Making Friends - Sprijateljiti se
We meet up with Lana and her husband Victor, who were in Banja Luka this past week. Lana lives in Naples, Florida and is an avid supporter and reader of the newsletter
Hello and welcome to another multi-media newsletter from the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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This Weeks Vlog.
In this video we have an update from the village, plus Tamara and me try and find a geological phenomenon that is just 20 minutes drive from where we live.
BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS.
As you know, we publish this weekly newsletter at 0700 CET on Saturdays. Looking at the statistics we receive, you open the newsletter either on Saturday, Sunday or Monday. So, depending when you do, we will either be on our way to, or have arrived in, Neum on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Adriatic coast.
Last year, as we all know, travel was “put on ice”.
Traditionally for us, each summer we visit Montenegro, either once or twice. That hasn’t happened, and even this year is not going to happen either. Instead we are taking the safest option (is there such a thing?), and spending 6 nights in Neum.
We are totally reimagining our break this year. No car, rather travelling by bus. We’ll travel overnight to the coast, arriving early on Sunday. Move into a hotel for our 5 nights. We normally like to rent an apartment, but this year we’ll go half board. Our exploring will be on foot and that will mean local. Neum seems to get a bit of a “bad wrap” at times from Bosnians. We’re really not sure why, so in the next newsletter we’ll give our honest observations.
By the way, the next newsletter will be put together and published, entirely via my mobile device. So it might not have all the “bells and whistles” that publishing from a desktop computer has. Let’s see though.
From research, the Neum coastline looks really welcoming, there are places to eat and drink coffee etc, boat rides and other activities. Sofiane, our French friend, who you’ll meet later in the newsletter, had a blast with his family while they were in Neum.
Neum is the second shortest coastline in the world.
When Yugoslavia broke up in 1991, the newly independent Croatia was now split in two. Twelve miles of Bosnia-Herzegovinian coastline separate the Dubrovnik region from the rest of Croatia to the north. The Neum corridor gives Bosnia and Herzegovina a shorter coastline than any other nation on earth aside from Monaco. Even tiny Pacific islands like Nauru and Tuvalu have more beachfront property than Bosnia.
Maybe we could walk across it, as a micro-adventure?
Just thought you might find this interesting.
I think that it’s a phenomena here (and I think in the whole of the Western Balkans).
The Chinese shop.
Every town seems to have at least a few of these, owned by Chinese immigrants.
Small family businesses.
These shops have virtually everything. If you need an inexpensive sewing kit (to fix a button) you would find it there for 2 Marks or so.
If you need party hats, an extension cable, socks, a lamp, aluminium foil, reading glasses, whatever … they have it.
The prices do reflect the quality however.
The aisles are typically fairly close together and always fully stocked. They may not carry the same items all the time, but what they have … they have in large quantities.
Embarrassingly for me, the Chinese here speak (to me at least) fluent Serbian.
Why so many Chinese people here in the region.
Difficult to get the exact answer but it does seem that back in the late 80’s and early 90’s the government at the time encouraged this type of immigration.
In fact so much so, that there is an alleged Chinese Quarter in Belgrade.
Without a doubt as well, China is investing heavily in Bosnia and Herzegovina, building major highways and power plants.
I do ponder one thing however. Why are there no Chinese operated Chinese restaurants in the area?
Well we finally met up with Lana and her husband Victor, who were in Banja Luka this past week. Lana lives in Naples, Florida and is an avid supporter and reader of the newsletter, AND, AND, comes from Banja Luka. How cool is that?
They’ll be back hopefully in November, when we’ll be able to catch up more than in the short time we had for coffee this time. Their plan is to move back permanently.
Also this past week we had guests (now friends) from France.
You might remember 2 newsletters ago, that we wrote about Sofiane arriving at Banja Luka Airport and not having his hire car waiting. Basically he got “stitched up” by a company based in the city of Mostar.
Thanks to the team at Control Rent A Car here in Banja Luka, Sofiane and family were able to enjoy their planned holiday. Which by the way, they thoroughly enjoyed.
Sofiane and his wife Fatima (actually its Fatima and her husband Sofiane 😀), are digital influencers focussing on travelling with a family. If you want to find out more, then why not check them out @travel_with_3kids.
They stayed with us for 2 days and we had fun. Lovely family indeed. They are back in Lille now, but we surely hope they’ll be returning for more Bosnian adventures.
Late evening stroll through a part of the centre of Banja Luka.
There is always something going on in this city.
Did you know Banja Luka had a Jazz Music Track named after it?
In 1955 Jazz greats, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton played a concert in Banja Luka.
Quincy wrote this as a result of his visit.
This evening, a festival celebrating Petar Kočić, with readings from his books, handmade traditional souvenirs on sale from the Zmijanje region (close by), and of course, Chess.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bosnia and Herzegovina.
FOODIE PIC OF THE WEEK.
That's our update from our village here in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina for this week.
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