioned it and forgot about it later :)) You couldn’t have done it better! Enjoy that beauty and stick to it!

    Reply
  • Ivan
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 09:51 | Permalink

    What a lovely text. I’m really happy you enjoyed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photos are really great and looks like you had very nice time there :) Greetings

    Reply
  • Posted August 24, 2013 at 10:24 | Permalink

    Dear family,
    thank you for the wonderful text, what about Sarajevo?
    You made a good choice to stick with the rivers and lakes in this heat!
    best of luck!

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted August 24, 2013 at 10:49 | Permalink

      This is just the very first post from B&H. There will be more! About Sarajevo too!!

      Reply
  • Posted August 24, 2013 at 10:25 | Permalink

    Dear family,
    thanks for the wonderful text and photos.
    Good decision to stick with the rivers and lakes in this heat!
    Best of luck!

    Reply
  • Emina
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 19:50 | Permalink

    This is such a refreshment! Thank you for visiting, enjoying and writing all the wonderful things about our small, but very beautiful country :) Photos you took are just as great :)

    Your daughters are very lucky to have you two as parents, I truly admire your lifestyle.. All the very best from Bosnia :)

    Reply
  • dinis
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 21:03 | Permalink

    you have to go in Croatia, Bosnia is great, but Croatia is so beautiful :)

    Reply
  • Sanela
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 21:18 | Permalink

    Thank you so much for these beautiful words and pictures…you touched my hearth. I’m in love with my country and, yes, Drežanka is the winner :)
    All the best for the great familly

    Reply
  • Emir
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 21:45 | Permalink

    Come to Croatia. Bosnia is really beautiful, but Croatia has everything Bosnia has plus so much more.

    Reply
    • Neko iz mase
      Posted September 14, 2014 at 12:18 | Permalink

      Not quite true..

      Reply
  • mrnjau
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 22:08 | Permalink

    hey, nice descriptions! but you missed the best part: Una river and national park Una, close to Bihac… http://nationalpark-una.ba/eng/index.php cheers!

    Reply
  • Mirna
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 14:19 | Permalink

    Bosnia is a country where every man finds what he is looking for.
    If you are looking for disappointments you will find country of unsolvable conflicts.
    But if you come with an open mind looking for true magic… You will find nature ready to nourish you with its crystal clear springs, mountains covered with forests of pine trees and fruits. There is strength and joy coming from the rich soils below your feet, intense sun and all living things surrounding you:) Thank you for discovering my homeland! Looking forward to reading more about your travels soon!

    Reply
  • Luke Lond
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 11:05 | Permalink

    I really wanna go there… lovely…

    Reply
  • Mila
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 17:22 | Permalink

    Beautiful time you had, we just came back with our four kids and loved it. I love nature and photography so going to Bosnia was amazing for us. Thank you for the writing and your beautiful photos.

    Reply
  • Posted September 6, 2013 at 09:49 | Permalink

    Naprawdę świetna reklama tego kraju, tak mało o nim wiemy pod tym względem. Skojarzenie jest tylko jedno. Od teraz już nie:) Mój syn uwielbia wszystko co związane z wodą – myślę że oszalałby ze szczęścia przy tych wodospadach :) Dorzucam do mojej listy – to be visited.

    Reply
  • Posted September 9, 2013 at 17:07 | Permalink

    Very nice post about Bosnia!! My husband is Bosnian and most of his family still lives there. We go pretty much every year including last year when I took our then3 year old and our 2 month old daughter! I couldn’t agree more with you on taking advantage of opportunities for your kids no matter their age. If you get a chance to go to Bosnia again please go to Bihac and the surrounding area to see the breathtaking Una River. You will not regret going. Bihac is also very close to Plitvice National Park in Croatia which would be a wonderful trip for your family as well. Amy

    Reply
  • Una
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 06:15 | Permalink

    Thank you for visiting my country. I feel very proud to read this beautiful storry.
    But i have to say that you missed the most beautiful river in entire Europe (yup yup) – Una river.
    Or maybe you saved it for the next visit :-)
    Anyways thank you so much for visiting B&H.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Qazi Zafar Uddin
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 05:57 | Permalink

    Well Dear,

    Its very nice to see such a romantic lovely visit you shared. i would love to visit Bosnia since i read about it especially the tough time went in bosnia on 1990 to 1995. Anyways your visit looks pretty cool and good. I hope i will visit the same place some day in coming near future and will share accordingly.

    Reply
  • Bato
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 16:03 | Permalink

    Bosnia comes from the Illyrian name Bosona which means the land of running waters or land of water.Its a name from our ancestors Illyrians.

    Reply

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