This Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Exploring Travnik - "The Viziers City"
🎧 ⬆️ Listen to the Audio Post from This Week ⬆️ 🎧
Welcome to this edition of This Week in the Balkans
Time flies when you're having fun, or maybe I'm just losing track of it. The scorching heat here in Čardačani, the village where my wife Tamara and I live, has me seeking refuge in our office turned studio with the blinds down. The AC is off to avoid the background noise, but I'm determined to create a quiet space to share this exciting update with you all.
Our Guests from Bahrain
The past week has been nothing short of hectic and incredibly fascinating, especially for me. We had the pleasure of hosting a wonderful family from Bahrain for four nights. It's always a thrill to meet people from outside the continent who have come to explore this hidden gem, Bosnia and Herzegovina. As you know, I'm passionate about showcasing the rich culture and inviting visitors to discover the wonders of this region. My hope is to ignite their curiosity to return and delve deeper into the beauty they may have missed the first time around.
Bahrain, being a desert country, has a landscape quite different from the lush green fields, forests, and farming scenes that surround us. It's amazing to witness their genuine excitement and appreciation for nature's beauty. While many European tourists flock to Dubai for an Arabian experience, these visitors from Bahrain were captivated by the serene countryside, fresh fruits, vegetables, and even sheep farming. It's a reminder that there's so much more to explore beyond the usual tourist hotspots.
🏴 My Bosnian Notebook 🇧🇦 is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
During their stay, we had the chance to sit down with them at Restaurant Slap, a charming spot where we indulged in coffee and engaging conversations. It was delightful to hear their thoughts and experiences and witness their eagerness to try new things, like white water rafting. Such encounters with people from different cultures always leave me inspired and reaffirm my commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.
One of the highlights of their visit was experiencing Banja Luka from a "dajak," a traditional flat-bottomed boat that's propelled by a skilled guide using a long pole called a "dyak." These boats are iconic to Banja Luka and hold significant cultural value. The family absolutely loved the ride and felt a deep connection to the River Vrbas, which flows through the heart of the city. They even embarked on a thrilling nine-kilometer white water rafting adventure, truly immersing themselves in the natural wonders of the region.
Experiencing the “Viziers City”
This week I had to leave for three days, which is why I couldn't record a podcast lthis week. But, the episode that’s released in its place is a “Replay” of the podcast I recorded about “The Italians of Mahovljani”. I hope you enjoy it.
While I was away, I had the opportunity to visit Travnik, a city I hadn't explored much before. Ben from Visit Travnik graciously extended an invitation, and I happily accepted. Let me tell you, Travnik is a hidden gem that took me by surprise. The city boasts a clean and rich historical heritage, and the locals' passion for their culture and food is truly infectious.
Ben, the man behind Visit Travnik, showed me around, and I was blown away by the hospitality and warmth of the people. We savoured traditional delicacies like Travnički Čevap, a dish that left me craving for more. Unlike the usual tourist recommendations, we opted for local spots that provided an authentic experience. Believe me, the taste and quality were unmatched.
During my time in Travnik, I had the opportunity to explore the lower slopes of Vlasić mountain, where I encountered sheep and got to taste the phenomenal Vlasić cheese, directly sourced from the sheep in the area. It was a unique experience, and I even learned that Vlasić cheese (Vlasički Sir) comes from sheep, while Travnik cheese (Travnički Sir) is made from cow's milk. It's these small details that continue to enrich my journey and remind me that learning knows no age limit. Travnik also surprised me with its captivating landscapes.
⬆️ Buying Vlasički Sir direct from the shepherds ⬆️
One of the highlights of my visit to Travnik was meeting Dita Bajrami-Vrbanjac, an extraordinary tour guide. Her knowledge of Travnik's history and culture was unparalleled, and she shared captivating stories that truly brought the place to life.
⬆️ Ladies weaving with traditional looms inside the Travnik Castle ⬆️
Our tour extended far beyond the anticipated time, as Dita's passion and willingness to answer my questions made the experience truly immersive.
⬆️ Dita talks about the Minaret without a Mosque in Travnik ⬆️
We even enjoyed a coffee break in the basement of the Colourful Mosque, (Šarena Džamija), where I learned the art of grinding my own coffee beans. A delightful and aromatic ritual that enhanced my appreciation for Bosnian coffee culture.
⬆️ Grinding the coffee beans that will make the coffee I am about to drink ⬆️
Tip when Travelling onwards from Banja Luka to Travnik
This trip, I drove to Travnik by bus, something I don't usually prefer to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sit on the left side of the bus, preferably with a window seat so you can witness the scenic beauty during the journey, including breathtaking canyons and the winding River Vrbas.
⬇️ My Playlist when Travelling ⬇️
I hope that these posts/videos/podcasts inspire you to explore the Balkans and in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina.
You can find out more from our sister Podcast.
Why not come and visit Bosnia and Herzegovina
If you would like to experience a little Ćejf, and also explore this wonderful country, then why not get in contact with us. We can accommodate up to 5 people and can assure you of a wonderful time.
Our WhatsApp number (text only) is 00387 66 657916.
Before I wrap up, I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have engaged with our content, whether through watching our videos, listening to our audio versions, or following us on social media platforms like Instagram. Your support means the world to us, and we're thrilled to have an international audience joining us on this journey through the Balkans.
We understand that at the moment life can be times financially challenging. If you know someone who would enjoy our content but might struggle with a paid subscription, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're happy to offer complimentary subscriptions on a case-by-case basis.
That's all for now. Until next time, take care, and thank you for being part of our community.