Step by Step - Korak po korak
Mobile roaming charges have been abolished between the Western Balkan countries of the “mini schengen” area. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia.
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This Weeks Vlog.
That Was the Week That Was.
Well, not quite this week, but at the start of this month, Mobile roaming charges were abolished between the Western Balkan countries of the “mini schengen” area. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia. Great news especially for tourists.
The first Banja Luka Fest has taken place. Although we didn’t get to visit, the event was totally pre SOLD OUT.
A series of open air concerts were held at the Kastel in the centre of the city. The festival was the largest event held in this part of the country since COVID-19 measures were relaxed.
The festival opened with violinist Stefan Milenković, the second evening Zvonko Bogdan and the tamburitza orchestra and the third festival evening was reserved for “sevdalinka” performed by Amira Medunjanin.
The fourth evening of the festival, introduced the audience to World Famous Mariza, who introduced Portuguese fado music to the people of Banja Luka.
The acting star, poet and singer, Rade Šerbedžija, performed on the last night of the festival,
Known across the world as the Russian villain from the movies Snatch and The Saint, he attracts attention in the region with concerts that leave no one indifferent.
Hopefully this festival, with its professional organisation and extremely talented team, will become an annual fixture in the Banja Luka Cultural calendar.
Food Food Food.
We have always enjoyed going to one of Banja Luka’s more specialised restaurants, The Lovački at Trapisti.
We don’t do it too often however, but on our recent visit we decided to delve deeper into the menu. Lovac which means “hunter”, gives away, I think, what this place specialises in. Deer, Wild Boar, Rabbit, Pheasant and even Bear are all on offer.
Although quite pricy by Balkan standards the food is amazing.
We were a group of three and decided to share a main course of Lovački Lonac. A simple, but delicious of slow cooked stew made with four types of meat, with vegetables.
A complimentary game paštete (pate), got us going.
The waiter recommended that we might want to share a sample plate between us so we could taste four types of meat: Buck, Bear, Doe and Wild Boar.
The sample plate was sufficient for us. The meat was an experience (my first time eating bear) and delicious. Croquettes and roasted vegetables accompanied the meat. This restaurant is a must visit when in Banja Luka.
Messing About on the River.
It's the “Summer on the Vrbas”, in Banja Luka.
A week full of river based, summer activities.
A great annual event.
Starting with Bridge Diving!
Shoes Shoes Shoes.
I have always felt like shoes reflect the person wearing them.
Years ago when wearing suits a lot I had a wonderful pair of brogues. Very pricey at the time.
A timeless, classic design.
Funny old thing though. I have only worn them 6 or 7 times in the past 20 years.
However, they’re still in brilliant shape.
For many years I have worn Birkenstocks. The Boston style.
My current pair was given to me by Tamara. I wear these nearly all the time.
Tamara then found a company that makes a similar shoe. They are from Serbia. Real leather including the inside sole. Also designed with health in mind.
So. I tried them. They are the most comfortable I have ever had. Soft like kid gloves. As far as pricing is concerned, well, they are maybe half the price if not more than what I would pay for Birkenstock. I am going to use Leon from now on, if for no other reason that I can support regional products. If Bosnia and Herzegovina produced something of such quality I would use them. But ….. they don’t.
This is not a commercial. I haven’t received anything in compensation. I just wanted to maybe show you a regional product.
Visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The situation seems to be turning for the better. YES!
If you want to experience a great place for culture, food, adventure sports and much more, or for just chilling and soaking up life, you really do need to come and see this country.
The latest rules (at time of writing) are HERE.
From the Blog.
Hiking to the Kameni Most.
The Stone Bridge is near the small town of Krupa na Vrbasu, some 35 km south of Banja Luka and 2 km from Krupa na Vrbasu, on the main road towards Jajce.
The route is part of a stunning canyon, with amazingly high cliffs on both sides of the River Vrbas which flows through the canyon.
These cliffs attract climbers from across the world, who descend on this location each late Spring to early Autumn.
I’ve been reflecting recently.
I don’t know about you, but the older one gets, the more the veneer of what we thought about what life is, life peels off.
The perceptions we once had (and plans and dreams we had but never went for), we now realise we could have achieved. We didn’t go for them as, well, “we don’t do that”.
These days I am increasingly rebelling at the so called “norms” of daily life.
For example. Why do I need to shave everyday? Yes, when I was a soldier shaving is part of the ritual and has operational reasons to do so. But I’m not anymore. I am told I look scruffy with stubble. Do I need to impress anyone? No.
I never really needed to when I now look back.
I wear a rather eccentric choice of clothing. I LOVE wearing colourful Birkenstocks instead of “normal” shoes.
I am 68 and I adore listening to a good session of electronic music.
I wouldn’t change my past for anything, but what I have learned though is I used to give a **** about things, which I shouldn’t have.
Here’s my anthem for the remaining time I am on earth.
What I’m Listening to.
Try this playlist out for size.
That's our update from our village here in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina for this week.
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